So you’ve talked your way into a meeting with your prospect. The only thing standing between you and closing the deal is intense yourself:

Here are 8 ways to make your sales demos stand out:

1. Confirm the call before the meeting

Follow up emails to clients are no brainers. But confirming the meeting beforehand is an often neglected step that will set you apart from the pack.

Ping your client with a quick email or voicemail before your sales demo to prevent no shows and create a sense of importance for the phone call.

Be sure to include the following details:

  1. Who you are
  2. What company you work for
  3. When the meeting is taking place
  4. Where the meeting is taking place (if necessary)
  5. Why you are meeting (briefly talk about your product)

PRO TIP: Reach out to clients between 8AM to 10AM and 3PM to 4PM.

2. Within the first five minutes clearly establish an agenda

The only way to have a productive meeting is to know exactly what the action items are. Ask your prospect what they’d like to cover before proposing your agenda. Chances are, you’ll be able to incorporate their agenda into yours. They’ll feel heard, but you’ll still be in control.

The single most important part of setting an agenda is identifying exactly what the client wants to talk about. Let them do the talking. According to Sandler Training CEO Dave Mattson, “By asking what the prospect would like to get out of the call, the rep shows respect and gains insights into what’s on the buyer’s mind.”

Too often, salespeople start sales calls prioritizing their own agenda without taking the time to align their understanding of the client’s goals with what the client actually wants accomplished. More often than not, your goals are different from your clients. Don’t assume your agenda is the right one because more likely than not, they will tune you out when your speil isn’t relevant to them.

The only exception to this is if the client doesn’t know much about what you do. In this case, Mike Weinberg has set up an excellent road map:

“Ron, thanks for inviting me in. I believe we set this up for 30 minutes. How are you on time? Great. Here’s what I’d like to do: Let me kick us off and take two to three minutes to share just a bit about ABC Ozone Aggregators, the issues we solve for facility managers and why they bring us in, and I’ll touch briefly on why we’re different and keep gaining new clients. Then I’d like to turn the tables and ask you questions to find out more about your situation and what you’re doing in QRS or how you’re approaching XYZ opportunity. Depending on what I hear from you, I’ll share a couple of relevant case studies or show you a few options of how we provide ozone aggregation. After that we can discuss if it looks we might be a fit to help you, or if there is a logical next step. That’s what I was hoping to do today, Ron. Tell me what what you were hoping for and what you’d like to walk away with today.”

Regardless, these two approaches should be established in the first five minutes of the call. Begin the call properly and set the meeting’s road map properly by incorporating what your prospect want to talk about into the agenda.

3. Listen to the client

This point ties into setting the agenda but needs to be emphasized as its own point.

When a client begins to describe their pains needs and complaints, LISTEN. For a prospect, an ideal sales rep is a problem solver before they are a salesperson. Reps need to maintain conversations with prospects without disqualifying themselves from the presented opportunity.

To be an effective sales rep, emphasize listening to your prospect in order to learn about their problems and find ways to help them.

Once the prospect feels you are qualified and capable of helping them find solutions to their unique problems, they’ll begin to open up more. When this happens, DON’T prioritize finishing your rant OVER constantly tailoring your approach for the client.

For instance, according to HubSpot, SDRs spend more time highlighting topics like qualifying budget and authority, when in actuality prospects value addressing areas like price and product on the first call.

Listening is basic skill yet many prospects find that sales representatives don’t understand its importance. Prove that your product can help them and listen.

4. Take a minute to personalize

Sales has and will always be about relationship building. Treating your customers in ways that make them feel valued and respected is a step that takes time but will help facilitate long term relationships.

Take a minute to personalize with the person on the other end at the start of the call. Consider the following:

  • Break the ice at the beginning

Jumping directly into your pitch comes off as overeager and impersonal. Clients want to feel like you’re there to help them and address their problems, not meet quota. Telling a joke at the beginning or following up on a topic of conversation from a previous call are ways to break the ice at the beginning and personalize the call.

