Demos: More Than Just a Showcase

Over the past few months, I've had the chance to sit through many demos, some for coaching purposes and some as a consumer. I see clear trends that separate the average from the top performer. I am sharing this information intending to provide as much value as possible to help consumers confidently make a decision and help sales reps improve their craft.

See my recommendations below:

Take a Tailored Approach

A demo is an embodiment of our offering, but it's so much more than a mere presentation. It’s our chance to directly address a client's specific challenges. Just as a tailor wouldn’t hand over an outfit without ensuring a perfect fit, our demos should be customized, ensuring they resonate with each client's unique needs. Tailoring isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s about function and connection. Allow them to feel heard, and validate what they shared with you from the discovery call.

Decode the Buyer's Journey: The demo is not a linear route; it's a winding path filled with decisions, large and small. By understanding and predicting these pivotal moments, we can be better guides for our clients, ensuring they always see the value we bring. Ensure we are meeting them where they are. Do they agree on the purpose/ the objective at the beginning of the demo? Are they asking future-based questions or still trying to frame the problem? Based on these indicators you will know whether you move forward or a few steps back.

Coach Our Team Remotely

Remote work is our new reality. As leaders, the necessity for clear communication and feedback has never been more vital. Feedback with demos, in particular, needs to be concise and actionable, ensuring everyone knows their direction and purpose. Can you review the demo recording together immediately after and discuss what went well, and what we could do differently?

As I always same “game tape doesn’t lie” Does your team know what good looks like? What is the gold standard at your company? Instead of hitting the more button, hit the how button first.

Dance with Stakeholders

Demos are performances, with our stakeholders playing a significant role. Every interaction should be choreographed, with the intention behind each word and slide. This isn’t just about impressing them; it's about forging genuine connections, making them stakeholders not just in name, but in spirit. What was their objective at the beginning of the demo? Can you weave that in as you progress through the demo? Get feedback as

to what they like, and why they like it. What will this allow them to do? Ensure they are participants, not spectators.

Elevate our Demo Game

It's time to shift our perspective on demos. Rather than viewing them as a monologue, let's treat them as a dialogue. Listen as much as you speak. Observe those non-verbal cues — a nod, a frown, a lean forward. Note when why and by whom these are happening. These subtle reactions can guide your pitch in real time, ensuring your audience remains engaged and invested.

We have 7 seconds to get the attention of our audience, but then we must keep it. What energy are you bringing? Have you considered your audience's perspective, questions, and objections before you get on the call? This comes through in your questions, tone, and body language as you are truly focused on them. A big one PAUSE. Pause for effect before or after you share some important details.

Prepare them for this, and allow it to sink in.

The Power of Narrative

Numbers and features have their place, but stories? They linger. They evoke emotion. A well-told narrative can bridge the gap between logic and emotion, making our offerings relatable, memorable, and enticing. Stories sell facts tell. Ignite our buyer’s limbic brains with stories they can see themselves in, painting a vivid picture of their current state. The path to the future state is quicker and comes with less friction. I dive deeper into these topics in the podcast episode below with Chris Orlob, former head of sales @Gong. I genuinely believe that by refining our approach to demos, we can foster deeper connections, driving both personal growth and business success.

What one thing will you do differently on your next demo?

About Karen Kelly

For 20 years Karen has been specializing in the art and science of sales and communication her passion and experience are helping technical sales professionals become more confident and to disrupt with value.

Her dedication to developing and delivering customized sales training programs provide her audience practical, relevant tools  that can be used immediately to break down the barriers in a competitive landscape and separate themselves from the noise.

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