Whats In-Store For You?

Demo Duties

Together, the three women grew the business, each handling her own separate responsibilities. Redig arranged demos in existing markets, called demonstrators for assignments, and prepared company billings. She sent preliminary information about each demo product to the demonstrators. After completing a demo, the demonstrators filled out an activity report and sent it to Dahl and Redig, who paid their demonstrators biweekly.

As the field coordinator, Mettler recruited, interviewed, approved and scheduled new demonstrators. She also coordinated orientation, which included an explanation of operational guidelines, the company's history, the process of arranging and assigning demos, dress code, demo setup, procedure and cleanup, and the tax status of self-employed persons. Mettler worked side by side with demonstrators on their first few assignments. She also visited each store at least once a month to check the performance of the demonstrators. By providing references to store managers in new market areas, Mettler was able to generate new booking assignments.

The company's decade-long record of providing professional demonstrators reduced the need for travel. "I used to meet personally with representatives of companies we hadn't served before," Dahl says. "Later, representatives of new clients just sent me product information, often including a video for us to show demonstrators."

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This article was originally published in the February 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Whats In-Store For You?.

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