The Power of Product Demonstration

I headed to the Kentucky State Fair  this week with my family to see among other things, the elegant and sophisticated World's Championship Horse Show.  This is an annual show held every year at the Kentucky State Fair in Louisville.

This show is the most prestigious saddlebred show in the world and is over 100 years old. 

It was fascinating to see a museum qualify showcase of a many the past ribbons, silver plates, trophys and bowls from past winners who have donated their tangible accolades for display.  Some of the Blue ribbons and programs date back to 1901.  Can't lie.. it was pretty cool.

 

Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Kentucky State Fair Board

Outside of the typical fair stuff however, my visit to the Fair this year will serve as a great reminder to all my network marketing, MLM and direct sales friends to make sure you are demonstrating your product(s).  When you do that, your sales will increase.

I'm a great case study.  Here's what happened.

Setting the stage for the story…

I've been wanting a Vitamix for gosh… a couple of years I'd say.

I've researched them.

I've read about them.

I've spent time on Amazon dinking around and reading reviews.

I've talked to others who had a Vitamix.

But I never pulled the trigger and bought. 

Why is that?

  • It had nothing to do with money.
  • It was not on my "must have" list but rather something I'd like to have.
  • It wasn't on my "top priority list" to buy
  • It felt good to know that someday, maybe, I'll have one.  I felt it would benefit my health and be fun to mix up delicious healthy meals in a snap.

But I WAS dilly dallying with buying, no question about that. 

And I didn't care.  It really didn't matter to me.

Yet… I bought one; and of ALL places, going only with the intention of watching the World Championship Horse Show, looking at quilts (which is another story of "how to win"), and getting a candied apple, the Kentucky State Fair.

I know.  Who'd of thought, right?

So the question is then… WHY did I buy?

As an entrepreneur offering products to others, I thought it would be a transparent training on why I bought after all this time and take this lesson back and apply it to your business.

Here's what happened in my case with the darn Vitamix Blender purchase.

I took Mom and Dad to the Kentucky State Fair.  We each wanted to see and do different things so Dad went his way, Mom and I went ours and headed to the horse show.

Mom and I had finished watching the horse show and were heading to the crafts pavilion but realized the section where vendors set up booths was also right there.  We knew Dad was in there somewhere so we peeked our heads in and thought we'd just stroll one or two isles and see if we spot him.

On the third row, we passed a Vitamix booth.  Nobody was there to man it and posted where you can't miss it, was a sign that displayed the demonstration times. 

I said to Mom while passing by, "Hey Mom… I've been looking at these.  I really want one and someday I'll have one."  We never even stopped or paused, it was just something I said as we continued walking. 

Mom said, "Well, do you want to wait and watch the demonstration?

I said, "Naw… I'm not buying now and I didn't come to the State fair to buy stuff, let alone a blender.  Let's head over the crafts". 

That was the end of that and I didn't give it another thought.

The story continues….

Several hours later, we met up with Dad at the food court which happens to be where?

Down past the vendor booths. 

Now the Vitamix booth was only the second booth in from the main isle (a great spot by the way) and this time when I was walking down the main isle, I could hear the guy with his little headset on and sort of see what he's demonstrating but thought, "humm… I think I'll just watch for a second"

I tell my folks I'm going to just see what he's making with ABSOLUTELY NO INTENTION of buying.  I'm just looking.  You know the drill.

I turn left into the row and am almost immediately in front of the booth and behind a small crowd of about 10 people.

He's passing out a green smoothie.  He looks at me and holds it up over the crowd and motions me to "try it'.

He's telling everyone how fast and simple it is to make and reminds us how healthy eating can be fun, fast and delicious. 

I asked, "what's in it?"

He rattled off because of all kinds of green ingredients…stuff like avocados, limes, spinach, celery and named off a bunch of others I can't remember. I know it was garden kind of stuff and a bit of fruit.

I say "thank you", politely take the sample cup and step back behind the crowd.  After all, I'm not buying. In fact, it's truly not on my mind to buy.  I'm just CURIOUS and INTERESTED in what he was showing.

I sample my green smoothie which was delicious and watch as he cleans the blender in a snap.   

My internal Thoughts:  "This is good.  It doesn't look too appealing but it's delicious."

Immediately demo guy starts making frappuccinos for everyone and handed those out.  I can't lie.  It was one of the best I've ever had and it took him literally 45 seconds to whip it up. 

