Monday, February 9, 2015

Doing the Sales Demo: Five Basic Guidelines to Live By.
Monday, February 09, 2015

Doing the Sales Demo: Five Basic Guidelines to Live By.

Here are a couple of helpful guidelines for doing sales demos that I've developed over the years of giving thousands of demos. Each person will have to develop your own style, but I'd like to think there are 5 guidelines that I use which I believe will help you do a better sales demo.

1. KNOW your demo.
Amazing how many people don't know their basic script/flow of there demo. What's worse is they get surprised by what happens in terms of screen flow or the action of a button they press. Worse is that they explain stuff without using terminology expressing on the screen instead they use, "So you press this thingy." The most important is "Don’t be surprised" by your own demo. At least, don't let on, that when you press a button, you didn't know what was suppose to happen.

Aki Liao giving a demo in class lecture with some NTU students.

2. They’ve NEVER seen it before. 
Provide Context. Orientation.
This happens often after a staff member has done the demo too many times. Just cause you know your demo inside out, don't forget your audience has NEVER seen your demo, much less the product itself.  This is especially a challenge when you're explaining a new service in which there aren't too many comparisons to existing products. Let the audience view the screen for a moment. Do not just launch into a lurid detail of the million buttons. Tell them what is the main screen. Let them know what's to the left, the right, top and bottom. Explain what the set of buttons, tabs and other items are generally for. This is NOT to over do it and point out every single button but to give an overview.

3. It’s a STORY
Tell a story. If you're not using scenarios and telling a story, that means you're just showing off features. People can see features. Try to think of the "why" a certain button was created. How it's going to benefit the audience member. Try to relate it to a day in the life of your proposed audience. "You come into the office. Get a cup of coffee. Turn on our service. Look for yada, yada, yada. .  "

4. Focus on BIG Concepts
Remember this is a sales demo, not a demo of the product. Please do NOT show every single feature and button. Give them enough to have them wanting to come back for more. Remember your audience assumes that the product works as intended. They just want to see that it exists.
Don’t feel like you have to press EVERY button. DON'T press every button. Instead, indicate a button and task and explain how it might work. Nothing slows down a demo like watching someone who can't type, keep mistyping. If all of the features seem overwhelming to the audience, help them understand which ones to focus on. Big Picture.

5. Fill in the DEAD air
Your demo will likely have a stall or lag (especially if its an internet demo). Keep talking. Ask questions. Divert their attention for a moment. If the demo has really slowed down, and you feel compelled to apologize, apologize for YOUR ineptness in doing a demo, not the products lack of or failings. "Oh, my thumbs are too big when I use this key pad and I miss type on occasion. My bad, I always press the wrong button, but really, its easy to use. . . " Have some patter ready for those moments when the demo lags. Keep stories handy, "Just last week we talked to some folks over at ABC company and they thought this about the product. . . what about you guys?"

Hope this was helpful. Happy demo'ing!