As an outdoor power equipment dealership, you are always trying to find ways to maximize your selling potential. Equipment demo programs are the perfect way to gain more customers by creating a hands-on environment for buyers, AND they give you an edge over competitors. But to achieve success, it has to be managed correctly.
There are two different techniques you can use to implement a demo program. We've seen that many successful dealerships utilize both of these demo methods in their businesses.
Customers Looking for a New Mower
Often, prospects, both professional landscapers and homeowners, are unsure of which model or features will best suit their needs. They are in the consideration stage of their buyer's journey. During this stage, dealerships need to provide the best information possible along with a compelling reason to buy, so customers are encouraged to make a purchase decision. Lend them the mower to close the deal. They will use the equipment as a part of THEIR typical routine and see what fits best. This is important - when a customer tries the mower on their own lawns, it gives them a clear picture of how they can work after buying the unit.
Customers Using a Competitive Brand
When problems occur with equipment, prospects will be the most dissatisfied with their current brand selection. Take advantage of this! Offer your demo while their mower is down. Emphasize the benefits of a new product line and how it will reduce downtime for their business. If possible, focus on the issues and problems they encountered with their current mower. When done properly, you will be able to convert most customers to the new brand.
How to Create a Successful Demo Program
Anyone can say their products are the best, but until they get out onto the field, it's just talk. There is no sales technique more powerful than being able to prove a machine's on-the-job capability. That said, before you establish your demo programs, here are some items to consider.
- Before the machine goes out, make sure the machine is clean. The blades should be sharpened, the fluids should be at the correct level, and all mechanical features are operating properly. Nothing will lose a sale quicker than a malfunctioning unit sent out as a demo.
- It's important to go over the proper operating procedures of the mower with the customer. Example: the prospect has never used a stand-on mower, and may not know how to shift weight correctly on hills.
- Train your staff at the sales and service counters to suggest the demo option, especially when a competitive mower owner comes into the store.
- Make sure customers can pick up the unit at the dealership and that you also have the capability to deliver it. If you work with KPM, our territory managers can help you arrange demo machines. Contact Us and find out more.
- Follow up after the demo. Get the customers' thoughts and impressions. This is often overlooked, but it’s one of the most important steps.
- Word of warning: it is important to qualify customers. Some people will take advantage of a generous demo to get a few free days of cutting with someone else’s mower. This warning isn't a reason to avoid demoing, just be careful.
Host an extensive open house - with the ability to demo the units that your outdoor power equipment dealership provides. You will need an open area, maybe a grassy hill to do this. A field day like this can be a good way to focus on demos and get useful feedback. Those who show up will be a captive audience with a high chance of purchase.
Did you know KPM offers very generous demo programs to help our dealers increase their sales potential?