20 Tips from 20 Years of Doing Sales Demos: mastering the art of technical sales

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20 Tips from 20 Years of Doing Sales Demos: mastering the art of technical sales

Introduction: Sales demos are a critical component of the sales process, providing an opportunity to showcase your product or service and persuade potential customers. Over my 20 years of experience in sales, I have learned valuable lessons that have helped me refine my approach and achieve successful outcomes. In this blog post, I will share 20 tips that will empower you to deliver compelling and effective sales demos.

  1. Tell the Truth: Honesty is key. Avoid exaggerating or making false promises during your demo. Transparency builds trust and credibility with your prospects.

  2. Avoid Yes-Man Syndrome: Instead of simply saying yes to every question, be confident in saying no when necessary. Being upfront about limitations or areas that may not align with the prospect’s needs demonstrates authenticity.

  3. Don’t Rush to the Demo: Before diving into the product demonstration, take the time to understand your prospect’s pain points and requirements. Tailor your demo to address their specific needs.

  4. Simplify and Show the Basics: Complexity can confuse prospects. Focus on explaining the simple and core features that will have the greatest impact on their business.

  5. Remember, Sizzle Sells the Steak: While it’s essential to showcase the functionality of your product, don’t forget to highlight the unique value proposition and benefits that make your solution stand out from the competition.

  6. Define the Competition: Addressing the competitive landscape shows that you understand the market. Differentiate your product by explaining how it surpasses the alternatives.

  7. Share Your Company’s Backstory: Introduce your company’s background and history to establish credibility and unique perspective on the market that differentiates your position.

  8. Utilize the Rule of Three: Present information in sets of three, as our brains are wired to remember information grouped in threes. Use this technique to emphasize key points or benefits.

  9. Tell, Show, Tell: Provide context and explanation before demonstrating a feature, then follow up with a recap to reinforce the value it brings.

  10. Tell a Demo Story: Weave a narrative throughout your demo to engage prospects and help them envision how your product can solve their challenges.

  11. Know When to Say “I Don’t Know”: If a prospect asks a question you don’t have an immediate answer to, it’s better to admit you don’t know and follow up later with a thorough response.

  12. Define Jargon and Acronyms: Avoid confusion by clearly defining any industry-specific jargon or acronyms you use during the demo.

  13. Recognize When It’s Time to Stop Selling: Read your audience’s signals and understand when they are ready to move forward. Avoid overselling and give them the space to make decisions.

  14. Let Them Talk: Give prospects the opportunity to share their thoughts and concerns. Active listening builds rapport and helps you tailor your pitch to their specific needs.

  15. Always Have a Backup to a Backup Plan: Technology glitches happen. Be prepared with alternative options, such as demo videos, screenshots, slides, or even whiteboard sketches, to ensure a smooth presentation.

  16. Embrace Improvisation: Mastering the art of improvisation allows you to adapt to unexpected situations during the demo. Stay flexible and adjust your presentation based on the prospect’s reactions.

  17. Practice, But Don’t Memorize: Practice your demo to build confidence, but avoid sounding scripted. Be natural and adaptable to maintain a genuine connection with your audience.

  18. Pause, Stumble, and Prompt Questions: Don’t be afraid of pauses or stumbling over your words. These moments can create openings for prospects to ask questions and engage in a deeper conversation.

  19. Leave the App on the Screen: Keep your product visible throughout the demo, even when discussing other topics. This constant reminder helps prospects visualize how your solution fits into their workflow.

  20. Casually Reference How Others Use the App: Share success stories and case studies to illustrate how similar companies have benefited from your product. This adds social proof and credibility to your presentation.

Conclusion: Mastering the art of sales demos requires a combination of preparation, effective communication, and adaptability. By following these 20 tips acquired from my 20 years of experience, you can confidently deliver engaging and persuasive sales presentations. Remember to tell the truth, showcase the essentials, tailor your approach to the prospect’s needs, and maintain a conversational and interactive atmosphere. With practice and refinement, you will become a skilled sales professional capable of delivering compelling demos that win over your prospects and drive business success.