What Most Sales People Do In The Demo That Loses The Deal

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In the world of SaaS and cloud solutions, the demo is everything. As the demo goes, so goes the sale. Give a shitty demo, and you’re not gonna get the sale. Give a good demo, and you’ve just increased the chances closing the deal. Give a killer demo and get ready to cash your fat commission check and prepare for Presidents Club.

With the demo carrying so much weight in the sale, treating them as a way to highlight every feature your product or solution has is stupid, annoying, unnecessary, boring, and unsophisticated. That is how too may sales people treat them. And, managers take note, how too many managers and sales organizations teach sales people to do them.

Here’s the ONLY way to do a demo. Pay VERY close attention. This isn’t a suggestion. This isn’t an ideology. This isn’t one person’s thoughts. This is the concrete, irrefutable, only way to do demos and if you’re not doing it this way, you’re doing it WRONG!!!

Listen up;

When doing a demo, every feature you show must be tied to a specific business goal, operational process, work-flow, execution issue or opportunity that specific customer has — PERIOD!

In other words; if you’re showing a feature and are saying; “If you email your clients for meetings then this feature will . . .” or “If you have two systems for doing reports, this reporting feature will . . . ” Or worse, if you just whipping features around like they are cars on a car showroom floor by saying “And the next thing I want to show you is.” You are doing it wrong — very wrong!

There is no room for “if” in your demos. There is no excuse to show a feature that isn’t germane to the specific the business and highly targeted to the operational or executional needs of the buyer. Demos should not be used to demonstrate your product, but rather to show how your product can affect your buyer’s business. Demos need to be used to give the buyer a vision of how your product will change their current environment for the better. Demos should be used to show the client how what they are doing today can be done differently with your product. The buyer should feel silly, outmoded and inefficient as you seamlessly execute a process they are currently doing poorly. They should bubble with joy as you demonstrate how your product can execute brilliantly on a process they can’t currently do, something they have wanted to do for a long time. Your demo should be enveloping them in the power of your product changing their specific and unique environment for the better, not in features and functions that may or may not be relevant to them.

This is how a demo should go.

“You stated you use three systems for reporting, let me show you how reporting is done with our product and how it would create reports in your environment in a tenth of the time.”

“I know that being able to track email response is important to you, let me show you how you will be able to track responses faster with our solution and how you will also be able to . . . ”

“Understanding that you’re trying to increase revenue by 15% this year through your existing client base, let me show you how we can make that happen with the. . . feature”

“I recall you were saying you’re struggling with getting (insert customer problem), let me show you this feature. It is designed to do exactly what you said you were looking to do as well as. . . ”

The key to a successful demo is to make sure every feature, every function you demonstrate is attached to your buyer’s unique problems and challenges. If it’s not, your not giving a good demo. You’re wasting everyone’s time.

Demos are not meant to be product highlights or product showcases. Good demos demonstrate how problems will be solved and how opportunities will be leveraged. Good demos temporarily and virtually insert the seller’s product into the buyer’s world. They are like digital or virtual changing rooms where the buyer can see how everything fits.

Good demos let the buyer try on your product for fit. Like a changing room, the buyer wants to see how your product fits their unique body type, curves, and all.

Give your buyers a virtual changing room. Structure and deliver your demos like changing rooms where they can see themselves in your product. Attach every feature and function you demonstrate to their unique environment so they can see how it fits. Don’t show features that you can’t attach to their business. Don’t ever, ever, ever say, “If you. . . then this feature will. . . ” There is no room for “if then” statements in demos. Don’t show a feature unless you know exactly how and why it is germane to your buyer.

Demos are not spectator events or shows where the buyer is a participant on the sideline. They are meant to be interactive, virtual tours that put the buyer in the product, allowing them to see how it fits on them. Anything else is a waste of everyone’s time.

Stop wasting time!


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