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Demo Diaries recap, ep 15: Don’t have your demos be a one way street

It’s tempting to see demos as something your sales team delivers and your prospects view – but if you want it to be truly effective, your demo needs to be a two-way street. That’s the view of the legendary Larry Long Jr, CEO/Founder at LLJR Enterprises, who has helped scale sales efforts at brands like Pendo.io, and Intuit. I talked to him in a recent episode of the Demo Diaries podcast about how you can make a more interactive, engaging demo that wins you customers. 

Meet Larry 

He’s been in sales since he started selling his lawn care services as a kid, mowing lawns and other similar tasks. His professional sales career began at SageWorks, and he went on to work for eight different companies including SaaS powerhouse Pendo, gaining significant diversity in his sales experience. Now he’s helping sales pros and organizations take their game to the next level. 

Demo Success

While the sales team does the demo, creating it is an all-hands-on-deck task. Marketing, product, and the whole organization basically need to help and provide input. Then the sales professionals iterate, test, and do that over and over. This helps them get the best demo flow and talk track down and find out what’s resonating with prospects. There’s no such thing as the perfect demo – there’s always room for improvement. But getting a great demo begins with keeping customer needs in mind and testing to try to drive that better demo experience. 

How can you tell when your demo is working? When people are engaged, smiling, and asking questions – because your demo should not be a one-way street. You need to captivate and stimulate your audience, providing them with real value and engagement especially in a time when we’re all suffering from Zoom fatigue. All selling is really person-to-person, even in the B2B world. If your audience is sitting there silently like they’re in a college lecture, that’s not a great sign in Larry’s experience. 

And turning around a demo that’s going wrong is all about getting creative. Use polls, use videos, use whatever you can think of – but the most important thing is to take the mic out of your hands and put it into the prospect’s hands instead. You win by listening. Ask them engaging questions about things that are important to them and understand their mindset. 

Sales is like matchmaking – match what you have with what they need, want, or find challenging. If I can’t make the match, says Larry, I’m wasting my time and yours too. So if you’re not engaged, let’s part as friends and you can come back if anything changes. 

Training Reps 

Practice is really important. Larry has reps do a mock demo for the whole team, and then they break down what they’re doing well, opportunities for improvement, and what they would do differently. Do roleplay too, which is really a confidence-building session, and keep iterating. 

Being a coach means observing and coaching up in live situations as well as in practice ones. If your team is small enough, you can listen to demos and provide feedback every week. Conversational intelligence tools and platforms help when your team is too big to do that, so you can take your team to the next level. 

Demo Flow 

His SDRs are at the top of the funnel, passing the baton and getting ready to transition. Sometimes Larry has them kick off the demo and do the agenda, and possibly the early parts of the demo. Next, the AE has to provide a tailored demo. If you’re providing the same cookie-cutter demo to everyone you speak with… good luck. 

Don’t treat each prospect like they’re the same as the last one, even if their needs seem similar. It’s like going to a doctor who has done tons of shoulder surgeries, but on patients who have different motivations and fears, they shouldn’t all be approached the same. Sure, they might get the same end result, but they could feel very differently about the experience of getting there. Demo to fit the specific needs of your prospect. 

Top Tip for Your Demo 

Be prepared by doing tons of research. Go onto Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter – find something on the person or at least the company like the latest and greatest news. When you’re prepared, you’re ready for anything at all, even a crazy curveball. It’s easier and smoother that way. 

Watch the full episode: