Focus on How: Demo Tips

You have qualified your client and have prepared a demo specifically to meet their needs. You are pumped and enthusiastically present, but for some reason the presentation doesn’t resonate with your client.

You dig deep to understand where you missed a step?

Ever been in that situation? I have – and it happens to even the most seasoned sellers.

While there are a variety of reasons why this occurs, some common issues I’ve run into are:

  1. Didn’t fully understand the pain from the IQM
    • This happened to me last week – I thought I understood WHY the client was interested in the solution. The pain was real, but that pain point wasn’t the real driver behind their ‘Why’ for investigating our product.
      • Clients can be guarded and often don’t give the full ‘pain’ even when we dig deep in an Initial Qualifying Meeting/Discovery Call.
    • Solution:
      • Always ask how fixing this problem helps them to be more productive and have them tie it back in their own words to how solving this problem will help the company ‘make more money.’ Money isn’t just cash it is also time to value and ROI, time savings. Understanding how the company makes their revenue will help you to make a better business case to stake holders.
        • Ex: We need this for security. Why is that important to you? Why is this initiative important to the DMs/C-Suite? What financial/business implication will occur if you don’t love this problem?
  2. You feature pitch
    • We covered this in an earlier blog post, but it stands to be repeated. It is a trap we all fall into because we are passionate about all the tools and want to show them to clients.
    • When you go into a retail store, you can browse the department, but you as a client are not going to physically look at every article of clothing at at the store (well some may – but not typical 🙂 ). Yes, each item has value to certain clients – but nothing is one size fits all. So why would you show a client every single feature of your product -when they are only interested in certain features.
      • I clarify this by also challenging you to acknowledge their unspoken needs and speak to those by drilling down into deeper pain (unrealized pain – like a root canal before it gets infected) and speak to those issues and how you can preemptively fix them. That is building value – not feature pitching.

3. You show, but don’t tell

  • My manager brought this up in a one on one when discussing how to ‘demo’ our product suite for a particular client. When you demo part of the product (in my case a survey) you need to
    • First tell the client what you are going to show them and why it is relevant to their need
    • Second, show and tell how the tool works and how it would be applicable to their specific use case
    • Third, follow up by repeating what you showed and ask follow-up questions
      • How do you see yourselves using x-feature in your day to day?
      • If you were able to use this feature to fix x-issue how would that impact the business
      • How is this tool relevant to your business need?
        • The only time you should ask a close ended questions is when you doing it with purposeful intent or what a direct answer (yes/no)

4. You don’t have the correct stakeholders on the call:

  • The worst fallout for a salesperson is when you think you have the correct DMs on the phone (or champion) but it turns out that your ‘stakeholders’ have no authority and buying power. This happens even if you asked about budget and authority in your IQM because unfortunately some clients misrepresent themselves.
    • Do research via LinkedIn and Zoom Info to ensure you have the best background information on the client and other potential DMS.
    • Ask who else needs to be involved. Don’t be afraid to requalify their authority on follow-up calls: ‘Just wanted to make sure that we’re on the same page, you mentioned you have authority to purchase x solution – is this still the case? Who else do we need to involve here?’

5. You did not establish an agenda before the call

  • We know what the client needs to see, but sometimes we don’t set the proper expectations before a call. The client may think they are coming to the meeting for one thing (perhaps a different aspect of the demo – or they didn’t expect a demo at all).
  • Putting in an agenda to the invite before the meeting is crucial. Also ask the client what else they would like to add to the meeting agenda beforehand. ‘I’m preparing for our meeting to ensure we provide the best information and are respectful of your time…this is the agenda I’ve set up specific to your needs – am I missing anything here?’

6. You don’t set actionable next steps

  • The demo may have been a success, but if you don’t set actionable next steps you will not be able to progress the deal forward. You need to respect your clients time and investment enough to directly ask what their timeline is for implementation (requalify this on demo) and set a scheduled next event while you have them on the phone. This holds everyone accountable and prevents the excitement and value build on the demo from disappearing as they return to their inundated inboxes.

7. Sell with Passion, but don’t oversell

  • This goes back to feature pitching, but is a bit deeper. I am a passionate seller – I love what I do and genuinely want to help my clients improve their business. That passion is great, but sometimes I put the cart before the horse.
    • You may see the value in your client moving forward with your entire portfolio of solutions, but you have to meet them where they are. SCALABILITY is key. Wall to Wall is great, but sometimes you have start small – focusing on the immediate digestible need – so the client doesn’t get overwhelmed.
    • Act on what they can implement now, but paint the journey that you are a partner who will grow with them and you will follow up in 3-6 months to check in and help with the next stage of their journey.
    • You don’t have to sell it all at once.

8. Stay curious:

  • The IQM/Discovery sets the stage and is critical, but qualifying doesn’t stop after your initial discovery. Discovery and qualifying continues until they sign the paperwork. Things might change in the process, or a clue they didn’t reveal on the first call.
    • Think about a detective (I’ve been watching ‘Monk’ and he would be a good question guy for sales – maybe not good at demos :)). A detective can ask all the questions at the beginning and have most of the answers but it takes attorneys and investigators to analyze that and continue to probe deeper into a case until it is solved. We are sales detectives and experts – we need to keep being curious and engaged.
    • It is okay to requalify the same questions – as long as it is relevant.
      • Don’t ask the same questions again because you don’t remember the answer or didn’t loop your colleague in before a call.
      • Do re-ask questions that are fluid and need validation like ‘budget,’ ‘timeline,’ ‘goals.’

Hope this entry kickstarts your sales week.

Please add me on my new LinkedIn Business Page

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