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4 Keys To Creating Demos That Don’t Suck


Doing a demo for a prospect can be a big waste of time and money for everyone involved — both the prospects and the presenters. Having done hundreds of demos as part of the sales process, we’ve learned that the hard way.

Fortunately, demos don’t have to be boring and useless, a post from the Inside Sales Experts blog explains. Context is what separates good demonstrations from the ones you wish you could forget.

We believe most demos suck because they’re not focused on solving the particular problem the customer has. So they end up being useless feature shows. The reality is customers and prospects don’t want to want to hear about you and every feature you offer; they want to know how you can help solve their problems. Listen to your customer or prospect and understand what problems or challenges they have today before you share any presentation or demo.

Demos can really be helpful when you personalize them. Use content, data or processes that are specific to the customer or their industry and create a “storyline” that solves the customer problem.

Here are four suggestions for creating demos that don’t suck.

  1. Don’t rush: Trying to squeeze in a description of as many features as possible won’t get you anywhere. Again, customers are more interested in solutions for their problems. You might even want to rename your event as a solution rather than a demo.
  2. Don’t focus on features: It’s pointless to spend a lot of time on features because they’ll soon be out of date anyway. Instead, focus on building a relationship with the customer.
  3. Build trust: Talk about your experience in their industry, results you’ve had with similar customers and what else you bring to the table. Resolve their concerns and tell them how your solutions can help them make money.
  4. Use case studies: Avoid “shoot-outs and bake-offs” with competing solutions and stand out with relevant stories. “After three or four of these demos … the prospective customer can’t tell one solution from another based on the features,” the post states.

The Tellwise Nutshell (TTN): If you want to get people’s attention, you must focus on a solution rather than just a demo of features. But showing the product is only one step in the overall sales process.  By turning off the feature show and focusing more on solving your client’s problems, your demos can be worth saving, and they won’t put anyone to sleep.

Source: Inside Sales Experts, July 2013

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