As a direct sales coach, one of the questions I see regularly is on the topic of keeping things interesting during a home show or demonstration.
Before I offer my tips, I want to take a moment to offer a warning:
Just because YOU think your demo is boring doesn’t mean your customers do. When a consultant gets used to a routine, it can seem monotonous or tedious to “perform” the same show or demonstration over and over at every event or home party. For you, this is “same stuff, different day”, but for your host or clients, this may be entirely new for them.
In the advertising world, it’s said that when the company is tired of seeing their commercials on TV, that’s when they’ve finally started being effective, because people now recognize them. In that instance, change would be a bad thing, but very often, that’s exactly what the companies do.
The result is often counter to their desired outcome.
Think of it this way: if a musician or an actor has been practicing the same part for months on end, it can get very monotonous for the player. However, the audience will only hear them perform it once. Twice if it’s exceptional. Three or more times if it was recorded AND exceptional.
The audience will rarely get bored. And it would be in poor taste for a performer to show up and decide they were going to do something completely different just to “spice things up” for the show. Imagine the shock and horror if a saxophonist decided that, just for tonight, he was going to play some jazz instead of the Mozart piece everyone else was scheduled to play. Or an actor shows up ready to do Neil Simon, only to find out the director decided to do Shakespeare tonight instead.
Before you get itchy to change things up in your demonstration, make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. Your boredom is not necessarily the right reason.
That said, if you find yourself doing the same presentation over and over to the exact same audience, you may find it’s time to change some of the elements of your presentation to keep listeners engaged. Here are some suggestions:
1. Do a micro-intro. Give your clients the basic, need-to-know info about you. Since they’re probably already familiar, you don’t need to share the long-winded version of your story. Tell them your name, thank your hostess, and start sharing.
2. Ask them questions. Instead of doing an entire demonstration from a script, ask THEM what they want to learn about most, and use your training to answer those questions and recommend appropriate products. This allows you to cover all the necessary elements of your presentation, while giving your clients a reason to stay engaged. This suggestion takes a bit more product knowledge, and it’s not recommended for brand new consultants.
3. Share your “Fave Five.” Instead of a full-blown product demo, share your five favorite products – or have your host share her Fave Five. Then allow your customers to shop while you answer questions. This allows for a more social environment, and frees you up to work more closely with your customers.
4. Don’t demo. Do a brief intro and run your party open house style. Make sure you are mingling and sharing your booking and recruiting seeds as you interact with guests or you won’t get many bookings at a party like this. Again, this is recommended for advanced consultants.
5. If you do one-on-one consultations, focus on the customer. “Sprinkle” your product and business info throughout the conversation, but make it more of a fact-finding mission rather than a demonstration. The more you show that you’re interested in helping your client, the more engaged they’ll stay in your presentation.
These quick, simple ideas will help you refresh your existing presentation. If you’re new to direct sales, follow your scripts until they are comfortable. Don’t try re-inventing the wheel until you’ve got a solid base of knowledge under your belt. Then, make small adjustments to your presentation until you find a routine that works. Then, stick to it like crazy glue.
Remember, just because it’s boring to you, doesn’t mean it’s boring to your clients. Ask your best customers for their opinions before you start changing things up.
© 2011 Lisa Robbin Young
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Lisa Robbin Young offers direct sales training and coaching to direct sales professionals looking to grow their business like a real business instead of an expensive hobby. Sign up for her free weekly ezine at http://www.homepartysolution.com.
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