sales training: iRobot

‘No one likes vacuuming – so get a robot’

Witt UK and Ireland market manager Bo Simonsen believes demonstration is key when showing customers they have an alternative to traditional floorcare products


t is absolutely paramount that the iRobot Roomba vacuum robots are getting demonstrated in stores. This is one of the few products that the

retailer has in store that has such demonstration value – you don’t have that option online. If you’re selling a toaster or a kettle, you’re selling something that is very well known to people; then it’s just a matter of design and price. With iRobot, you’re selling a whole new concept in keeping your house clean. There are only three ways for you to keep your house clean – either you do it yourself, you get a cleaner, or you get a robot; there’s no magic wand. That is a message you can get across when standing in the store, having the robot going around on the floor. You’re ensuring that people understand that this is a viable alternative to pushing around their old vacuum cleaner. That old vacuum cleaner might be the most fantastic thing in the world, or the most powerful, but it only works when you are pushing it round. This is one of the things that the store can do so much better than online, even with videos. It’s hands on. This is a need that people have, to keep their homes clean. If you don’t clean your house or your home, very soon you will not be able to live in it; there’s no two ways about it. Every customer coming in that front door has that basic need to keep their home clean. And there’s only three ways of doing it, so why not

choose the easy solution? They have a washing machine or a dishwasher, because those products have been around long enough that they know about them. People need to know that there is an alternative to doing things by hand. With iRobot, the best way to do that is by pressing ‘Clean’, and letting the robot run around on the floor. Show people, show them the evidence, show that you’re using it every day in your own store, or at home. Be honest, no one likes vacuum cleaning. Not at home, not in store. It is the most tedious job there is, so people do as little of it as they can get away with. With a robot that does the cleaning every day, you don’t need to do that job. Demonstrating the products is the simplest thing in the world. The first thing you do is press ‘Clean’ on the robot, and let it run around. 80% of people stop and look and say, ‘What’s that?’ Then you get your 32 seconds as a salesperson to ask the customer, ‘Do you like vacuum cleaning?’ The answer is always no. ‘Well, there is an alternative.’ The pitch to show and tell them how easy

it is, how they can avoid a job they don’t enjoy and have a cleaner house, and all you need to do to get that started is just a matter of pressing ‘Clean’. That’s how easy it is. But you have to show it to a consumer, that they have an alternative to traditional cleaners. When you talk about floorcare, you should talk about uprights, cylinders and robotics,

The Roomba 980 introduced app control, meaning Roomba will make sure the house is clean before you even get home

instead of just uprights and cylinders. It is a viable category, where you can make so much more money than in any other floorcare category, or with any other products that are out there. As well as being commercially minded,

the iRobot products create relevance in store. If you, as a store, don’t have anything new or different to show, you no longer have relevance. You or I can easily go online, and buy a product there. You don’t have to go to a store, you can do it from your handheld tablet or from your phone, or your computer – you don’t have to go and visit a store unless that store has some relevance to you. In-store demonstrations create relevance and inspire everyone that walks through the door. The iRobot Roomba takes care of a basic need, which is to keep clean. It’s not something that just happens – either you do it, or you pay someone to do it. Why not get a robot that’ll do it for you every day?

The iRobot Roomba detects dirt and concentrates where it is needed, cleaning around and under furniture where traditional vacuums can’t reach 34 | February 2017

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