So you’ve got a sales demo scheduled. Sweet! Simply getting a prospect to agree to talk with you is a win in itself. But if you want to have a truly successful sales presentation and close the deal, this is when the real work begins.
The good news is that becoming a sales presentation master is probably easier than you realize. Think of it like an interview for a job you really really want. You wouldn’t go into a meeting with your future boss without doing some preparation, and you shouldn’t go into a demo without finding out everything you can about your prospect and his or her business. By putting in the legwork up front, you’ll set yourself up for a productive conversation that will – fingers crossed – lead to a sale. Now that’s the ultimate win!
In this installment of Conversations from the Corner Office, we turn to sales presentation maven and ID Plans CRO Seth Garber to find out more about what you should – and shouldn’t – do in a sales presentation. Here’s what he had to say:
SG: In my role, I do have the opportunity to look at a lot of different demos, and something that drives me crazy is when it’s a pure “tell sell” demo. That’s basically when someone reads through a deck and tries to close me. They might ask some questions, but they come off as really packaged, like they’re reading from a script.
SG: I’ve seen many demos get lost right away when a salesperson comes in assuming they know what’s going on and that every business runs the same way. They come in guns blazing and firing all their bullets without taking the time to understand the business on the other side. At ID Plans, we work with thousands of commercial real estate professionals and they’re all so different, even if they seem similar on the surface. We really take the time to dive deeper to gain an understanding of their unique needs and how we can best serve them.
SG: Definitely the ones who go the extra mile. The ones who, when we share insights about our company, actually take that information to heart before presenting to us. That has often been the deciding factor for me in choosing one product over another.
SG: The first thing I want people to understand is that demos are time obligations on both sides. Certainly for the prospect, but also for us. Everyone’s time is valuable. That’s something that seems kind of obvious, but when you really think about it, it can help you stay focused and respectful of the other person’s commitment.
“Hi (prospect name), with your permission, I’d like to ask you some questions, then I will show you the product, and then we can determine the next steps. Are you OK with that?”
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