People buy from people who make them feel good about the buying experience.  If you can make your product demos a feel-good experience, your odds of closing the sale go up exponentially.

Unfortunately, there are a thousand ways for a good demo to go south, but many of these obstacles can be avoided if the presenter can stick to one simple principle – keep the conversation focused on the buyer instead of the product.

How is this possible when the objective of the demo is to show the product?  It’s simple but extremely unnatural for most product presenters.  Follow these three steps and you’ll improve the odds of a favorable outcome on every demo.

  1. Start every demo scenario with a specific user task instead of a product feature.  Apple exemplifies this technique in their iPhone commercials featuring the internet.  “Say you’re out shopping and want to find a great restaurant…You know how when you’re buying a car and you want to make sure you’re getting the best deal…”
    These scenarios can be specific to people in any position at any level.  Executives – “let’s say you’re setting revenue and profit goals for next year and…”  Customer service reps – “you know how customers get angry because they have to keep repeating their account number…”
  2. Follow each user task with the issues or problems that typically occur in that scenario, i.e. remind them of their headaches.
  3. Finally, it’s feature time.  Show only the product features that exemplify the solution – usually one or two features.  There’s no need to show every step it takes to get there unless asked.  It makes your product look more complicated.  Save the clunky stuff for post-sale training.

If you can use this technique successfully, the conversation will focus 70% on the buyers and 30% on the product.  Think about it.  As long as you’re talking about them, they’ll be focused on the fact that you understand their business and not on the irrelevant idiosyncrasies of your product.

Remember, buying decisions are always emotional.  Keep your demos focused on the buyer and they’ll feel good about buying from you.