  • Tweak your sales demo based on your client’s background (education, location, attitude) through online research (social media profile, blogs, publications).

This point comes down to research and coming off as genuine and helpful. By tweaking your sales demo based on your client’s background through prior online research, you let them know that you’ve done your homework and are serious about helping them. Doing this prevents asking no brainer questions that can be learned about well before the call or citing fallacious information.

  • Have a flexible agenda.

Many buyers, want their SDRs to demonstrate adaptability to their buying process before they’ll adapt to your sales process. You must understand your prospect’s buying process before you can influence it. If your short-term agenda is set in stone and you’re unwilling to let your prospect influence it, you risk losing the chance of influencing their long-term plan.

  • Listen for pain points

It’s important to reiterate this aforementioned point because it is an agenda item that should be addressed throughout the call, not merely at a single point. This is the most important way to personalize the call by addressing each prospect’s unique challenges and concerns.

You are 4.2x more likely to get an appointment if you have a personal connection with a buyer.

Although this step does take valuable time, it is time well-spent.

5. Use social proof

Nothing builds trust better than using social proof. Thankfully, there are myriad ways to approach this.

This is your opportunity to leverage reference customers to build credibility. Sometimes sales reps let their new prospect talk to existing customers. Here’s a quick walk through of my preferred approach:

  1. Provide context
  2. Share examples of where you solved similar problems for other customers
  3. Move on to specific product features

6. Showcase specific product features

After you’ve begun earning your prospect’s trust by listening to them and personalizing the conversation, you need to demonstrate how your product uniquely addresses their problems.

A pitfall for many sales reps is the tendency to disregard the relationship they’ve been building, getting too excited to sell their product. Once the client feels comfortable, the average sales rep reverts to their previously memorized spiel and talks about every single capability of their product.

Instead of talking about every feature of the product, try showcasing specific features during the demo and tying them back to what they said during the first few minutes of the call.

When the client is convinced that your product presents solutions for each of their challenges, they will be more inclined to learn about the rest of your product’s capabilities.

7. Tie it back

This segment of the conversation is your opportunity to fully gain your prospect’s trust. Tying the conversation back to ROI is your way of showing the concrete results of implementing your product. Without this step, your sales demo consists of unsubstantiated claims and good intentions.

A successful tie back addresses questions like:

  • How much money will your product save me?
  • How many potential leads do I gain from implementing your product?
  • How many customers does your product have and how has the product contributed to their success?

PRO TIP: Analogies, specific details, and metrics are vital during this segment.

For instance, if I was talking about utilizing Hubspot:

DO: Because I use HubSpot, I was able to book 20 new demos and boosted my sales by 20% in my first month.

DON’T: ”In fact, I saved 5 minutes using HubSpot.”

The first example is detailed, describing specific instances and highlights concrete results. The next example is general, vague, and does not give the prospect context to work with.

At the end of the day, this step is what the conversation boils down to: does using your product generate income?

8. End your call by establishing next steps

You and your client need to agree upon your next steps before ending the meeting. By establishing action items and intentions, you determine how you can continue helping your client and maintain the demo’s momentum after you’ve left.

Concrete steps include:

  • Discussing opportunities

Ex: Have them set an hour-long meeting in their CFO’s calendar next week and get back to you by EOD..

  • Reiterating follow up/homework items

Ex: Send them product videos for them to share with their CEO

  • Ask them to take out their credit card

Why wait for them to talk with a supervisor who wasn’t at your demo in the first place? Why give them another item to think about overnight when they already have thousands of action items to get to? If they’re ready to buy you should be ready to sell.

The point is that you need to maintain engagement with the prospect and continue proving why your prospect needs your product.

In short,

  1. Confirm the call before the meeting
  2. Clearly establish an agenda within the first five minutes
  3. Listen to the client
  4. Take a minute to personalize
  5. Use social proof
  6. Showcase specific product features
  7. Tie it back
  8. Establish next steps

In many ways, a product is only as good as its sales demo. By implementing these 8 emphasis into your sales demo you can set yourself apart from the competition and build genuine, long-lasting relationships.