Q&A: conferencing for sales demos?

Many thanks for the presentation. We are a training company that has online learning content and Training  simulators.  I wondered what experience you might have or wisdom on the  use of webinar in this context (i.e. doing sales demos remotely).Q&A

Regards, Allen C.

Hi Allen, thanks for reaching out.

I have a lot of experience with sales demos since I’ve been in the biz for a long time.

Web conferencing is seriously awesome for live sales demos,  both in broader communications (webinars) and smaller sessions  (meetings).

The BIGGEST problem in each tends to be one of  audience-centricity.

In the most frequent sales demo format, the  smaller meeting with a prospect, the risk is always “what I want to say”  versus “what problem does my prospect have that I can show them a solution  for.”  The worst offense (in my very humble opinion!) is the ‘corporate  backgrounder’ slide.

My recommendation: use sharing to put up a working agenda (a Word doc works fine), and get clear with the client as the meeting  gets started about what they’re trying to solve.  I do understand that practically they may not always fully disclose and you’ll have to make  assumptions, but when you’re live, you can zero in on their particular problem  or use-case and show what you need to show – slide, live demo, website, back  to a few slides, back to a live demo, etc.

In a webinar format, the  most frequent problem I see is setting expectations correctly up front.   The risk (in the marketing communications process) is to want to soften  the message that it’s going to be a sales demo.  This may increase  attendance, but ultimately hurts your brand when it turns people off.

My recommendation:  clearly communicate in the invitation  process what folks will see (preferably still in a benefit-to-them voice), but  also make sure you make the webinar very interactive.  It’s a great  opportunity to answer someone’s question or objection in the process of  winning them to your point of view.  I think sometimes folks fear a  question coming in that they can’t answer or that paints them in a negative  light (‘how do you compare to competitor X’), but since your audience is  usually going to hear that stuff anyway, I prefer tackling it head  on.

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