21 March 2012

Sell the experience

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...


* 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.



* 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.


* 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.


* 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