independent

Sunday 18 November 2018

How to give a great product demonstration

Business Q&A

Q: As a business owner selling a product I do a lot of product demo’s. What is the best way to win over a potential client?

A: Product demonstrations are a critical part of winning over a potential new client especially when it is a technical product. Here is a five-step process on how to give a great demonstration

Step 1: Learn to understand your client

Don't just launch straight into the demo. Don't start by having the software open in front of you, as it may be too distracting. For the first few minutes, have a conversation about the pain points and current solutions. Get into your prospect's head. Let them do the talking.

Step 2: Align the prospect with your product

Now you do the formal demo. Make this short and sweet. Go over the main features, but not in detail. Don't go too fast, but definitely do not go into too much technical detail. You simply want to help the prospect understand your product and to be able to orient themselves around your product. Use lots of pauses - that generates opportunities for them to interrupt and then you can move to step 3.

Step 3: Explore and listen to your prospects feedback

As soon as you can, stop demo'ing and starting listening. As soon as the prospect raises an issue, good or bad, or has a question, use that as an opportunity to go deep on that subject. Gauge it so you have enough time resolving the question but that it does not completely dominate the rest of the meeting. This step is the very purpose of the meeting - to really gain insight into your prospects' needs. It is here that they will discover things that they did not themselves realise - it's incredibly high value.

Step 4: Confirm and reiterate the prospects' queries

It is OK at this point to quickly go back to the demo and show the prospect that you can solve their problem or query. Just do it fast and clean and get back to the discussion as soon as you can. Be led by their feedback into different parts of the software. You are not training them, so don't get bogged down in explanations.

Step 5: Get ready to Close!

You are not closing the sale at this point but progressing to the next step. You need to give the prospect time to assimilate what you've shown, "socialise" the potential of your product in their business, and develop a plan for defending your recommendations. Even if the prospect is really keen to do things right away, slow it down. It's much better to set yourself up for success on the next step than have a deal fall apart. Always remember; have fun and let your natural enthusiasm and pride in your product show.

And finally, if the demo gods strike you down, and your product breaks or software fails, that does not mean it is the end of the road. Keep going, maybe cut the meeting a little shorter, but don't assume a product crash will kill the deal. If people need what you are selling, they will have patience (survival tip: build a deck of screenshots as a backup plan).

For more information on putting your best foot forward in relation to impressing your new potential client call Jim Doyle on 053 9110380 or email jdoyle@rda.ie

AS a business owner selling a product I do a lot of product demo's. What is the best way to win over a potential client?

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