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10 tips for better online demonstrations

In order for any demonstration or presentation to be effective it has to have the right framework. The most effective is often the most simple. In other words, start with a clear agenda (tell them what you are going to tell them), then deliver each agenda item (tell them), and finish with a conclusion (tell them what you just told them).


Now the framework is sorted, let's deal with the 10 tips... plus a bonus.

1. Have you finished your homework?
Thoroughly research both the target company and the executive(s). Map the Buying Team and understand who are the decision makers and who are the influencers. If you can, ask for a list of questions they may want to ask before the online meeting.

2. Remember these 3 things
They will not remember everything from your meeting. So decide on the 3 things you want them to take away. Ensure you highlight them in your conclusion.

3. Don't repeat the pitch
You have already pitched them once, that’s why they agreed to the online meeting. So don’t waste time pitching them again. Respect their time, get to the nitty gritty.

4. Tell them a story
A story where you are the hero. Show them how your product solved a similar problem in another company. It’s more relevant, interesting and more memorable than a stream of facts and figures.

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5. Customers are unique, make sure your demo is too
Customise. ‘One size fits all’ demonstrations and presentations are less effective. It takes time to produce bespoke material, but it sometimes takes days or weeks to set up online meetings, so don’t fall at the last hurdle.

6. Practice, practice, practice
Even Steve Jobs would rehearse his presentation. Practicing will make your presentation look seamless, and give you confidence to deal with those inevitable curve balls.

7. Show, don't talk
Pause, ask questions, listen and demonstrate. If your customer is talking more than you, you’re doing a good job. You have two ears, one mouth.

8. Prove that people like you
Appointing your company is a risk for the customer. Reduce the risk with testimonials from companies that have used your solution successfully.

9. Let them drive
This is a discovery for your prospective customer, they are learning about your product as they go. As a result, they may take the discussion in a direction you had not planned. Be flexible and let them drive.

10. Did you forget to sell?
Why are you at the meeting? To sell. Don’t forget to close the deal if it is appropriate or at least have a clear idea as to what you want the next stage to be.

Bonus Tip. Bring a friend. Online meetings with just one person on the sales team can become monotonous in tone, especially if it’s a 30 minute delivery. Divide your meeting into 3 sections, you do the first bit, your colleague does the second then passes back to you for the final conclusion.

This blog is part of a series about modern selling. You can download the infographic titled ‘Modern Selling Health Check’or get the white paper ‘Choosing the Right Sales Method for your Marketing Programme’.