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Sales: Prepare and Deliver A Killer Product Demo

6th Apr 2017
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While inbound sales may be getting all the praise lately, outbound marketing is nowhere close to going extinct either. Cold calling, direct emails, attending trade shows or merely presenting your new product on a face-to-face meeting still gets you business.

Our sales team have amazing technology to present and engage with the audience on a new quality level. They have a lot of advice from experts. And yet, with all of this, it is still tough to create that product demo that just “wows” an audience and converts those passive listeners into eager buyers.

Two Types of Product Demos Worth Using

The Public Product Demos were famously popularized by Steve Jobs when Apple introduced a new produc. A large, carefully-selected audience gathered and you up on a stage being a showman. You have an agenda and a fully prepared script, and you pretty much stick to it.

Semi-Private and Private Demos might be given at a trade show to passers-by or to seriously interested potential customers during a face-to-face meeting. They are also the types of demos that are prepared for potential investors. While you may have a prepared script, you also know that you will veer from it, as questions are asked or the opportunity hits to drive a big point home.

Preparation will be a bit different for these two varied demo environments. But in both, there will be three large sections:

Introductory Section

This is like the introduction to an essay you might have written in school. Write a short introduction of yourself – whether someone else is introducing you or not.  And tell the audience very clearly what you are introducing in an exciting and compelling way. If you haven’t listened to one of Steve Jobs’ demos recently, go back and review one. It’s important to focus on the storytelling element here before going into the hard sell.

The Actual Demo

OK. So, this is the actual demonstration – the practical part where you feature all of the amazing things about your product. This should include your “wow” factor(s). Remember, your demo is a really a sales presentation in disguise. Treat it as such.

The Wrap-Up

Repeat your key message. Have a call to action. Make yourself and your product unforgettable. And have a plan for follow-up.

Now, let’s move on to preparing for delivering that killer demo of yours. If you follow these steps, you have the best chance of a great presentation.

Define Your Message

This is like the thesis statement of an essay or paper you wrote in college. What single overriding point is the most important in this demo? What problem will it solve for your potential customer? What is the main concept or purpose for this product? Your demo (and script) should all relate back to this message.

Craft a Story for Your Audience

Everyone likes a story, and good products all have a story of how and why they were created. These humanize you and establish a connection with your audience. the data on this is very clear. Tell a story whenever possible.

Do Write a Script

You do not necessarily have to write out every word you plan to say and memorize the lines like for a high school play. But logical order is supremely important, so you must at least commit to a step-by-step script. You know yourself. If you are really good at speaking, and you know your product like your hand (and you should), an outline of the order will be all you need. If you are less confident with ad-libbing, then write down an actual script for the key points and rehearse it.

A script is especially important if you are explaining a piece of software, an app, etc. You plan to take you audience through each step of using it, and you must start perhaps with the login. Do not assume that your audience knows anything.

Identify Your WOW Moment

This is the one element of your product that you want no one to forget. This is the very best element of your product, and you hinted at it when you began – it is also a part of your main message. For a complex product, usually tech-related, you may have a few “wow” moments. The point is this: you want your audience going away from this demo thinking, “This is way cool – I(we) need to have it.” Take a look at how Steve Jobs introduced the MacBook Air – from a manila envelope, no less.

Make Exceptional Slides to Complement the Demo

While not essential, they do give the audience a visual to stay on track with you, and they help to reinforce what you want them to remember. And, if you are demonstrating a software product, they are a must, so that you can show all elements of navigation. Particularly for a larger audience, you must have a large enough screen; and be certain to get a high-quality projector. Nothing is more frustrating than an audience member not being able to see your slides clearly – you will lose sales.

Have Backup Technology Always

If you are using a laptop, have another with the same presentation. Technical difficulties you definitely don’t want. Always double up on devices, cables, etc. And if something “hangs up” at any point (slow load, etc.), have some sort of anecdote you can fill in until things are back on track.

Anticipate the Questions

If you practice your demo with friends and/or family members, ask them for questions or points that are not clear. This will help you improve the demo itself and also to have answers prepared when similar questions are asked.

Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse

This is your show. Don’t put it on without dress rehearsals – all the factors are present – your script, and the devices you will actually be using. Plus, it just has to look natural. With enough rehearsals, it will. This will also be especially important if your demo is to be presented online. You must know exactly how your tools will be working.


You should have your demo so “within you” that you will be able to relax and enjoy the presentation yourself. If you have given the same demo, with success, you will be more relaxed and able to ad lib far better. For a first-time demo, however, these steps will be critical. Here’s hoping you “break a leg.”

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