This blog is made up of quotes from the book Demonstrating to Win. If you demonstrate any product, especially software, this book is a must read.
By Ken Thoreson
July 18, 2013
This blog is made up of quotes from the book Demonstrating to Win. If you demonstrate any product, especially software, this book is a must read. The information included was created by a new salesperson at one of my clients. The sales team has been reading one chapter a week and discussing at each sales meeting.
- I am presenting my Product for the sole purpose of providing them with a vision of how it can improve their company. That’s it. An effective demonstration “bridges” the gap between how the prospect does things today and how PRODUCT will help them do it faster, better or cheaper in the future. An effective demonstration means they discover how Product will help them, not how it works.
- Two or three variations of the same question will uncover real issues. I will get truly meaningful information.
- Knowing the prospect’s key value drivers gives me the opportunity to shape benefit statements and messages around their needs. This helps beat all other competitors.
- Simplify and clarify my demonstration by using the Tell-Show-Tell technique. Prospects will get a better understanding of the powerful features and benefits of Product and I will drastically reduce objections and problems during the demonstration.
- Always focus on bringing each prospect’s business, products and situations into my demonstration.
- Most people assume you store basic information and have basic administration capabilities, just as they have in their current solutions. Demonstrating or explaining such capabilities does nothing to help the prospect. What will help them is an understanding of how they’ll use my Product on a day-to-day basis and how streamlining existing tasks will help them get their job done. They want to understand how software features they can relate to can add to their company’s bottom line. They want to hear how I can solve some of the problems and aggravations they face today. They want to know if I can take them forward. They don’t want to hear about file maintenance and administrative capabilities.
- My goal is to show prospects how my Product will benefit them by smoothing process flows, automating manual processes, reducing the possibility of errors.
- Ignore demonstrating features that I love and focus on features the prospect thinks are important. This bridge-demonstrating technique will go a long way toward getting the prospect excited about my Product.
- Prospects do not need to know the details of how it works. Instead, they need to know what my Product is capable of and why it will make their work simpler, more efficient, more profitable, etc. It’s my job to help them gain that knowledge. That is what demonstrating is all about.
- Internally ask myself the question “So What?” after every feature I demonstrate. This is a very important element of successful demonstrating. Here’s the bottom line: don’t make statements of functionality without following with some type of benefit.
- Generally, I avoid answering direct questions with direct answers during a demonstration. Unless I’m 100 percent positive my answer is exactly what they want to hear, I’ll answer with another question.
- A well planned, properly organized demonstration make functionality and benefits clear and concise, while a poorly organized demonstration results in lack of clarity; a certain fuzziness in the prospects mind. Simply put, they cannot ‘see’ the benefits that I am attempting to convey.
- It’s not that all of the facts, figures and customer references are bad. They’re not useful unless presented from the prospects perspective. The corporate information from marketing is a rich source of raw materials for your presentation, but the final presentation must always be appropriate to the specific prospect and constructed to speak from this prospect’s perspective.
- If I concentrate on performing a thorough Discovery of my prospect, many of my crimes will eliminate themselves. I will eliminate even more by simply slowing myself down and asking lots of questions during the demonstration. Focus on making a mental bridge between my Discovery information and Product’s features. This will put me one step closer to a winning demonstration.
Acumen Management Group Ltd. “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 12 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for partners throughout North America. His latest book is titled: “Leading High Performance Sales Teams”.