To avoid the ‘Demo Pressure’, just organize a 2-steps Demo

One of the greatest satisfactions I had so far regards the professional diversity of those who follow the website.

Even if I work in IT, I’m happy to see that the website is followed by salespeople working in a wide variety of industries: software, services, telecommunications, insurance, banking etc.

What makes me most proud is working on a board of advises which speaks a language common to all salespeople, advises which are applicable in different industries.


Today’s article, however, will be more specific (let’s say that I’ll play at home): in fact, I will mainly refer to those who sell software for living, just like me.

If you sell something else however, I advise you to read it too: chances are you’ll be able to apply the advice somewhere else in your sales process.


Getting back to the article, today I’ll talk about demos: to be more precise, I’ll talk about ‘Demo Pressure’ and how to avoid it through a simple action.

Let’s start as always with the general definition by answering the question “What is ‘Demo Pressure’?”.

‘Demo Pressure’ is the pressure that a salesperson lives when a potential customer insistently asks for a demo without wanting to go through discovery: in other words, he or she tries in every way to skip the commercial conversation.


As you know, there should be no demo without sales conversation as its absence often jeopardizes both the sales and buying process.

Just to mention 2 closely related problems which arise from this behaviour:

  • on the sales side the absence of conversation leads the salesperson to progress blindly, having no material on which to build the demo.
    This will result in a standard spray-and-pray demo.
  • On the purchase side indeed, the standard demo will not stick to the prospect’s use case and will generate resistance: this resistance will be expressed as objections advanced during the demo, which will break the demo flow.

Of course and as you know, it’s difficult to educate the potential customer about why the conversation is useful and there are several reasons for this: among all of them and based on my experience, the arrogance of those who buy and the unacceptable level of our demos take the lead.

Without investigating the first issue and talking about the second (which is the one we can control), very often our discoveries are so dramatic that potential customers want to avoid them at all costs.


In any case and as I said, it’s difficult to make it clear to those who come with a request for a demo that one or more preliminary conversations are necessary for the success of the demo itself.

Fortunately however, there is a little trick that can help you get the much-needed discovery.

As you well know and as I mentioned so far, discovery and demo are 2 separate steps in the sales process (indeed, it can be said that the former is the condition for the latter).

This division is another cause of resistance because the prospect very often perceives the conversation as an unnecessary waste of time that will further slow down his or her search for the right solution.


But what happens when discovery and demo are merged into one step?

What happens when the prospect is told the demo is possible but that it consists of 2 separate steps, one to define define the use case and another to show the demo?

What happens when the 2 steps are scheduled at the same time?


Well, the prospect will just accept.

When framed as part of the actual demo, the commercial conversation gets value for the prospect because she stars to recognize it.

In other words, your discovery will get the value that your prospect sees only in the demo.


In order to do this at best, remember this last advice: set the steps so you have enough time to gather the material, organize it and customize the demo.

Schedule the steps too close will not give you the time you need to be really effective.

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