The sales demonstration is a time-proven strategy that strengthens your presentation by attracting the prospect’s attention, stimulating interest, and creating desire. Car salespeople don’t simply talk about features and benefits. They hand you the keys and suggest you take them for a spin. Why? It gives you a temporary feeling of ownership that helps build a desire for the product. Evoke the same response in your prospects by learning how to plan and deliver compelling sales demos using your products and services as proof devices below.
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What is a sales demo?
A sales demonstration, also known as a sales demo – is the process of sales reps delivering a presentation to their prospective customer, hoping that the features, benefits and advantages of their product or service will help persuade them to close the deal.
Why deliver a sales demo?
The purpose of a sales demo is to explain to the prospective customer how your offering or solution will solve their specific current needs and alleviate their pain points or issues they’re experiencing. This process persuades your prospect to want to purchase your product or service, or at least spurs them to learn more so they can close the deal later on.
When do you deliver a sales demo?
There are a few specific points within a buyers journey when you might deliver a sales demo, these include:
- When your lead requests a consultation.
- When an inbound lead contacts your team to learn more about your product or service.
- When users complete a microconversion on your website, for instance signing up for a newsletter or downloading a free document.
How do you deliver a sales demo?
Different prospects have different needs, and in today’s largely remote workplace – you may find yourself using some of these common sales demonstration delivery channels:
- Live video chat (Zoom, GoToMeeting, Google Meet)
- Pre-recorded video (On-demand)
How to plan & deliver a compelling sales demo that sells
Prefer to watch instead of reading? Learn how to make more compelling demonstrations right here in this video.
1. Plan the benefits | Sales demo plan
What makes your sales presentation so effective is planning the benefits – not the features but the benefits. What’s more, arriving unprepared for a sales demo is a waste of everyone’s time. To start planning how to answer your customer’s question of “whats in it for me?” begins by understanding the differences between features and benefits.
Features: Features are what your product does or has — the specifications and technical aspects. For example, the ‘feature’ of a carpet might be that it has stain-resistant properties.
Benefits: Benefits are the value it brings to your customer. It answers why the feature it’s useful. For the same carpet, the benefit of a carpet with stain-resistant properties might be that if red chilli sauce is spilt on it, the carpet won’t stain. Instead, it’ll wipe off with water. The benefits you’ll want to prepare can be around cost savings, increased productivity, increased profitability, speed, effectiveness or effort.
While there are so many different benefits that you can present to customers, the key is to find that one benefit that resonates most strongly with them. Find out what’s essential to your customer, then present them with the benefits they’ll find the most valuable.
Also read: Features vs Benefits – How To Answer “What’s in it for me?” In 4 Steps
2. Create a sales demo agenda
Sales demos should always follow an agenda or plan, one which has been circulated among prospects before the beginning to ensure they understand which stage of the agenda they’re currently in. This helps to set expectations, which will lower your prospects anxiety, meaning they’ll stay on track and organised throughout. Ensure you include a note about how you will take detailed questions at the end of the sales demo – but that you also appreciate quick questions throughout.
3. Select your sales demonstration proof devices
All prospects know you will only say good things about your product; that’s why you need to give them an impartial view of the benefits. However, before you even suggest a virtual sales presentation – you need to know what’s most important to your customer so that when they’re on the tipping point of buying – you can present the proof device that will resonate with them most. Proof devices can be anything from a testimonial from a current or past customer, case studies, samples, doing a demonstration or product models.
Here are some examples of proof devices to plan to incorporate into your sales presentation:
- Awards won
- List of clients
- Photos of the successful implementation of your product
- Case studies
- Models or samples of your product
- Product demonstrations
- Articles in trade magazines
- Consumer reports
- Product specification sheets
I often offer qualified prospects a free consultation, and this is often referred to as a proof device. After demonstrating how I could help improve sales in their businesses, most choose to engage my services. These strategies provide a temporary feeling of ownership that builds desire. Now, you need to consider what could you do to attract your prospect’s attention, stimulate interest, and create desire.
4. Anticipate objections
When prospects have questions or objections about your offering, it’s a sure sign that they’re considering your solution. That’s why when it comes to asking questions, you need to be able to anticipate objections – and have formulated answers to persuade them that your offering has the value that they need.
Next, you’ve got to practice it. Rehearse your answer time and time again in front of the mirror so you can actually see what you look like when you respond to that objection. Practice with a partner, friend, colleague, mentor, coach or manager.
Tip: More of an objection hater than an objection handler? Read our Ultimate Guide To Objection Handling.
Sales demonstration techniques & best practices
The last thing you want to do is to focus your sales demonstration on values you assume your prospect cares about, only to find out if only you’d used another benefit of your offering, your pitch would have landed.
The solution? Ask them. Ask them what’s most important to them when it comes to this solution, what have they tried before that they were happy or not happy with.
If you can’t find out what drives them directly from the key decision-maker, ask other key stakeholders. There’s a good chance that if you have a strong relationship with them, they’re rooting for you, and they’ll share it with you.
Make it interactive
The best way to deliver a compelling sales demo? Make your prospect part of your demonstration! For example, if you’re selling photocopy machines, rather than you going through and demonstrating it, get them to use it to complete a simple task – something that’s foolproof like loading paper and pressing a green button. Let them see how easy it is.
Or, for instance, if you’re selling televisions and there’s a whole bunch of features on this TV, like a smart TV where you can flip from app to app and go online and surf or use Netflix. Don’t just tell them or show them; hand them the remote control. Get them to push a couple of the big, easy buttons so they can see how simple it is.
Memory & movement
Moving graphics of your proof devices in action can gain attention and raise your prospects’ dopamine levels. However, ensure they change frequently and make sure it’s graceful and timely to avoid your prospective client becoming overwhelmed.
The 20% Rule
Give 20% more emphasis on your voice, movement, and facial expressions when connecting via video. This rule makes it easier to understand you without raising your voice to an unnatural level and often helps eliminate filler words.
Everyone has a hidden emotional agenda; it’s perfectly normal. What happens in a prospective client’s day might affect their decisions, so it’s important to remember that trust is everything. Don’t ignore the signs; you can always suggest rescheduling to another time if they’re distracted.
End on time
One of the keys to effective sales demonstrations is starting on time and ending on time. I have seen so many sales professionals come late to meetings. Really? You’re trying to sell to me, and you don’t value my time enough to get here on time or early? Come on. We’ve all got things to do, so show up to meetings on time or early, if possible, because it shows respect for your prospect. Respect them, respect their time, and you’ll be on your way to closing more deals faster and easier than ever before.
There’s always time for improvement
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Whether that’s asking the right questions to uncover problems, presenting your solution effectively, tactfully overcoming objections or presenting so efficiently that closing becomes easy.
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