(Pictures courtesy of Vitamix)

My Internal Thoughts:  "Boy… this is good.  This is would be so much FUN to treat my fan club ladies who come to my scrapbook store the first Saturday of the month.  They would get such a kick out of that."

While I'm enjoying my frappuccino sample, the guy cleans his blender and starts making salsa

In the blender goes a tomato, a celery stick, a little garlic, and a little of this or that.  Takes him 30 seconds to choose his ingredients and hits the button on the blender.

In a few seconds we have fresh salsa (which I love).  He says, "you can stop here and enjoy your fresh salsa, or… you can add a few more ingredients and make tortilla soup.  Watch this."

He adds hot water, a few more ingredients and within 1 minute he was serving up hot tortilla soup.

I think this was his recipe but he didn't add chicken.

 

Ingredients

  • 3 cups (720 ml) chicken, beef, or vegetable stock
  • 1 roma tomato, halved or about 1/2 cup chopped
  • 1 carrot, halved or about 1/2 cup chopped
  • 1 rib celery, halved or about 1/3 cup chopped
  • 1 thin slice of onion, peeled or approximately 1 tablespoon chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 thin slice of yellow squash
  • 1 thin slice of red bell pepper
  • 1 thin slice of cabbage
  • 1 mushroom
  • 1 teaspoon taco seasoning
  • dash ground cumin
  • salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup (70 g) cooked chicken breast
  • 1/2 fresh jalapeño
  • 1/4 cup olives, pitted
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) canned corn, unsalted
  • 2 ounces (60 g) tortilla chips

By now, there's a little crowd behind me and somehow, without me even being aware, I had moved to the front row. 

I sampled his tortilla soup.

My Internal Thoughts:  "OMG… This was so fast, and it's so good and it's so healthy.  This totally fits my lifestyle.  I dig this and I've got to make this recipe for my family.  I'm going to buy one RIGHT NOW."

As I was finishing up my sample cup of soup, I asked, "What's the show special?"

(I didn't care… money was never the issue and regardless of his answer, I had already made my mind up a few seconds ago that I was going to buy now. )

He said "$449 and includes this recipe book, free shipping or you can carry home today and it includes your pick of another canister, either the dry blender with the whole grain recipe book or a smaller wet blender to fit comfortably under your countertop, a $140 value."

(Pictured above)

I responded, "Who can take my order?"

He said, "Marcus can help you with that" and he pointed to him.  Marcus was looking at me and motioned me to come over.

I bought.  I wanted the black base so it had to be ordered but I got the deal.

I felt good about my decision to buy, it would be shipped to me in a couple of weeks and I went about doing fair stuff.  I didn't think much about it.

On the ride home however, I had time to think about what happened during the day.  And I thought it was weird that I actually bought a Vitamix.  So I put my marketers hat on to analyze the whole ordeal and sequence of events to under WHY I bought.

It dawned on me.

I had been hung up on WHICH Vitamix blender to buy.  That the ONLY obstacle in my decision making.

Today, during the demonstration, the WHICH Vitamix didn't matter.  It didn't even cross my mind that this one was just one of many models to choose from. 

(Mine is the 5200 model by the way).

All I know is this…

  • I was watching him whip up my favorite recipes in nano seconds.
  • I was thinking how fun it would be share these recipes with my friends at parties.
  • I was tasting how great they were.
  • I was thinking how my lifestyle will be so much healthier with less meal preparation.
  • Nothing else mattered.  This blender gave me exactly what I wanted and I bought it.

In a period of about 15 minutes, demo guy simply gave me what I wanted.  The model didn't matter in my case.  This particular model was simple to use and got the job done.  He kept it simple and fun.

The guy who took my order said this doesn't have all the bells and whistles but I didn't need those.  This is a great model and it will do everything I want it to do.  Guaranteed for 8 years.  BAM!

Moral of the Story… DEMONSTRATE your product.

Find ways for you to demonstrate your product.

Make videos.

Host webinars.

Schedule one on ones.

Send samples.

If you have a similar story about why you bought something please share! 

Comments

  1. Stevie Knight says

    I loved this! What a great story and "demonstration" of why people make buying decisions at certain times. This might have been a good example for Cialdini's book "influence" that really goes deep on this topic. I think I'll implement that concept of demonstration myself today. Thanks for the reminder.I'm also a Vitamix owner and would LOVE to know how to make a frozen coffee drink!

  2. Debbie Turner says

    Stevie…

    Cialdini’s book… hummm.. gonna have to get that now, thanks for the recommendation. And maybe someone can post a fabulous frozen coffee drink :)

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