How to captivate attention abruptly during your software demo

How to captivate attention abruptly during your software demo
Larson Stair
What to do when you feel like you're losing your prospect on a demo

I think we've all been there.

You are about halfway through your demo, and your prospect seems either half asleep or has finished ten past due emails giving you 20% of their attention. Answering with super short responses and just generally disengaged.

You can be the best sales rep out there with ninja-like question-asking skills and still have this happen.

So what do you do when this happens?

I have a few strategies on how you can disrupt the current experience a prospect is having and quickly captivate their attention. I essentially break these strategies down into two different scenarios utilized for various reasons.

Planned Disruption: This disruption strategy is more straight forward and strategically planned. I'll use this after I've just summarized a Discovery call or after I've explained our product suite and what I think is relevant to this customer.

  • Black Screen with "What am I missing?": I've used this method to quickly turn the conversation back to my prospect with a very pointed question. These can be "What did I miss?" after a summary, or "What functionality are we missing?" halfway through your demo. This can also force newer reps to answer very strategic questions and keep the dialog going with a prospect.
  • Segmenter slides - I'll typically plan out three different features that I want to review with a prospect that correlates back to their original pain points discovered. In between each feature, I'll put a "segmenter slide" which is essentially just a colorful slide with the name of the next feature. This is a mild visual disruption that captures attention and gives me a chance to ask strategic questions. 

Unplanned Disruption- This is when you sense your prospect drifting away. Keeping their answers short and generally seeming uninterested.

  • Pause Sharing/Black Screen: Abruptly changing what your prospect is seeing to a black screen. You can do this by "pausing" your screen sharing or pulling in a completely black screen. I like this strategy because the absence of anything seems to snap prospects back into the demo quickly.
  • Show your face: Again, changing what your prospect is seeing stopping the screen share and showing your face. I'd like to think this reminds prospects that there is a real person on the other end and helps to bring the human aspect back really quickly.

Naturally, both of these strategies should be accompanied by a very straight forward question. Something to the likes of "Mrs. Prospect, I feel like I'm really missing something here. Am I completely off the mark and not quite the fit I initially thought?".

I hope these few strategies help you to either disqualify your prospect more quickly and give you time back in your day. Or more quickly get the true pain their experience and align your product as the perfect solution to help out.


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