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What Small Business Owners Can Learn From Kiosk Salespeople

For small business owners there’s a lesson to be learned from the aggressive and pushy kiosk sales-people. In fact, it works so well that it can increase sales by up to 70 percent.
Written Apr 05, 2010, read 4662 times since then.


I was walking through my local mall the other day, when a woman at a kiosk asked me if I had a minute to try out her special, like-no-other-in-the-world hand cream.  I’m the first one to admit that usually I hate being accosted by kiosk sales-people. But, I wasn’t in a hurry and she got me on a good day – my hands were a bit chapped from the Chicago winter weather.

So, I stopped and let her massage her magic cream into my hands.  Not only did she rehydrate my dry skin, but she glossed my brittle nails to a top sheen with a nail buffer in one-minute flat. Well, needless to say I walked away from the kiosk with $25 worth of products.

For small business owners there’s a lesson to be learned from the aggressive and pushy kiosk sales-people. It’s called “product demonstration” and it works – in fact, it works so well that product demonstrations can increase sales by up to 70%.

The philosophy behind the increased sales is obvious. The salespeople in the kiosks understand that most people won’t make a purchase simply by walking past their kiosk – there are just too many stores vying for their attention.

Therefore, kiosk salespeople step out of their kiosk and command our attention by offering to demonstrate their product to us. And you must admit, whether they are annoying or helpful, we can’t help but notice them.

And, if they do manage to pull us over for a product demonstration, they know that they are working with a “hot prospect.” They have our undivided attention and can show us why we need their product.

Obviously, most small business owners aren’t operating a small kiosk in the local mall. We are competing for the attention of online prospects; we want our internet audience to sit-up, take notice, and eventually make a purchase.

To immediately increase your sales, think about ways to demonstrate your product or service to your prospects. Show them why they need your product or service and how their lives will improve substantially once they have purchased it. You can accomplish this through demonstration videos on your website or Youtube. You can inform them about your product or service through audios and podcasts. Or, you can utilize teleseminars and webinars to educate your prospects about your industry and how your product or service will exponentially improve their lives.

Since our prospects are bombarded by ads all day long, a sales page just doesn’t cut it in today’s competitive environment. In fact, research clearly suggests that less than 1% of your online traffic will make a purchase on their first visit to your website. Therefore, it’s your job to take them to the next level, education.

So, take your cues from the savvy kiosk salespeople and show your prospective clients and customers what problems you can solve for them; demonstrate why they need your products and services; and reveal the hidden benefits that will make their lives better – the best part is that you don’t have to accost them in a mall to accomplish this!

Learn more about the author, Jessica Swanson.

Comment on this article

  • Marketing Consultant 
Nanuet, New York 
Julie Weishaar
    Posted by Julie Weishaar, Nanuet, New York | Apr 05, 2010

    Jessica, what a great article! I am like you and really hate being accosted by kiosk vendors and can also relate to having dry, chapped hands and figuring "what the heck" LOL. You made a perfect segue into how small business owners can and should demonstrate their product or service to their prospects.

    Thanks for your clever insights :)

Kuala Lumpur Malaysia 
Thiruselvam K T Kandasamy
    Posted by Thiruselvam K T Kandasamy, Kuala Lumpur Malaysia | Apr 20, 2010

    Excellent article on the value of demonstrations as at the mall or exhibition venue. GET THEM TO STOP, INVOLVE and EXPERIENCE instead of just walking by or being handed a flyer or name card. I was long ago an Encyclopaedia Britannica salesperson and the demo was lifting a volume by a page to illustrate binding and paper strength. Today I am a Rainbow hydrocleaner salesperson, and spend up to 50 minutes in actual home demo showing the actual lifestyle at their home and what it should be. One needs to conceive ways to demonstrate and this act illustrates visually the effect of the product. The same for services. Good writing. Thank you Thiruselvam K