A client requesting a “trial” period for a coffee machine is a common request. Here is the guideline with all the info you need to deal with this:
First off: Immediately answer NO, we don’t do that but let me explain to you why and then let me tell what I’m going to do to make 100% sure you are satisfied with your purchase! Any other answer like, well….let me see what I can do…OR, well…we don’t really do that anymore…mmm is a sign of a salesman without confidence!
Why do clients ask for this? It is obvious, they want to make sure they buy/rent the right machine and want to “check it out” before they commit. The want to feel sure and safe in their final decision! Always refer to the motor industry. You can look at the Merc, touch it, feel it, drive it around the block, but you can’t “trial” it for 1 month…sorry, it doesn’t work like that!
So here’s the relevant points, answers, comments, rules you must apply!
- Never leave a machine for a demo period and the reasons are:
- When you are at the machine, you (the sales person) can ensure the correct usage of the machine at the client site or in the showroom
- You can answer any questions and fight any fires and do all comparisons
- You can make sure the coffee is made perfect for each person and get them to say YES we like the machine, YES we like the coffee, YES we understand the cleaning and care, YES the foam is great and finally YES WE WANT IT
- You can do a demo at a client for as long as it takes but the machine goes back with you. If the CEO is not in today, then simply say, NO PROBLEM, I’ll bring the machine back tomorrow and come and demo it to him as well!
- The client does not know the machine that well and if you leave it, chances are that someone will do a stupid thing and get a stupid result and say no to the sale OR put different beans in it to try something etc. and the result is never good.
Tel the client that you are willing to bring a machine as a demo and you will make all of them as many cups of coffee as they want to taste but our policy is to never leave a machine on site. If you tell the client why not, they will 9/10 times understand and agree!
Another tip: NEVER give anyone a sample of coffee beans:
- You have no control over where or when or through which machine they will consume it
- You have no control how they make it or what the extraction is, if the machine was clean or filled with old coffee oils etc.
- That means you can give someone Barista and they put it through an old Jura machine that has not seen a service, tablet clean or descale in years, the milk foamer does not work etc.
- How can you expect the client to taste “YOUR” beans and have a favorable outcome but it was made in these machines?
Again if you want someone to taste our coffee, YOU have to be in absolute control of a tasting session with:
- One of OUR machines, clean, prepared and one that you know well
- A machine where you are able to let the client taste everything he wants and where you know how to make it
- Ensure he experience something where he can say YES and GREAT 5 times.
If someone do insist on samples, or you do want to get your foot in the door, or for some practical reasons you cannot demo the product for them, then try this trick: Make out the invoice and deliver the product to the client and ask for payment. Tell them straight that you believe so much in this product that you are 101% sure they are going to love it. If they don’t you will drive back here, pick up the remaining pack, and give them a full credit. I (Manus) have done this successfully about 50 times in the past few years…not one comeback. Recently I did this with our new Chai Latte Powder to about 4 clients, not one complaint and they all love it!
By following these guidelines, your sales conversion rate will increase multi-fold. Do not feel stressed to tell the client why you propose these rules and why you follow it. If they have a specific reason for wanting a demo, let them tell you what it is and then figure out how to do it while sticking to my guidelines and do not back down.
A last note on the subject. Our conversion rate of doing demo’s at our showrooms (JHB, CTN, Durbs, etc.) is almost 100%. When you get the client into your own environment where you feel confident, you are setup to “sell”, your showroom looks nice, etc. IT JUST WORKS. Try very hard where possible to move away from on-site demo’s and bring/invite/drag clients to your showroom (or gladly make use of ours). Tell them how this is 100 times easier for both parties cause driving around with a machine in your boot is difficult, you can only show them one machine, you can only bring along so much product in a car, carrying the thing up the steps is a pain, etc. etc. etc. Make excuses and convince them! – LASTLY, RENT A SHOP AND BUILD A KONIG RETAIL OUTLET…just saying 🙂