As an entrepreneur, you may have a vision to change the world with your product. Your product may solve a definite pain point for the consumers. It may be the most unique one in the market, un-replicable even. It may be of extremely good quality and possess great features. But as long as the sales pitch and demonstrations are not done well, no investor, retailer or customer will be interesting in investing in it.
Here are the steps that will ensure that your product demonstration creates an influence on your audience’s decision making process:
Before the Demo:
1. Do a dry run
You would not want a scenario where your product stops functioning or doesn’t function efficiently in the middle of your demonstration. Therefore testing your product an evening before will ensure that all faults are rectified and the product is running smoothly.
2. Research your audience
If you have a meeting with retailers or investors, you can review various sources to know what it is they like. Customize your pitch according to the audience by telling them exactly how the product will solve their problem or how it will benefit them. Does the investor want sales, return on investment or future growth prospects? Is he or she a practical person who wants facts and figures or an emotional person who wants a touching story to be completely convinced?
3. Prepare your content
While preparing your content, you not only need to keep your audience in mind and customize, but also the facts and figures. One of the best demo structure is to present facts, figures and then the urgency of buying or investing in the product immediately. Follow the system of explaining the facts, then the benefits and then the reason for urgency.
4. Explain the ‘why’ before the ‘how’ and ‘what’ in your introduction
In a TED Talk, Simon Sinek has effectively covered the secret to great pitches. You need to communicate why you created the product, how it solves the problem, i.e., through what features and then what the product really is. Most companies explain it backwards and end up with uninspiring pitches. This will make sure that your intent is also covered.
5. Practise in front of a mirror or with a friend
Practising your pitch in front of a mirror or with a friend will ensure that you do not forget to mention any key points during the demonstration the next day. However what most people do not realize is that body language and tonality are equally important to be practised. You may be conveying facts and figures correctly but if your tonality conveys that you are nervous and under confident, it will make your demonstration ineffective. The same applies if you are extremely over confident and appear complacent. You need to have the optimum level of excitement in order to get the audience excited as well.
6. Predict probable questions and prepare the answers
If you rehearse answers to predictable questions, it will be an involuntary response when these questions are posed. You will come across as well prepared, detail oriented and having expertise on the product and the market. Most questions will surround topics such as how the product will be of benefit to the investor, what is expected from his or her side and much more.
7. Be confident and stay in a good mood
Before your demo, make yourself feel calm, composed and confident. Listen to music, practise a power pose, revise your pitch, anything that makes you feel confident.
During the Demonstration
8. Humour the audience’s imagination
Tell a story that will show how the product will solve the audience’s everyday problems. Take them to a world where all their grievances are solved just by using the product. Stories are one of the most relatable ways to connect with the audience. They are entertained as well as made to realize the importance of your product.
The audience will have many inputs of their own. Listen to them, understand their concerns, ask a lot of questions and get to the root of their hesitance.
10. Let the audience lead your demo
Letting the audience operate the product is one of the best ways to convince them that your product is easy to use and will solve their problems. Once they are confident that they like the product, they will definitely invest in it.
11. Call to Action
Ask the investor, retailer or customer if they like the product and if they would like to invest in it at the end of your demo. Do not wait for them to bring up the call to action.
12. Ask for references
Ask the retailer or investor for references whether they have decided to invest or not. This will open up avenues for future pitches and demos.
After the Demonstration
13. Follow up
Whether the investor is positive or on the fence about your product, follow up constantly. This will ensure the investor’s belief in your passion, your proactive nature and will speed up the process.
A demonstration is the most important part of a sales pitch, as you might have noticed in Shark Tank. Making the product is only 20% of the job. 80% of the job is convincing investors to invest in it and getting customers to buy it. Follow the steps above to make sure your demonstration goes smoothly and increases your chances of success!