My first software demo–I recall it as if it were yesterday (it was two years ago).
If you deal directly with clients and want to enhance your communication abilities, such as demo and presentation skills, this blog article is for you.
As an SDR (Sales Development Representative), here are some of the mistakes I made during the demo call:
- My voice trembled from anxiety, and I don’t know what to say to greet them.
- Rather than gathering their needs, I turned over the session straight to my technical team.
- I never let the consumer speak; instead, I was cross-talking, which hindered the customer from approaching us.
- My responses to their queries were completely inconsistent.
- Because I was apprehensive and didn’t know enough about the product, I turned over the entire session, including my part, to the technical team.
Consequently, it should come as no surprise that I puzzled and overwhelmed the prospect, and they never talked to me again. Despite being pleasant and energetic, I made every mistake in my first demo session.
After two years and too many product demos, I justified my position as an SDR in my organization. My job allows me to focus on being a presenter and gathering pain points while leaving the demo to my technical team and eventually following up with them till they own the product.
It’s a role with two goals:
- Bring our product to life in the prospect’s environment, and
- Make it appear easy.
It is really satisfying to connect with someone on a personal level and educate them on how your product can address their requirements.
Be Patience and create Positive Energy
Keep your attention on your audience rather than on yourself. If you are overly nervous, you will forget your important points and may wind up losing a deal because you did not do a good job explaining how you can help them. Furthermore, your listeners will most likely notice your bad vibe and get apprehensive as well, making it difficult to have a constructive conversation. I’ve seen it many times, and it never ends well. So, always remain cool and well-prepared before attending the session, which will end in a flawless demonstration.
Have a Clear Beginning, Middle, and End
My reporting manager constantly emphasizes to me the importance of starting the discussion on a positive note.
- Inform the customers of what you intend to say. Take advantage of the opportunity to steer the conversation. This will put your listeners at ease since they will know exactly where you are heading.
- Explain to clients how your product or service may assist them in overcoming their difficulties.
- Repeat – Provide them with a concise and clear summary of the session to assist them to determine whether all their requirements have been recognized and addressed.
Before You Tell Them, Ask Them
Recently, my manager and I discussed my future as an SDR. This particular piece of advice struck a chord with me because every SDR should be familiar enough with their product to go into a call unprepared, ask a few well-placed questions, and provide a meaningful presentation. What is the most important factor in this situation?
Questions. There is no better way to learn about your customer’s needs than to ask them questions. As a response, you should always allow your customer to be honest about their needs.
Talk 20%, Listen 80%
I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve been on when the salesperson says they want to “keep it conversational,” but I hardly let the prospect talk. Here are two tactics you may use on your next call to truly hear what your prospects are saying:
- When the person on the other end of the phone has finished speaking, after a few seconds, begin to answer slowly. I’ve discovered that if I merely pause and don’t answer right away, the client interprets it as a sign that I’m listening carefully and continues talking. You’ll understand what I mean if you try it on your friends first.
- When delivering your demo, pause frequently and early. I saw my colleagues who would apply the magic of pause in their demonstrations in all of my demos. At the end of each section, they would pause for a few seconds and ask the client if they had any questions or needed clarification, and if so, they would answer them before continuing. As a result, your conversational partner will find it easier to participate.
When You Do Talk, Pretend You are a News Anchor
Consider how news anchors talk; it will be simple, repetitive sound bites. Pretending to be a news anchor will also help you achieve another essential goal: it will keep your demo laser focused. Every click and every screen you present should have a purpose, which will undoubtedly build a lot of confidence among your clients.
Take Your Hands Off the Keyboard
Take your hands off the keyboard and put them on your lap while answering a question if you are not particularly clicking on something. This will prevent you from swiping your mouse around the screen and disturbing your prospect. They will look wherever you point, so be careful with your motions.
Focus on customers pain points and navigate them to the right portal
Always keep an eye on your clients’ key requirements and pain areas, and then present them with the finest answers you have inside your product, as well as real demonstrations by taking them to the appropriate place and showing them how it fills their gaps. Share some testimonials from other satisfied customers who have gone through a similar situation.
Balance Likability with Excellent Product Knowledge
It is critical to have a positive relationship with your client; if you don’t know anything, admit it openly. Then, earn their confidence even more by immediately responding with the proper response to their inquiry.
The top athletes observe their performances, identify their faults, and fix them in their subsequent games. The most effective salesperson does the same. Make recordings of your presentations by using the recording capability on your phone or computer. This can help you discover your filler phrases and evaluate how effectively you navigate your product.
Don’t underestimate your product
This one bugs me to no end. Don’t acknowledge it if your demo machine is missing some data, displays an unusual screen or error message, or takes a minute to load. Fill the space with discussion, and don’t be embarrassed about your tools. Most of the time, the client is unaware that there is a problem. The worst-case situation is that you can follow up with a snapshot of what you intended to show them after the call, which opens the door for another chat with them.