How to maximise sales during an in-store demo

How to maximise sales during an in-store demo

It constantly surprises me to see companies investing heavily in running in store demonstrations, but failing to train their in-store demonstrators on how to sell. It is such a lost opportunity!

Every year we run thousands of in-store demonstrations, from foods to cosmetics to pet food and everything in between. We analyse all our campaigns so we can see what works and what doesn’t.

Here are a few tips for your in-store brand ambassadors to help them get great sales results.


Before you start your demonstration make sure you have the right mindset. If you think that you are trying make people do something they don’t want to do then you are unlikely to get good results. Convince yourself that you have an amazing secret that you are dying to share with people and that once they hear about this new product they will be delighted to buy it.


Before you do your first demonstration practice what you will say and work out what works for you. Ideally, find someone else to role-play with – they can be the customer. Or practice in front of the mirror, in the car, in your head – whatever works. Use positive visualisation by runing various demo scenarios in your head and visualising positive outcomes.

Be organised

Have your instructions and script with you for reference. Get to your first demonstration early. It is hard to be relaxed and engage people when you have been stressed about running late, not being able to find things etc


People want to talk to people who look well groomed, confident and happy.  Keep a smile on your face at all times and try to make eye contact with everyone who walks past. If you are not feeling confident at the start (which is completely normal) then ‘fake it till you make it’. ACT like a confident person – stand up straight and talk to EVERYONE.


InStore demos are largely a numbers game. The more people you invite to your stand the more sales you are likely to get. Don’t self select – i.e. don’t talk yourself into not talking to people because they ‘look too old’, ‘look unhappy’, ‘look rushed’ etc etc. Try to talk to EVERYONE.

Be thick-skinned

Yes, some people will ignore you and some people may be rude. So What! They may have had a bad day or just be an unhappy person without good manners! The ‘kill them with kindness’ approach can work with these people e.g. That’s OK! (that they don’t want a sample). Have a lovely day!  If nothing else, it will make you feel better and probably makes the customer feel a bit embarrassed about their behaviour.

Try different approaches

If your approach is not working don’t keep doing it. The script is a guideline. In your first demo try different approaches and see which one works the best for you. Be prepared to fail – that’s how you learn! The best opening lines are short and enticing. Make sure you ALWAYS use the brand name and cover the key selling point. The words ‘FREE’ and ‘NEW’ work well. Keep a note of questions and comments that work well.

Look and listen

This is probably the thing that differentiates an average sales person from a great one. Don’t talk at the customer. Listen to what they have to say and ask questions. By doing this you will find out what product benefit is most likely to sell that customer on the product. For example, if someone loves to treat themselves to beautiful natural moisturisers then they are likely to love the idea they can get this type of product for a cheaper price so they can treat themselves more often. Look for other cues as well e.g. what is in their trolley, do they have children with them etc.

Make it personal

Let the customer know which product you like best and why. (Make sure this fits with what is likely to be the customer preference). If the product is not relevant to you then refer to someone you know who uses it and why they like it.

Get them to try

Get them to try as many of the products as you can. It is human nature that if you are given something you want to give something back (i.e. buy the product).


Get them to say what they like about the product and then reinforce to them that they liked the product. Eg. I know that you really liked that fragrance, why don’t you try the other one and see what you think.

Close the sale

The customers are EXPECTING you to ask for the sale so don’t be afraid to do it. It doesn’t need to sound pushy or aggressive. It is just a matter of finding the right words. eg. Now if you do like [this product] there is an amazing offer on today. You can get $XX off, which means that each bottle is only $XX. Pick up the product that they liked the most when you are saying this so you can hand it to them if they look interested.

Upsell them

There’s a good reason why McDonalds always offers you chips when you buy a hamburger – it works! If you have got them to buy one, see if you can get them to buy more e.g. Since it is such a good price today would you like to get a matching handwash with the moisturiser. Or, Since it is such a good price today would you like to buy the other fragrance you liked as well.

Good luck!

Say thank you

Thank them for the sale. It is good manners and they are more likely to buy again.