07.25.18

Your product demo sucks (And how to fix it)

KARL R. LAPAN, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF THE NIIC

Selling people on your product often starts with a demo, no matter how formal or informal. The problem is, many business builder’s approach this opportunity the wrong way because they are too close to their product. That said, here are a few tips to deliver better product demos:

  1. Less is more. You might think your widget is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but no one wants to hear you drone on and on about the technical minutia. Instead of getting mired in every little detail, come prepared to answer questions you anticipate will arise. In other words, make it more of a conversation. Sometimes the best presentations are more “off the cuff” than formulaic and rehearsed. Be sure to talk about the features and benefits from the customer’s or end user’s perspective (This is design thinking empathy – putting yourself in the customer’s shoes). Remember to clearly and succinctly describe the pain, problem or opportunity your product, service or solution satisfies.
  2. Don’t forget about customer discovery (a key component of the business model search and execution process). You may have an hour at most to make your case. This means the bulk of your work should be done in advance. What matters most to the prospect? What are their pain points? You’ll need to understand where they are coming from before launching into your spiel–and you need to address those concerns somehow. Use this chance to gain important customer intelligence and to forge a connection with your customer or end user.
  3. Tune in. It’s always a good idea to know your audience and check-in. Consider the collective energy, their backgrounds, their vocabulary/jargon, and how they talk about their product and the potential fit with yours. Communicate the way that they communicate, and you’re more likely to have a deeper connection and close the deal.

When in doubt, remember it’s not about you. It’s about them.

Not sure you are ready for your next demo? Having an experienced advisor like The NIIC dramatically increases your likelihood of success, and improves your company’s overall approach to execution, product, and market risk. Schedule time with a NIIC business coach to tune-up, refine your minimum viable product and be ready to wow your next prospect?

What were some of your unexpected surprises (both positive and negative) when you have been given the opportunity to demo your product?

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