The #1 challenge with conducting web demos is the ability to read and engage an audience you can’t see.  Is the demo going well?  Are they doing e-mail while I talk?  Does anyone care?   Somebody, anybody, give me a sign!

How do you really know if your value proposition is resonating with your prospects when you can see them?

The key to reading a prospect you can’t see is to engage them in a discussion during the demo.   Here are 3 tips to help your cause.

1. Uncovering Needs That Matter

Ideally, you should have some idea of what your prospects are trying to accomplish and why it’s important prior to each demo so you are prepared with a few discussion points. But even if you don’t, it’s easy enough to do on the fly and makes for engaging conversation as part of the demo.  Before you demonstrate each portion of your product ask the following:  “Walk me through a typical _____________ scenario and tell me what you’re ultimately trying to accomplish, what areas you’d most like to change, and why.”

Be sure to ask the “why” question two or three times to get to the real issue. The response gives you a perspective from which to demonstrate that portion of your product in relation to how your prospect currently does something.

2. Keeping the Conversation Alive

After walking through a scenario, throw another open ended question back to the audience.  For example, “how would this (new way) change what you’re doing today?”  The response will let you know if further discussion is required and why.  Get closure from your audience and repeat steps 1 and 2 as necessary for each subsequent scenario you will demonstrate.

3. Let Prospects Hear Your Body Language

Smiles can be heard.  Hand gestures project passion and energy in your voice.  So when conducting web demos, stand up to create more energy in your presentation (be sure to have a good speaker phone or computer mic) and your audience will be much more likely to ask questions or initiate a discussion.

The key to keeping your prospects engaged during a demo is to keep the conversation focused on their business instead of your products.  As long as you’re talking about them, they’ll engage.  When they’re not engaged it’s a sign that you’re talking too much about you.

Learn the art of doing software product demos in person and via web meeting. There’s no better opportunity to showcase your differentiation than engaging prospects in a 2-way conversation.