Every talk, every interaction, every masterfully crafted email leads down to the same gatekeeper. It sits on the far edge of the customer willingness to purchase along with other doubts that almost anybody experiences when getting acquainted with new technologies.
You’ve probably heard sundry sayings about first impressions and one thing holds true. For the majority of visitors that have reached the demo stage, this is your only chance at a successful first impression. Naturally, you want to get it right, you want it to be impactful, you want it to grandiose enough to swiftly compel the customer into signing that deal.
Sometimes small mistakes that seem insignificant for you can easily put off potential customers. Being nervous or a little emotional is human; however, ignoring an unforeseen bug or the necessity to adjust your vocabulary are unprofessional. These and other missteps confuse and overwhelm the prospect in a way unbeneficial to you and your company. Despite a friendly, energetic and professional persona certain lapses can still occur.
Here are some easy-to-comprehend tips on getting more out of your demo.
Calmness and positiveness win the long game
Focus on your B2B audience. Nervousness is normal at first but it can make you appear unprofessional if you can’t recover in a timely fashion. Other emotions you exude also impact the atmosphere for the duration of the demo as those who gathered can easily pick them up, something that can lead to awkward situations. Stay calm and simply state how your B2B product is the solution they need.
Separate the beginning, middle and end sections
Everything that you are going to say can be sectioned into three parts, which can help both you and the client into having some sense of direction. Also, a structured presentation will bring in better results than a random rambling of benefits. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to talk about advantages to a greater length but it has its time and place. Try to keep these three steps in mind:
- Inform your audience about what they are going to hear. Use this opportunity to clearly state what points you want to touch. In this way, the audience will build clear expectations and become a tad more comfortable.
- Slowly but confidently build your case as to why your business is the solution that will quench their needs and address current pain points. Features are great, but identifying the features that solve the client’s problems is better. Prioritise discussing the ways you can help your clients over the amount of features your product can offer.
- Naturally, close the presentation with a conclusion. If the points you’ve touched have been impactful, repeating the takeaways will make the conclusion impactful as well.
Speech is silver, silence is gold
Many “conversational” calls end up in the salesperson doing most of the talking without engaging or hearing what the prospect has to say. If you find yourself doing the same thing, try this on your next call:
- When the person on the other end is done talking, make a short pause before resuming the conversation. If you don’t respond right away as they have finished, the customer will interpret it as a cue that you are listening.
- When you deliver your demo, make frequent pauses at the end of each section or some in-between. These magical speech bonfires keep the call conversational and give the opportunity for your partner to participate. Otherwise, you are just a machine parsing a script and reproducing the letters written.
Refine your silver
Remember how news anchors speak, or how documentational writing is supposed to be in theory. Don’t drown your speech in obscurity with the usage of in-field language to explain a feature of your product. Hiding it behind a barrage of incomprehensible words that you need a dictionary for won’t up the rarity. Make it easy, make it accessible. Straying away from plain English won’t do you any favours.
Keep your hands in check
It is not uncommon to have your hands fiddle with something while in a conversation. Some psychology books go into more details as to why humans do it, but in simple terms it can be interpreted as a sign of nervousness. Body language is an advanced field, but here it’s more about not playing with the mouse or accidentally pressing on the keyboard if you aren’t specifically clicking on something.
That cursor flying on the screen can distract the client just as much, some might even assume you’re playing around.
The question behind the question
Use this as an exception to the popular “it’s impolite to answer a question with a question.” When making an inquiry, the clients have already attributed the product features to their specific use-case. So if asked, rather than trying to gather up information that would give a generic response, it is best to ask the prospect about his use case. The conversation will immediately shift away from the presenter to the customer — which is always the better option.
Likeable product knowledge
Consumers feel more confident in their purchases when they are aided by people they “like” or by those who know what they’re talking about — at least, from the customer’s perspective. B2B is always about building a strong relationship with leads at no matter the stage. As they are more of the researcher types, you have to fight for credibility. If you don’t know something, the pretending game is going to bite you sooner or later. An answer prior unknown can be followed upon.
Give yourself a third-party review
Record your demo. Remember when you called your internet or phone service provider and got the “this conversation is recorded for quality purposes”? Or, have you ever noticed the first time you heard your recorded voice — totally different, right? Well, you should do just that. Looking at what you do from another angle can help you identify things that you would otherwise be oblivious to.
You can also use them as checkpoints to see how you have improved over time.
Don’t lose it all over a bug
Sometimes, the demo can take an unprecedented turn. Some data is lacking, some fields are acting up, error messages are popping up. Don’t make this an opportunity to bash your product or utter some profane words. Instead, help the situation with some additional talk. Some issues can go unseen, in the worst-case scenario that PDF you wanted to show you can just use later to follow up with an email.
Demoing is an essential skill to launch a product, raise capital, make a sale, garner press, and recruit employees, so it is paramount you get good at it. Note that no amount of tips will help you if you do not listen to what your B2B prospect has to say. Listen and show that you and your product are there to help.