3 Timely Tips for a Successful Virtual Sales Demo

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By now, you may be very frustrated by all the new challenges of selling when you cannot visit your customers.  You are having to relearn everything you thought you already knew and you realize that what made you successful in your career thus far, simply may not work any longer.  If you’re in the world of sales, you’ve probably wrestled with each of the the following questions:

Should I be selling during this time? 

How do I sell virtually? 

How do I get virtual meetings with those decision makers?

 

We have been with you through this journey both in those articles above and through our weekly podcast series.  You don’t need to feel like you are coming in late if this is your first blog, we have you covered.  So, take a breath, a sip of coffee and join the therapy session.  

 

Now that you’ve gotten through each of those hurdles, and you’re ready to advance the sale, the question remains:

How do I virtually demo my product?

 

To listen to the full sALES with ASLAN podcast episode, check out Episode #55 – Virtual Demonstrations: A How To Guide:

 

 

Or read on and we’ll dive into it. 

 

How to Demo Your Offering Virtually

As we all know, demos usually happen towards the end of the sales process. It’s the point in the journey where the customer gets to touch, feel, see, understand how it works and how it will work in their environment. 

 

For those salespeople who are doing a software demo, the transition to the new virtual norm may not even be much of a transition at all. A simple screen share during a meeting can be the most effective way to demo your software product. 

 

However, for salespeople selling hardware type products or anything that doesn’t lend itself to an easy remote demonstration, this transition is going to require more adaptation and creativity. 

 

Your marketing team will likely be able to spend time developing and providing you with some assets to help with the sales process, and specifically, the virtual demo portion. They should be able to give you pictures, videos, and other content to share with your prospect. 

 

Even so, the demo process can be very difficult to replicate and execute virtually. But don’t throw in the towel yet, there are absolutely a few things that we can do to deal with the new “virtual” norm. 

 

The following ideas are 3 tips, strategies, and things to consider to help you conduct a successful virtual demo and wow your prospect, even from behind your computer screen. 

 

Tip #1: Use Your Words

 

Remember when your parents used to say that to you?  Well, with virtual demos, we need to be more strategic with our words. How do we increase our verbal influence? How can we harness the power of words? What verbal tools do we have at our disposal? 

 

For support on this, let’s look at what makes influential speakers so persuasive. We’ve researched commonalities among different speakers to discover what makes them so effective and compelling. It turns out, there is a model, or “formula” that they’re following, an influence framework.

 

Essentially, we can be break this down into the following 3 points:

 

1. Connect

 

In this phase, the speaker makes the information they’re about to give relevant to you, by connecting to your POV. This ensures that you are paying attention. 

 

For sales reps, this is about knowing what is on your prospect’s whiteboard. If you’re at the demo stage of the sales process, you’ve already talked this through with your prospect and they’ve told you what it is. So it’s easier, but no less important, for you to make that connection for them between what’s on their whiteboard and the solution you’re about to demo. 

 

To accomplish this, you want to start your “pitch” with the following two words: “Because you…” This ensures that whatever you say next is absolutely relevant to your customer and that they are receptive to what you are about to share with them. We went in depth into this topic with our recent blog post, The 2 Word Solution to All Your Virtual Selling Problems

 

2. Contrast

 

For persuasive speakers and sales reps, this is where we share a disruptive truth. Basically, it’s where you challenge someone, share some principle or research, fill in a gap in their understanding, offer them insight. You want this to stop someone in their tracks and make them think.

 

Don’t share with them the same information they’ve likely heard a million times from other sales reps. Focus on what is different and unique. 

 

This primes them for you to share the proprietary benefit of the product or solution that you’re demonstrating. 

 

3. Convince

 

While the connect and contrast phases rely on logic, this last phase of “convincing” is where emotion comes into play. This is where the action happens.

 

For this last stage, our greatest verbal tool is something called a “Word Picture.” A successful Word Picture is an analogy that your customer understands. 

 

Practice and prepare a number of Word Pictures for your “arsenal” of verbal tools that you can rely on during sales demos and calls. You’ll need different Word Pictures to use for different types of customers. 

 

We explore Word Pictures in more detail with our CEO Tom Stanfill in podcast episode #8 and our blog post, 5 Challenges of Selling Virtually

 

Tip #2: Change your Sales Process 

 

Chances are, most sales reps will need to adapt their sales process to accommodate the new virtual norm. 

 

To figure out how we can get around the need to be in-person, we have to change the way we think about demoing.

 

Think about all the things you’d need to do to set up and conduct the demo. How can you transfer your knowledge to your prospects so that they can still conduct/experience the demo, and then you can break it down together (virtually) afterwards?

 

Maybe prepare a checklist for your customer to have completed before you get on a call – they might have to take some of the steps that would normally fall to you, the sales rep, when conducting a demo.  Our friends at IMPACT refer to this as assignment selling, and it works.

 

Be creative as you think about ways you can engage your customer by changing your normal sales process. 

 

Tip #3: Lower the Risk 

 

The purpose of the demo is to allow the customer to “try before you buy.” They want to know what they’re getting before they decide to pull the trigger on the sale. Essentially, the purpose of this is to lower the risk for the buyer. 

 

So think about ways that you can lower the risk for your buyers. Acknowledge their risk and come up with solutions for them. Offer them a longer return window. Have them purchase with payment installments. Offer an option for a full refund if they are not satisfied. 

 

Just Keep Swimming

 

This is uncharted territory, it’s a time to get creative and experiment. Hopefully the tips from this article will give you a good foundation and a springboard for coming up with new ways to virtually demo your product or solution to your customers and prospects. 

 

Keep selling and keep smiling. 

 

If you found this content to be helpful, you may be interested in our Virtual Selling Program, available now for all sales professionals who are making the transition from field to virtual selling.

 

Please feel free to dive into the full episode here and subscribe to the sALES with ASLAN podcast for more weekly sales tips and tricks from the ASLAN experts. 

 

As VP of Marketing at ASLAN Training & Development, Scott’s passion is to share our solution with those in need and those who seek sales transformation. Find him on: Facebook | LinkedIn | Instagram

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