How to Run a Perfect Demo

How to Run a Perfect Demo

Hey guys,

This post is on the topic of running a perfect demo.

Well actually, I don’t really believe in “perfect,” so let’s just say great demo.


A great demo is NOT a demo in which the sales rep pitches or presents the entire time…


It is NOT when a rep tries to do “death by powerpoint…


It IS when there is natural conversation flowing in the sales discussion…

And it IS when most of the conversation is on the customer with a small portion on your product.


Without further ado…

Here is the structure on how to run a perfect demo:

  • Part I: Build rapport, state intent & set agenda (3 mins)
  • Part II: Story and background (4 mins)
  • Part III: Understanding your world (18 mins)
  • Part IV: Tailored recommendations & next steps -> enough for them wanting more (5 mins)

(*Note – the durations are based on a 30 minute first call. If more time is booked, feel free to extend the durations accordingly)

YouTube video

Part I: Build rapport, state intent & set agenda (3 mins)

So this should be your introduction – I like to keep it short, sweet, and concise.

Straight to the point.

Maybe your style is a little different – maybe you like to do more small talking.

Whatever the case, there needs to be a system for introducing the call.

Step 1: Build rapport – this is where you do introductions, say thank you for joining the call, any plans for the weekend? Type of deal…

Get acquainted, do the pleasantries, and feel free to talk bout something light for a moment before the really call kicks off…

Then I like to get straight to business, stating why we’re meeting today…

Clarifying what my prospect is looking to get specifically out of this meeting, and make sure that I give it to him during this call…

And finally I set a brief agenda, outlining the top 3 or 4 points we will cover, and asking if that sounds like a good plan.

This should all take no more than 3 – 5 minutes.

Once I have the prospects buy-in and agreement on the steps we will take

It’s time to start the journey…

Part II: Story and background (4 mins)

This part of the demo should only take a few minutes as well, but can be extended if the story requires it.

In essence, tell the “story” of your company and explain why you guys are in existence, and what is your purpose, and what you stand for.

It’s important to hit emotional trigger points in your story.


Your story must evoke EMOTIONS from your listener…

You must take your prospect on an emotional roller coster ride…

Those are the most effective stories.

The most effective stories emotionally engage your prospects, bringing them along for the ride.

Somewhere within your “slide deck” about your company… you can include the slide with all your most popular or similar customers to your prospect.

Do not spend too much time or focus on the slides here.

The “customers” slide – is good for social proof and building credibility, but no need to dwell too long on the slides.

The key part here is to tell a story about your company which your prospect can become engaged in, and support.

Part III: Understanding your world (18 mins)

This is where the bulk of the demo should be spent.

This is the key differentiator between top reps and average reps.

HOW they spend their time here.

Meaning, do they go into a feature dump pitch fest…. Or do they do something different?

The top reps in this portion simply have a natural conversation with the prospect.

They have a natural conversation and through asking great questions, they learn the ins-and-outs of their prospects world.

They learn what the prospect is curious about.

They learn what the prospect fears.

They learn about what the prospects biggest pain points are.

They learn about what the prospect more deeply wants to achieve.

They learn bout what’s been keeping the prospect up at night.

They learn how the prospect operates and every conceivable thing related to the prospects’ world.

This is really where the sale is made.

In this qualification, needs development, conversational way….

You begin to discover what your prospects care most about, where they’re hurting most, and how you can solve that for them.

From here, the rest of the sales process is established.

Make sure to pay attention here.

By asking great questions, and listening carefully…

You’ll be able to understand everything you need to about your prospect…

As a professional salesperson, this is where you’ve elevated your craft of sales.

No longer are you doing canned presentations relying on powerpoint slides…

You’ve gotten good at having natural conversations to truly understand your prospects.

This is where you’ve moved into “the conscious competence” area.

Go as deep as you can in this part – you want to dig deep into the causes and effects of the problem.

You want to ask your prospect.. “Hmm Mr. Prospect, I’m curious, what happens if you don’t do anything to solve this problem? What will happen to (your business/family/profits)?”

Only after you truly begin to understand your prospect’s problems should you consider prescribing a solution.

Just like a doctor first needs to understand what’s going on with a patient…

And just like a therapist must first understand his or her patient….

You must first seek to understand your prospect before diagnosing a proper solution.

That’s the only way a real “solution provider” operates.

You can’t provide an answer if you don’t know what the problem is, right?

Part IV: Tailored recommendations & next steps  (5 mins)

Once you’ve fully understood what’s going on with your prospect…

And the challenges he or she is dealing with…

Only then can you make a proper assessment of a solution.

(Again, just like a doctor or therapist or life coach…)

Once you’ve understood their situation… you can spend the last portion of the call recommending an actual solution!

Or, you can mention a few key relevant points that might help them with their current situations…

Either way, you’re providing a few key value nuggets for them.

This can be sharing 1 or 2 aspects about your product or service that would be able to help them in a way they said they needed help…

You’re basically aligning your solution to whatever problems and pain points they had shared with you.

What I see new reps do often is that they over present…

They over present the solution…

They don’t really know “what to say” in the meeting, so they over rely on the powerpoint of the actual product demo.

They think that the “more of the product” they show, they more their prospects will want to buy.


Doesn’t work that way.

Often they will find that when they do that…

It only scares the prospect away….

They end up thinking, “oh my god, there’s so many features…. This must be overwhelming!! I don’t want to deal with this, and I don’t need this!”


They think, “Oh my god, there’s so many features, this must be expensive” and then they ask…

“How much is this?”

And then you’re in the dreaded price situation where they are asking not because they have found value,

But they are asking out of a knee jerk reaction to understand how much it will cost,

So they can satisfy their curiosity and rule you out from anything they are looking to buy….


They might not even buy if your product was next to free…

Why is this?

It’s because value wasn’t established.

That’s why it’s SO important to perform proper needs development and qualification…

That’s where the VALUE is built.

Once you’ve built value, you’ll be able to guide/steer this deal much more effectively…

That’s why sharing 1 – 2 key aspects of your product that will make a BIG IMPACT on the problems your prospect SHARED WITH YOU

Is SO MUCH BETTER than feature dumping a bunch of random stats to your prospect…

That’s because your prospect doesn’t give a shit about your product…

Sorry, but it’s true.

They don’t care about your product, they care about solving their problems.

And if your product can help them solve a problem?

They’re all ears.

If you can’t?

They won’t be interested.

And that’s how it should be.

Remember guys,

Sales is a helping game.

Sales is about helping people.

At the end of the day, that’s what the best salespeople focus on.

They understand that the more problems they solve, and the more of an impact they can make…

They more they will be compensated.

Who said helping people and getting paid well can’t go hand-in-hand?

The top sales reps will always understand that sales is about helping people.

That it’s not about them, but always about their prospects.