Confidence sells, as it improves the trust factor between a buyer and seller. As a salesperson doing an online demo, confidence gives you a sense of authority, knowledge and understanding. It tells the prospect that they’re talking to someone who can help them solve the problem they have.
Anything less than full confidence in your ability to interact with the person on the other end of the demo can ultimately undermine and lose a potential sales.
When dealing with experienced buyers and decision makers, many can sense nerves and weaknesses almost immediately in your voice. Tone and delivery make a big difference, and when this is done over an online demo, you can either have body language working for or against you.
So how does a salesperson come across confident and knowledgeable on an online demo? For those who are new to a company, this is a valuable skill that will help you pick up some early wins. Even if you don’t know a product 100%, appearing confident is the next best thing.
We’ve put together some tips to help…
1. Know how your product/service creates value for clients
Knowledge is power! The more you know about something, the more confident you are talking about it. Understanding the features of a product lets you sell the benefits clearly and persuasively. Customers respond better to sales reps that are knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the product.
Cosmetics retailer LUSH is a great example of arming staff with the knowledge they need to sell effectively. As well as being given product knowledge training, staff have access to all new products free of charge, which means they know them because they use them. This ensures all sales reps are fully immersed in the LUSH brand and believe in the products they sell.
And it’s not just LUSH. Companies like Apple, Starbucks and Innocent Drinks all nurture employees to create brand ambassadors. In book stores too. In the UK, Waterstones, a store that many thought couldn’t survive the Amazon book apocalypse is now doing better than ever, in part thanks to employees being passionate readers and able to recommend books confidently to customers. Ask yourself, how well does my sales team know the product?
2. Have clear goals
From the moment you start an online demo, know exactly what you want to get out of it. As is the case with any sales meeting/call. Keep it simple and achievable. On the first one, the aim should always be about qualifying a prospect.
As 80% of sales require five follow-up calls/demos or meetings, you shouldn’t expect to close the deal there and then. Have an agenda and agree follow-up actions, such as send a quote after the call. Being able to end a demo having met your objective will do wonders for your confidence.
3. Ask the right questions
One sure fire way to qualify a prospect is to ask right questions; it shows that you’re willing to understand the prospect’s needs and find a solution. Ask questions to build a rapport, clarify, and most importantly, qualify a prospect. Find out if they have the authority to purchase, if there is a budget, what the pain/fear points are (e.g. why they need your solution) and when they might need to start working with you. Active listening is the key to a successful sales demo.
It starts with establishing rapport. Here are some examples:
- How’s business?
- Did you have a good day/weekend? What are you up to at this weekend?
- Can you tell me more about that?
- I love this [insert great thing you’ve seen] about your business. How did you come up with that?
- Your office dog is adorable. What’s his/her name?
Ask for clarity
- Could you give me an example?
- What would that look like?
- How did that affect you?
- Do you have any questions so far?
- Did I explain that clearly enough?
- Do you have any concerns?
- What are your biggest frustrations?
- What problems are you having with [name a particular product or experience]?
- Who/what do you currently use for this?
- What do you look for in a product?
- What things are most important to you in a product?
While we’re on the subject of questions, a couple of confidence-killing questions that are best avoided:
- Do you have time to talk? The answer is almost always no. While it’s nice to ask permission, you risk the line going dead before you’ve even had time to fire off a meaningful question. Get straight to your points instead.
- Have you heard of our company? Be confident enough to assume that they have, even if the chances are they haven’t.
4. Have an awesome elevator pitch
Getting through to a decision maker or budget holder isn’t easy. You might need to try a number of techniques and have patience. So when you have someone who’s happy to do an instant online demo, this is your chance to engage a potential client.
Sell the prospect on your business and what’s in it for them within the first 20 seconds. This will showcase your confidence and roll into the qualifying process smoothly.
While we’d never suggest going down the robotic route of working from a script, it could be a good idea to have an opening pitch down on paper to rehearse and perfect. Just make sure you’re not reading it verbatim, otherwise, most prospects won’t pick up on the confident vibe you might be hoping for.
5. Know when to let silence work for you
This is a big one in sales. Know when to stop talking - especially once you’ve gone in for the close and asked if they want to go ahead. Confidence is knowing when to talk and when to listen. And skilled salespeople should know when to stop talking and listen, or let a prospect talk themselves into a decision, or at least into the next stage of the sales funnel.
According to sales extraordinaire, Jill Konrath, research shows people need 8-10 seconds to formulate the start of their answer. If you interrupt during that time, you risk losing info that could close a sale. Get comfortable with silence. Ask the right questions and let prospect give you the information you need.
We hope this proves useful the next time you are on an online demo, or supporting team members and coaching them on calls.