Tips on nailing a B2B sales product demonstration

Posted in B2B sales & distribution.

Confucius said, “Tell me, and I’ll forget. Show me, and I may remember. Involve me, and I will understand.”

Herein too lies the essence of delivering a great product demonstration in B2B sales. Providing your prospect with a long script on product features simply does not have the same impact as a visual presentation where you actively engage with your potential clients.

The following tips can help you nail that product demonstration and even place that big order:

Assess readiness

Just because you can provide a product demonstration, doesn’t mean you should. Make sure that the prospect or potential client is ready. This means figuring out at what step they are in the B2B buyers’ journey. If the potential client is not yet sure what their needs truly are, then a product demo will not be effective or useful. Once the potential client is officially weighing up their options and evaluating your products in order to make a final decision, only then will a demo be ideal.

Be selective

Make sure that the potential client you plan to demo to is the ideal customer and/or within the right target market. You don’t need to provide a product demonstration to every single prospect that comes your way. Not everyone has the potential to become a customer. Find out whether they can afford it, whether this is the type of customer you would like to sell to, and whether giving the demo will provide value to the prospect and you.

Focus on the prospect and tell a story

You may think a demonstration is only about the product. However, the prospect is going to be using the product so they need to know how it can help them achieve their goals. Therefore, take the time to assess the potential client’s needs and challenges beforehand. Then, show how the product fulfils these needs and how it can help them to overcome challenges.

To effectively convey that your focus is on the prospect, tell the customer’s story while providing your demo. Explain the typical challenges your prospect may go through on a daily basis. With each challenge mentioned, demonstrate hands-on how the product can help the potential client overcome the problem or improve processes.

Come prepared

Showing up unprepared is a big no-no and can shake your potential client’s trust in your ability to deliver in other situations. The best way to avoid failure on demo day is to test out everything you plan to present a few times beforehand. This includes going over what the product’s technical details are and the presentation itself. Know that the product delivers what you say it does. You don’t want to tell the prospect a product can do something and then you can’t demonstrate it, or it’s not up to par. Having extensive knowledge of your product shows the prospective client that your company is competent. Be ready for any in-depth, technical questions that can be thrown at you.

Also, it might seem obvious, but if you’re going to be using any equipment that requires power, or accessories like cables, make sure that you have everything you need. If you can, go to the demo location a day or two before to see if it’s compatible with your equipment. Should anything go wrong on the day make sure you have a backup plan. There should be no room for error.

Be personable

Yes you are dealing with a company in a professional setting but this does not mean you should ignore the human aspect. Take the time to talk to the person you are demonstrating to before starting the presentation. Ask them how their day has been and what interesting projects they are currently working on. Not only do you get to know them better, but you might even get useful information that you can use during your demonstration. It also establishes rapport, which is essential in building a good relationship with a potential client.

Ask follow-up questions

Once the demonstration is over one needs to measure the “temperature” of the room. Ask questions relating to both the product and the potential client. For example:

*  Is there something you need from this type of product that you didn’t see in this demonstration?
*  Did you see anything here that you think would be beneficial to you?
*  Which of the product features do you think would be most useful to you?

Questions like these can tell you what the prospective client really needs, what features are most popular, and what features you might have missed. It also helps you to gauge interest levels and the likelihood of an order being placed.