Get it in their hands: the power of demonstration

Earlier this year, I took the photography plunge and bought my first DSLR camera.  My experience at my local camera shop got me thinking about the power of demonstration.

Within 2 minutes of entering the store, I found myself back outside in the crisp March air, camera in hand, and sales guy in tow.   Viewfinder to my eye, I tracked a passing car and squeezed the shutter button.  Pulitzer Prize, here I come.


A glance at the display window revealed a blurry Ford Taurus.

…is there such a thing as impressionist photography?

“Now,” my sales guy continued, “this wheel adjusts your shutter speed.  The higher the number, the faster it closes.  This will let you capture fast moving targets.  Let’s put it up to 1/2000 and give it a go”.

I, somewhat clumsily, rolled the wheel, and zeroed in on my next victim.


I looked at the display and was amazed.  If I didn’t know better, the car could have been stopped at the light, not cruising by us at 60 clicks.  Then I smiled.

Looking back on the experience, I know that the sale was made in that moment, shivering on the front step, and not when I finally plopped down my soon-to-be-weary credit card an hour later.

I learned a valuable sales lesson from that exchange.   “Get it in their hands.”

It could have gone so differently.  I could have walked into the store, been shown an endless variety of models, and been barraged with a list of technical mumbo jumbo that you’d need an advanced engineering degree to understand.  Instead, within minutes, I was taking pictures with MY new camera.

I left the store a satisfied customer, with accessories and extended warranty to boot; it was a good day for my sales guy as well.   Will I be back?  Absolutely.

Do you “get it in their hands” in your store?  What techniques have worked best for your business?  Share your stories!


Posted on November 3, 2011, in 'We Get Retail' Business Tips and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Great post! I couldn’t agree with you more! This reminds me of a recent experience of mine. I was interested in buying a laptop a few months ago. Ready and willing to drop a good chunk of money, I went to an electronic store, that shall remain nameless. I told a customer service representative that I needed some assistance and was told by a lady that the person who worked in that dept wasn’t around at the moment. I wasn’t sure why she couldn’t help me instead but I decided to wait it out. I rarely ask for help at a store and was feeling rather deflated as I stood in the laptop section pacing back and forth on my lunch hour. My embarrassment turned into sheer frustration and by the time the csr showed up his weak sales pitch didn’t sell me! During my 10 minutes of waiting for him to show I somehow talked myself out of the purchase. I thanked him and went on my merry way. don’t get me wrong, I’ve had many good experiences with sales people but this incident stuck in my mind. It’s amazing how one or two sales people can change your entire experience. I’m happy to hear you had such a good one. Enjoy the new camera!

    • Thanks for commenting Shan. That is an excellent example of poor customer service (or should I say non-existent service?). This has happened to me as well, and at an electronics store to boot! I totally agree with your comment “sales people can change your entire experience”. You live and die by your employees. So how do you find the good ones, and keep them? Tougher than you think when retail jobs are seen as “disposable”. Cheers!

  1. Pingback: Judging Stores by Their Covers « mmspos

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