Crafting a demo that sells

Demo 700 x 400

Everyone wants a product demo that is so compelling buyers jump out of their seats to buy. Unfortunately that scenario rarely happens. In today’s buying environment a demo may meet two buyer needs. The first is to show the product is real and is consistent with the buyer’s needs. The second is to provide proof the product can deliver what the buyer expects. You may need different approaches to please both needs.

Is It Real?

The ‘standard’ demo is a marketing asset that proves your product is real. How you deliver the standard demo is up to you. It is helpful to know how your buyers make a buy decision.

Some market segments want to see your product before they speak with a salesperson. This type of demo is often delivered using screen capture tools like Camtasia. It allows prospective buyers to see the product without wasting valuable sales resources. It  helps buyers in their research phase.

Buyers in other market segments may want a demo that allows them to ask questions. An automated demo cannot deliver that need. In this case it’s best to deliver the demo by skilled individuals .

Does it Perform?

A buyer in a later buying stage wants to explore specific features of your product. They want to know if it will be the best fit for their needs. The only way they can do that is to go beyond the high-level overview of the standard demo. By this stage buyers want detailed confirmation before they can make a buying decision.

You job is to deliver what your buyer needs without turning it into a ‘show up and throw up’. There is a risk of losing a deal when a ‘deep dive’ demo presents too much information. Those who deliver the demo must ensure this doesn’t happen.

Constructing a Good Play

A good demo is like a play. It has a plot, there are characters, and it has a happy ending. A demo shouldn’t be a Greek Tragedy. The goal of a demo is to move a buyer through their buying decision faster.

The main ingredients of a good demo are the Buyer Personas and the Marketecture. Buyers Personas represent the people who want to see the product. Marketecture is the connection between Buyer Personas problems and how the solution solves them. You need to know who you are persuading and what they care about.

The formula for a good demo is simple. Connect their problems to how you solve them. What is life like today? Why is today’s condition bad? What have they tried before? What has that not worked? How will things improve when they use your solution?

Storyboarding is a good technique to outline a demo. It originated at Disney Studios as a method to tell a story in sequence using graphics. For a demo your product takes the place of the graphics. A demo is a story, just told using a product.

When a demo is over you want your buyers to believe your product is real and it meets their needs.

Performing the Play

If buyers need to see your product before they will go further you need a convenient, low-cost way to deliver it. Screen capture tools like Camtasia are cost effective and easy to use. You should decide if you need registration to access the demo. It’s an easy experiment to run. Try it with a registration form and try it without a registration form. Which approach drives more engagement?

For live demos let me offer an analogy. Would you hand a script to an actor and expect them to deliver their lines with the right passion? Of course not. You’d want a consistent storytelling experience for your audience. Why would you expect anything different for your demo?

Demo certification is a way to ensure your actors know their characters and they understand how to tell the story. Make it a rule that all people who demo must verify their ability to tell your product’s story. With 100 people authorized to give a demo, all 100 should be giving the same demo. If they don’t you are telling different stories. Do you want everyone may have their own version of the play?

photo credit: Believe in your product via photopin (license)

David Daniels

David Daniels

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