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21 March 2012

Sell the experience

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Feb 2012 Lynn Williams

Neff's chief home economist, Lynn Williams, offers some key points to consider when planning an open evening or showroom demonstration...

PLANNING AND PREPARATION

* If you are about to put in new kitchen displays, make sure you have one dedicated fully working kitchen area for a cookery demonstration. Make sure it's in a good visible area with hot and cold running water adjacent.   

* A minimum of 3 working appliances for cooking are suggested by us. Ideally a single oven, compact appliance (combination steam oven) and induction hob.

 

* A working Coffee centre tempts customers to be more adventurous with their appliance choices. Use the aroma of the coffee centre to entice customers into conversation. Add a warming drawer for additional storage facilities.
The ovens should be built in at eye level - rather than under the counter - where they can be seen all the time.

* Have a hob on a workstation facing outwards so that the Home Economist can demonstrate to an audience easily.

 

* An induction hob is ideal for this purpose and offers so many possibilities for promoting the benefits of this excellent technology.

* Make sure there are suitable handwashing facilities in the demonstration area.

* Think about having built in rubbish disposal facilities; it's so much tidier than a black bin liner on the floor!

* You must have a working fridge which can be used solely by the Home Economist for the demonstration.

 


BEFORE THE EVENT

* Generate publicity well in advance. Speak to your contacts at the local newspapers and magazines to see if they will cover it and maybe send a photographer.

* Flag up the event on your website well in advance.  At Neff, we also have a special events page on the website to flag up dealer demonstration events to consumers.

Have you fitted a kitchen for a local celebrity recently?  If so, he or she might be worth approaching to make a guest appearance

* Send out invitations by post and/or email to recent & existing customers, as well as prospective customers.

* Promote on your Facebook and Twitter pages.

* Existing customers often appreciate the opportunity to get the most out of their newly installed appliances by talking to an expert; they are also a great influence on prospective customers as they are normally very positive about their new kitchen experience.

* Think about the best day to have your event. Saturdays are good but evening events can work as well.

* Try to avoid dates when there are other activities in the area to compete with your activity and where possible, try to avoid periods where weather could be more of a problem!

* Choose between a sit down demonstration or a rolling demonstration.  10am till 4pm is ideal. This gives the Home Economist the chance to cook foods in the appliances that really demonstrate their capabilities over a constant period of time.

* Talk to your Area Business Manager about their involvement. They may be able to attend the event to add extra knowledge to the proceedings so involve them from the outset.

DURING THE EVENT

* Have a guest book at the ready to capture names and addresses. These will be useful for follow up contact and potential new leads. See below.

* Make sure the appliances look their best at all times. Keep cleaning - especially if the appliances are finished in stainless steel!

* Offer drinks and a few nibbles to complement the food that the Home Economist is cooking at the event. It helps to break the ice.

* Generate a party atmosphere; decorate the showroom for the occasion.

* Consider filming some of the event as a podcast for your website.

* Take photos to be used on the website and/or for promotional material.

* Stock up on accessories, recipe books and even small appliances to sell at the event.

AFTER THE EVENT

* Follow up all new contacts with a thank you note offering help and advice with a new kitchen and/or new appliances.

* Create a database of all names and addresses collected at the event for future mailings.

* Put details of the event on your website with photos and ask your suppliers to do the same!

What do you think? Email the editor