Whether delivered online, over the phone or in-person, product demos are a powerful tool used by salespeople to showcase what they’re selling and bring that product to life for prospects. But, little missteps during a demonstration can make a bad impression, as Marketo blogger Alexandra Nation learned during a woefully bad demo she led early in her career. After inadvertently confusing and overwhelming the prospect, Nation never again heard from the prospect and lost the sale.
Since then, she has learned from her mistakes and now shares her 10 best tips for mastering a product demo. Below are just a few of the top strategies she shared:
- Exude calm and positive energy. If you are too worried about your nerves, you may forget key points of the demo AND keep those nerves frazzled. Try to focus your attention on what your prospect needs to see and hear rather than how you feel. This shift will keep you on track and, likely, keep you cool and collected since you aren’t focusing on yourself.
- Talk 20%, listen 80%. Even though you are leading the demo, it’s also an opportunity for you to learn. Nation suggests that you pause and wait two seconds after the prospect speaks, which will signal that you are, in fact, listening, and listening intently. Also, while delivering the demo, pause often. This lends a more conversational feel to the demo and provides plenty of opportunity for feedback and questions.
- Hands off the keyboard. If you are using a computer to showcase your product, take your hands off the keyboard when you answer a question. “This will help you avoid waving your mouse all over the screen and distracting your prospect,” Nation explains. “They will look wherever you point, so mind your gestures.”
- Don’t criticize the product. Or, as Nation says, “don’t call the baby ugly.” It’s very likely that at some point during a demo, you will encounter an error, some lag time or some other “oops.” Do not dwell on these “oops” moments but instead, redirect the prospect’s attention. “Worst-case scenario is that you can follow up after…with a screenshot of what you wanted to show, which opens a door for another conversation with them,” she adds.
By following Nation’s tips, you can avoid a demo meltdown like she had and instead, impress and educate prospects–and inspire them to buy!