12 Ways to Deliver a Product Demo that Converts

By Daniel Threlfall

12 Ways to Deliver a Product Demo that Converts

If you have a fantastic product demo, you can almost guarantee you’ll convert prospects.

That’s because product demos show potential customers exactly how the product will solve their problems. An effective demo will allow the customer to envision how they’ll use the product and how their life and business will be better for it.

In many cases, the product demo will seal the deal or break the deal. That’s why you absolutely need to possess the knowledge of what constitutes a converting product demo.

Unfortunately, lots of businesses do product demos poorly.  When this happens, it leaves the prospect with a bad impression of not only the product but also the company. A bad demo can destroy trust, and that’s hard, if not impossible, to rebuild.

This guide is all about 12 effective ways to deliver a product demo that converts, and by the time you’ve finished reading, you’ll know precisely how to create a demo that will virtually guarantee conversions.

Product Demo Tip 1: Demonstrate the Product’s Value (Not Just Features)

If you take just one thing away from this article, let it be this: demonstrate value. 

This is the most important step in creating a great product demo, and if you don’t do it, you can kiss your sales goodbye.

If you want an effective product demo that converts, you need to demonstrate value. It’s as simple as that.

So how do you demonstrate value? Easy––by demoing with the purpose of remedying specific pain points.

This is the problem with a lot of product demos––they’re not given from the customer’s perspective. All of your product’s bells and whistles won’t mean jack if your customers don’t see how they’re helpful.

Let’s say you’re watching a demo for an appointment scheduling app. What would you rather see: a one-by-one rundown of each feature or an overview of how the app’s features will help you solve your specific problems?

One neat method of demonstrating value is to present before and after scenarios that show how the viewer will be able to remove pain points from their day-to-day.

This relates to where the lead is now and where they could be with your product. It’s a simple idea, but it’s powerful.

Of course, this is just one way to demonstrate value. What’s more important is that you take a value-first approach when creating your demo. This will ensure that your entire demo demonstrates value instead of only having some parts that are focused on value.

Product Demo Tip #2: Start off strong

One common product demo mistake that so many businesses make is starting off too slowly. Too often, this causes the demo to be boring because it takes so long to get to the good stuff.

Going slow might be suspenseful, but it also means you might cause your leads to lose interest completely. The people you’re demoing for want to see the juicy solutions your product has to offer, so why not start off by impressing them?

Let’s return to the example of demoing an appointment scheduler.

A boring demo for an app like that might start out by talking a bit about the company and why they developed the app. But why not start by, for example, showing how your app can immediately schedule prospects in just one click?

That’s a much stronger intro. You start off with a bang, immediately solving one big problem for your viewer.

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t end with a bang, though. You definitely should. Just don’t make the mistake of starting at a snail’s pace in an attempt to build suspense.

Product Demo Tip #3: Focus on benefits, not features

When you’re delivering a demo, it’s incredibly easy to just recite all of the cool features your product has. And while a demo is supposed to show off those features, you always need to tie each feature to a benefit.

If you rattle off feature after feature without stopping to explain how each one will help the customer, you’ll give off the impression that your product is complex and not too helpful. 

The customer might be wowed by the sheer amount of features you offer, but unless those features help them in specific ways, they’re not going to convert.

Say you’re showcasing your app’s lead distribution feature. You might want to geek out over the details, but your customer isn’t as interested in those. Instead, you have to show them why they should care about this feature––in other words, what it will do for them.

Compare these two dialogues, and you’ll see what I mean:

Feature (bad): “Here’s how our app handles lead distribution. You go into this section and define specific rules that assign reps into meeting queues, and the app will automatically qualify and route those leads in real time, so each lead gets instantly qualified and assigned to the correct rep.”

Benefit (good): “Imagine that someone submits your form to get more information about your product. Now imagine if you could instantly engage with that person by allowing them to book a meeting or call right away. That person would be able to instantly connect with one of your reps. Sounds great, right? Well, you can do that with our app, check it out.”

The first explanation has too much going on. It’s might work for web copy, but it doesn’t translate to a demo where your goal is to explain each feature in context.

That’s why the second explanation is far better. You tell a story the customer’s point of view. You introduce an ideal situation and then explain that this wow benefit is entirely possible with your product. 

That engages the customer and allows them to imagine a concrete scenario in which your product solves one of their problems.

Product Demo Tip #4: Customize the demo for each lead

Since you’re going to be giving demos to leads that are already qualified, you can easily do some research on each lead so you can tweak your presentation specifically for their needs.

Each lead you engage with will have a different set of problems that are unique to them and their situation. If you just give a generalized demo, you’ll miss a huge opportunity to cater to your customers’ most burning needs.

Before you give the demo, take some time to study your lead. Check out their website, press, and social media to get a comprehensive idea of where they’re coming from and why they might need your product.

Even better, get some information about the specific person or group who will be viewing the demo. This could change how you give the demo (think giving a demo to the CEO vs. giving it to the head of sales).

Product Demo Tip #5: Write a script

This is a non-negotiable. It doesn’t matter if you know your product’s features in ridiculous detail––you absolutely need to script out your demos.

Without a script, you’re more prone to stumbling, stuttering, going on tangents, and communicating ineffectively. You don’t want any of that when you’re giving a professional demo.

A script will also ensure that your demo has a good pacing. For example, if it takes you fifteen seconds to carry out a certain feature of your product, you need to accompany that with speech. That way, your customer isn’t waiting for what seems like forever.

Product Demo Tip #6: Test and rehearse like crazy

Delivering a product demo isn’t a walk in the park. You have to read from a script, demonstrate the product, and engage with the viewer at the same time. Because there are so many moving parts, you need to make sure all those parts are working before you give a live demo.

First, you need to test your product to make sure there aren’t any snags that will prevent you from executing the demo smoothly. The last thing you want is for your product to fail right before your customer’s eyes.

Second, rehearse your demo a minimum of 3-5 times before delivering it to a real person. This will help you get accustomed to the rhythm and pace of the demo. If you discover that a part of the script is unnatural or that you need to shorten the demo, you can take care of that before you present to your leads.

Product Demo Tip #7: Be prepared for technical issues

Even if you test your product beforehand, there’s the chance that something will go wrong. You need to be prepared for that so you’re not fumbling around and causing the lead to lose confidence in you and your product.

Have a plan in place for when something will inevitably go wrong. If your app crashes or a feature doesn’t work, you need to have a plan B waiting in the wings. It should be a surefire plan that turns a failure into a learning experience. Don’t try to cover it up or act like it’s never happened before (even if it hasn’t). Instead, be honest and admit that things go wrong now and again.

A great way to fix this is to contact your own support team to show the customer how easy it is to get help. By transparently showing the customer how your support works, you’re proving that you can add value even when something goes wrong.

Product Demo Tip #8: Keep jargon to a minimum

Most of the time, you’re going to be demoing your product for people who aren’t familiar with its internal workings. They’re going to rely on you to explain it to them in a helpful way and show them how it works. What they don’t want is for you to use dense buzzwords that mean nothing to them.

If you do have to use any jargon, check in with the customer to make sure he or she understands, and be ready to explain it in a non-condescending way. For example:

You: “You can also use the round robin method with our app. Are you familiar with round robin?”

Lead: “I don’t think so.”

You: “It’s a really helpful way of assigning each incoming lead to a sales rep. Your reps take turn getting leads, so Lead A will go to Rep A, Lead B will go to Rep B, and so forth. It’s like dealing cards for a game of poker.”

Product Demo Tip #9: Don’t go overboard

Sure, you could present an hour-long demo that dives deep into each feature of your product, but few of your leads would stick around for the whole thing (and even fewer would convert).

By keeping your product demo short and focused, you’ll engage your viewers for longer and ultimately achieve more conversions. After all, 56% of all videos are under 2 minutes.

So if you’re asking your viewers to stick around, you need to keep their attention.

Product Demo Tip #10: Never interrupt the lead

This might be an obvious one, but it needs to be said. You should never interrupt a lead mid-sentence unless it’s an actual emergency.

Yes, sometimes people will ask you long-winded questions, but interrupting them isn’t the answer. People want to work with people who listen to their problems, even if those problems take several minutes to articulate. (Of course, if you’ve given a great demo, then you usually won’t need to worry about this.)

Product Demo Tip #11: Show, don’t teach

Want to know one big reason why so many businesses suck at product demos? It’s because they try to actually teach the viewer how to use their product.

That’s not the point of a demo. The point of a demo is to show your leads how helpful your product can be. If you spend your allotted demo time showing them the detailed ins and outs, you’ll miss the big picture, and you leads will walk away confused. 

Product Demo Tip #12: End by closing the deal

There’s no reason not to end your demo with a close.

If you’ve delivered a successful demo, then your lead will already be thinking about buying. In many cases, they’ll be ready to buy on the spot. Either way, you need to close the sale or initiate the next step (like meeting with someone higher up). Otherwise, there’s a high chance you’ll lose that sale.

The Power of the Product Demo

When done well, the product demo can be the most powerful part of your sales process, so don’t neglect it.

By implementing these techniques, you’ll be able to create a compelling product demo that turns leads into sales. It will take some time, but you’ll be able to reap the rewards.

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