Whether you figure yourself as a bit of a salesperson or not, being an in-store demonstrator can be a great way to make money.
Don’t be scared off by horror scenes of Bridget Jones’s mum promoting the ‘WiseCrack boiled-egg peeler’! Being an in-store demonstrator can offer an easy way to make a little extra money simply by using your free time and your sales skills.
- What is a product demonstrator?
- Who can become a demonstrator?
- Where can I get a job as a demonstrator?
- When can I do it?
- How do I get started?
Demonstrators are employed to illustrate the function and usability of a product. They are used to grab keen shoppers and get them to buy one.
The types of items you can demonstrate varies. One day you could be handing out food and drink products in a supermarket or applying make-up in a department store and the next you could be showing shoppers how to whip up a culinary feast or demonstrating power-tools.
Essentially your job is to sell a product by convincing the consumer it’s something they need or want.
Product demonstration is one of the most marketable ways of raising awareness about a particular brand or invention, so companies and shops are keen to do it.
Tesco says that on demonstration days, the average sales uplift is 400%. So when you get offered free chocolates whilst doing your weekly shop it’s not because the shop is feeling especially kind – it’s to get you to buy some!
Anyone! There really are no limitations. Traditionally the larger brands used to employ out-of-work actors to endorse and represent their products, but nowadays agencies are taking on large campaigns from brand ambassadors and recruiting their own staff.
You don’t need any formal qualifications either. Some agencies may require you to have basic numeracy and literacy skills and qualifications such as GCSEs, but the only real assets you need to perform the job well are:
- Good communication and customer service skills
- A desire to meet new people
- The ability to talk to people of all ages and from all backgrounds
Because you often work for a specific brand or manufacturer or through an agency, you’d normally be demonstrating one product at a time. So, you would be required to go wherever the product was for sale: supermarkets, department stores, exhibition and conference centres, outdoor sites or even on the high street.
Within their work space, demonstrators are usually responsible for setting up the presentation area. You’d also be in charge of the organisation of promotional material (posters, leaflets etc). You would need to explain the benefits of the product and answer any questions. A driving licence may also be required by some companies.
Product demonstration within supermarkets and shops usually takes place in peak shopping times such as weekends and after work on weekdays.
The job does require some flexibility on your behalf. However, doing it alongside a full-time job is possible given the working hours. Tesco’s demonstration team say their working hours can be tailored to suit everyone – busy mums and retirees included. Provided you are willing, most employers should fit around your commitments.
Other aspects of the job may be more centred around weekend work. Teams that go out to events and exhibitions could be required for a whole weekend. For students and those without other commitments this could be a perfect way to earn considerably more.
If you sign up with an agency then you can let them know exactly when you’re free and sort out a workable rota from there. If one agency can’t cater for your commitments then ring around and find one who can.
First off, sign up with an agency. This will boost your chances of finding work significantly.
If you have a particular skill in hair and beauty and are interested in working with brands such as Dior and Bourjois, one of the best sites we’ve come across is iD Staffing. They have run numerous campaigns for big-name hair and beauty companies. However, they don’t just recruit hair and beauty specialists – anyone with a friendly personality and professional attitude is welcome to apply.
You could also turn a timely hobby into a workable income. If you’re rather partial to computer games or any sort of new technology, Touchdown advertises itself as able to promote everything from electric toothbrushes to children’s games. Again they’re not just interested in this one set of talents and anyone looking to get into in-store promotion should check out their website.
Another company with nationwide work prospects is Link Communication who send a local team to meet a client’s briefs in that area. They have a few case studies on their website so take a look and get a feel for the job expectations.
Or go freelance
Alternatively why not work for yourself? If you know you have a marketable skill then use it to your advantage and cut out the middleman by sourcing the companies that need you directly.
- If you’re a tradesman go to your local hardware store/warehouse and show them what you can do whilst explaining how they could use it to their advantage. Ask them what products they sell the fewest of and show them how you could help them improve sales. All it takes is a little determination and courage.
- If you’re a handy chef you could always ask your local supermarket if they need anyone for live cookery demonstrations. Offer to use the economy range to make home classics and show people how to make good food on a budget.
- Alternatively, arrange an appointment with your local shopping centre manager. Then ask them if there are any campaigns they would like to run but haven’t had the chance to yet. Often shopping centres have to approach external companies to help them with things like that. Show them instead how you could help organise something, perhaps aimed at the elderly or kids at the weekends.