Today Facebook gave me a throwback to my holiday in Moscow four years ago, a memorable trip to one of the most vivid cities I’ve been to. One of the things I liked most was practicing hand gestures to order food and beverages as there aren’t many people who spoke English. One time I even ended up ordering one spoon of rice, hah. But during this trip, I also met the greatest sales person you can imagine. He showed the craft of demonstrating. That’s what I’d like to share with you today.

Vlad the demonstrator

So there was a man, let’s name him Vladimir, who showed how you should give a perfect product demonstration. While I was sitting in the subway Vladimir entered the coupe with a bag full of knives, something which you probably shouldn’t do in 2017. He started talking loudly while waving a knife, nobody seemed interested and as the knife was quite small I couldn’t bother giving it attention either other than keeping my eye on him to see if he didn’t approach me.

But then something happened.

Vladimir walked towards an elderly woman, put his hand in the bag and slowly pulled out a potato. He started peeling the potato. While he was doing this, he looked happy as it seemed to be very easy. After demonstrating how easily the potato lost its skin he walked through the subway coupe and sold at least six knifes. And as Vladimir left the coupe to enter the next one I followed him. Although I don’t speak any Russian, I noticed that he said the same things as well as putting on the same show.


A random subway station image from (not in Moscow).

So, what can Vladimir teach you about giving demonstrations?

1. Prepare & practise

Create a solid story and start practicing. Do this over and over, until you can dream your story. Discover what triggers people and keep repeating it in each demonstration.

2. Don’t show the product, show its purpose

Vladimir was waving a knife in public transport, though he only got attention when he also pulled the potato. Why? People don’t need knifes. Everyone already has a knife in their kitchen. However, seeing how easy it was to peel the potato, that is something they would like. Remember this, when demonstrating your product, it’s not about what it does, but what it solves.

3. Demonstrate with love

Although I couldn’t understand anything what Vladimir was saying, as soon as he pulled that potato he looked enthusiastic and showed passion. He peeled the potato while he looked through the coupe, demonstrating that this knife was perfect. You don’t even have to look to the potato, it just cuts of the skin with ease. This also shows that Vladimir demonstrates his knives a lot. The knives are probably even normal knives, but the craft is in his skills. But the people who watch don’t care, they love the result. They are willing to pay for the end-result. Show that you love your product and show that you love the result.

This is not Vladimir. Sorry, didn’t take a picture as he was waving with knives.

On to the next coupe

The margin on Vladimir’s product is probably quite low. That is why he enters one coupe, throws out a perfect demonstration, sells some knives and goes on to the next coupe to repeat it over and over again. And sometimes people might not buy it, but as I’m doing now, they will tell about it to their friends, family or internet public. So, start planting seeds. Start demonstrating your product. And if you get to much demonstration requests you can always make a separation. Low potential clients receive a pre-recorded demonstration, mid-range clients receive a personal online demonstration and high potential clients receive a demonstration on location. Just remember, don’t stop at the first coupe, keep on going and you will succeed.

And you might think, easy for you to say, Vladimir has an easy product. But I hope that your product has more impact and use than a simple kitchen knife. Would you like to show of your work? Feel free to leave it in a comment below shortly describing your product and a link to request a demonstration.