I’m so excited about this specific, yet powerful type of presentation known as “THE DEMO”…
…that I sought after and interviewed three of the top ”Demo-ers”.
I’m not kidding, this is powerful stuff.
When we looked carefully at demos vs. presentations that had a strong correlation to an uptick in sales—we found something CRITICAL!
If you’ve had problems with your demos – and maybe even with your presentations, I’ve got great news..
And the crazy thing is that ALL that we need to do to fix it is…
READY?!?! …Change the way you answer (or don’t answer) questions.
Here’s a quote from a top professional demoer at a prominent software company:
Since demos function as powerful sales tools, how can you avoid these Q&A mistakes that can sabotage your demo?
I’m going to share with you some of my favorite keys to answering questions in a successful demonstration…
Then, I’m going to end this article with an ultra-useful “3-step Recipe” to handling any question you might get during your sales demos…
…you can learn more about All Our Demo Recipes here:
Step 0: Prepare for questions
Let’s start with how to prepare for the questions you get during your demos.
I call this “Step 0” because this actually happens before the demo itself.
First, you want to anticipate the top 10 back pocket questions you will get…for example:
“What are you working on for the next release?”
Next, you want to set boundaries and expectations for the questions you get…if you are O.K. with getting questions during the demo, simply say:
“Feel free to stop me with questions.”
If you are not O.K. with getting questions during the demo, say:
“Please hold your questions while I do a quick example in real time, and then feel free to ask me questions any time after that.”
Either way, you want to let them ask questions YOU WANT to answer…here’s what one of those Pro Demoers had to say about this:
Finally…don’t assume you know where they’re going.
It’s easy to be impatient and want to cut them off.
Instead, make eye contact (100% is best)…nod to show you’re following along…and let people finish before you answer.
Now, it’s time for my quick sheet (3 step recipe) to answering demo questions no matter what product you are demoing.
Step 1: Get to the heart of the question
If there’s a chance you might not be understanding the question, ask it back in your own words to confirm you get it.
This is how you differentiate yourself…it shows you are sincerely interested and want to get it right.
Check out this quote from another professional demoer:
Suppose you get the following question about software you are demoing:
Question: “Can we add a button to that form?”
A bad response would be:
Bad Response: “No, some forms have that kind of flexibility, but not this particular one.”
A good response would be:
Good Response: “Hmm. Why do you ask?”
The prospective customer might say:
Prospect: “Well, we’d like to trigger a quality measure for smoking cessation from there.”
A good answer would be:
Good Answer: “Actually we have a standard way of doing that. It’s triggered when I click the “Verify” button to show that I asked about smoking status. In general the forms are pretty flexible. In this case, what you’re looking for is built in.”
Did you see what we did there? We got to the heart of the question.
There are three questions YOU can ask to get to the heart of the question during a demo.
Give these a try and let me know how they worked for you.
Step 2: Handle the question
Here’s another quote from a master demoer…
When you answer a question, you can’t just answer yes the product or system does that…it’s really stepping back and seeing the strategic bigger thing they’re asking.
This conveys a level of sincerity.
There should be no question in their mind that the answer is yes.
If you want to get this reaction…
You’ve got to PROVE to them it’s happening…
For example, you can answer yes with a demo story…it might sound like this:
Question: There’s a result back on the patient. They ask, “Where do the results come?”
A bad response might be…
Bad Response: “Oh, I got a result back and her hematocrit is low so I’m going to….”
A good response might be…
Good Response: “I’ve got Mrs. Jones here, she looked normal…she’s recovering from surgery…I see Mrs. Jones got her CBC results back. She’s really been struggling with fatigue.”
See the difference? One tells a story…the other just gives product information.
The story is better.
Here’s another quote from another amazing demoer:
This type of answer is really not a “no”…it’s a “YES IF” on what the product, service or software you are demoing can do today.
It softens the no…
Here’s the KEY…
…when you answer a question you should avoid saying, “No, we don’t do that today.”
For example, suppose they ask you…
Question: “Can you support using this for ABC?”
Most demoers would say no.
What if instead you say…?
Answer: “Yes, if we configure XYZ.”
You can also say I don’t know… (Yes, it’s ok to say I don’t know).
People appreciate “I don’t know” during a demo because it shows them what you DO answer is legitimate. (Especially if you don’t know the answer.)
Here’s what it may sound like…
Question: “How often do physicians include drawings in their notes?”
Answer: “I don’t know. We don’t track it. It’s an interesting question.”
Step 3: Conclude the question
This is the easiest step of all…especially with demos
…you simply ask them if their need was met.
Here’s what it may sound like:
Ex: “Does that answer your question?”
Want to go use this recipe in your next demo?
You’re going to need a summary…
I’ve summarize all 3 steps in one picture for you below:
Go out and try this recipe for your next demo….
…send me an email at info@ruletheroompublicspeaking and let me know how it worked for you.