It is rare that a dealer would not tout the benefits of demos to customers. There are certain things revealed by an on-site demo that can’t be displayed in the showroom.
“In a showroom, you are very much limited in what you can experience,” says Chase Tew, tactical brand manager for commercial mowing at John Deere. “You are talking with customers about specifications and performance, but many times those things in the showroom environment may or may not compare.”
On-site demonstrations offer many things a showroom visit cannot. It may not be possible to get the whole landscape team out to the showroom to look at a potential new piece of equipment. If you bring it out to the jobsite, multiple operators within the contractor’s business get a feel for the machine and understand its ease of use.
“Many times there are multiple decision makers involved in the purchase,” explains Tew. “The on-site demo gives the decision makers the opportunity to experience things first-hand and see how well a piece of equipment fits into their fleet.”
On-site demos not only offer the opportunity to see how each landscape employee likes the mower or piece of equipment, but it’s also a great opportunity to see how the equipment handles different jobsites and their requirements.
“A demo means no surprises when the customer gets the mower home,” says Tew. “Commercial cutters can test is out on properties they maintain while consumer customers, likely never having operated a zero-turn rider, can compare the mower to expectations they have in their mind. It’s best they are sent home with the right mower for the job, as opposed to returning disappointed.”
A better side-by-side comparison is also possible when there are several brands or models being considered. Users can explore the fit of the machine not only in their operations, but also in the little things like how easy it is to service and the ease in loading and unloading off the trailer.
Good for the Customer, Good for the Dealer
On-site demonstrations have a lot to offer the contractor and consumer customers alike, but the dealer and employees who take the demos out have a lot to gain as well. The knowledge gained from listening to a customer about their demo experience can go a long way in growing your knowledge of a brand or product line.
“It’s important for a business owner or salesman to be knowledgeable, and they gain knowledge every time they go out on a demonstration with a customer,” explains Tew. “You gain knowledge of how a machine performs on a certain property, how a machine performs in certain conditions, and how machines with certain specifications perform for different customers. All that translates into a simple knowledge and skill set.”
The trust of a consumer or commercial cutter is easier to win when you have a wealth of knowledge to share with them. They are more likely to trust you and the brands you sell if you know what the products can handle.
“Consumers and contractors will trust a dealer because he has gone out on these demonstrations and knows how the machines perform and how operators are using them,” says Tew. “It’s the knowledge that builds that trust and the relationship that gets the sale.”