Notes on a great web demo

I recently sat in on a live demonstration of a piece of software my former employer was evaluating. Here are some notes on what makes a great webinar or web demo.

  1. Be courteous to all. Call folks by name, be patient, cordial, and friendly.
  2. Be confident and comfortable with what you are doing. If you are not confident using and promoting your company or software, why should your prospect be confident in your company or software?
  3. Be understandable. Speak clearly, don’t make folks work to follow what you are saying. This has both to do with the way you explain things and even your accent and diction.
  4. Explain features in context of use, demonstrating a deep understanding of their industry and usage scenarios.
  5. Ask periodically if everyone is understanding or has questions.
  6. Present the value compared to the investment (cost). At one point the presenter introduced a killer feature with the statement, “this is where it really pays for itself.”
  7. Make it exciting and draw out the “wow!”
  8. Ask permission before going into features that require extensive explanation or any other time it is appropriate to ask permission. This is another gesture of courtesy.
  9. Talk through feature demos. Don’t just show how the feature works, but why you would use it and how it benefits you.
  10. Make your client aware of outside opportunities and features, even if they are not currently relevant (such as integration with some larger or outside system). This is a gentle up-sell.
  12. Use processing time or wait time to talk or discuss something.
  13. Don’t discuss pricing. Save that for a follow-up conversation.
  14. When asked about discounts, this presenter said their policy is, “no discounts, no feeling bad.” In other words, you get their best pricing up front.

Any comments on webinars you have seen or done right (or wrong)?

Written on July 21, 2009