Putting together and presenting a sales demo to a client is an effective way to convince them to invest in what you have to offer. To take your sales demo to the next level, you should incorporate demo storytelling into your package.
Telling a story is an intriguing, creative way to sell a product. It provides a form of entertainment that keeps the client engaged while also highlighting some of the key elements of a product. A story will narrate how the product can help the prospect in their daily operations.
To create the perfect demo story, you need to know what to include, and how to structure it. This article will guide you through what should be on your demo story checklist, and how to put it all together for the finished product.
What Should Be in Your Demo Story?
Like with any good story, the best ones are those that make an emotional impact on the person who hears it. This could be happiness, sadness, surprise, anger, or more. As long as it leaves a memorable impression, a story is deemed a success.
A demo story is no different. You do not want to just create and add a story for the sake of it. It should have a powerful message that stirs up the emotions of the prospect, persuading them to consider investing in your product.
One of the best ways to achieve this is by encouraging prospects to relate to what the story is about or try to put themselves in a particular position. This can be done by asking them, rhetorically, if they have ever experienced something, or found themselves in a particular situation. You can then go on to describe it in a narrative form.
Are you selling an administrative software platform? Consider asking “Have you ever lost a hard copy of an important document that was not backed up?”
The best way to connect with your prospect is to ensure that your demo story is relevant to them, their needs, and their interests.
This means that you may have to tweak your story for the personalization of each demo presentation. You could put together a broad template that is easily adjusted for every specific client you present to.
Try to align the story with your client’s business, as this will show them how your product can work for them. It also sends the message that you care for and uniquely cater to every client, regardless of who they are and what their business is about.
For example, if you are trying to sell an app that helps with electronic filing in a hospital, you may want to include a story about patient records. This will directly appeal to a hospital as they can see that your app would be relevant to them.
Telling a vague story is weak and ineffective, so you may as well cut it out of your demo completely. To make an impact, any good story needs characters.
You should include a main character that sits in the center of your story. This could be a version of the prospect, as they can then see how they might progress through the narrated progression of the character.
The main character will generally experience some sort of challenge, and eventually find a resolution to their problem by the end, using your product. There can also be supporting characters such as their colleagues or managers. You could even bring in ‘villain’ characters that create the obstacles that your main character has to overcome.
When presenting a sales demo to a client, you ultimately want to show them how your product will add value to their operations, or solve a problem or challenge that they have been dealing with.
Using a story in a demo is a fantastic way to describe how the product can meet these needs in an engaging narrative form. The first step you will need to take is to do your research on what the prospects do, and what some of their weaknesses have been.
Once you know this, you can customize the story to present a narrated scenario where a character goes through something similar and eventually has the issue resolved with your product as the solution.
For example, imagine you are selling a grammar and punctuation-checking tool to a publishing house that has experienced issues with proofreading books. You may want to tell a story of a publisher who needed a quick way to edit a book before a looming deadline and found that a safe way to do so was with your product.
How to Structure Your Demo Story
Write Up a Script
Before you get to creating a story demo presentation, you need to begin with a script of your story. This is where you put pen to paper and outline all parts of the story, from start to finish.
You should generally break it up into three parts: a start, a middle, and an end. The start will introduce characters, provide any background context, and set the scene of the story.
The middle is where there is a challenge that arises, a conflict between characters, or something goes wrong. Then, the ending will see your product provide some form of solution that assists the main character in resolving the issue, and by the conclusion, you have a happy ending.
When writing a script, try to keep it flexible for different clients. Tweak small details to suit various client pitches without disrupting the flow and quality of the story.
Highlight Features and Benefits
When creating your story demo, you should always keep your product’s features and benefits in mind. These are important to incorporate into the fabric of the story demo.
In the story, you will be telling the client about how your product can solve a problem, and ‘save the day’ at the end. When describing this, you should mention specific features and benefits of the product that contribute to it being a success in the story.
You may not be able to mention all features without overloading the client with information, so you should select those that you feel are most relevant to the particular client’s needs and challenges.
Create a Storyboard
Once you have decided what your story sounds like, you will need to decide what it is going to look like, especially if you are going to present it in a visual form. A storyboard is the perfect way to plan this.
A storyboard allows you to visualize how the story is going to be presented. This entails drawing up rough sketches or plans of each shot or scene of a story, generally created in small squares that go in chronological order of how it is presented.
This allows you to see how the story plays out, and whether it needs to be added to or adjusted for a perfect final product. If you have other team members who are in charge of putting together a visual story, this also helps them to see what your vision is so that it can be realized.
Keep it Simple
While a story does capture the attention of its audience, you should never overstay your welcome. A story demo should be kept on the shorter side, and the simpler it is, the better.
The last thing you want is for your clients to be yawning during your demo presentation. Keep the story demo time down to a few minutes, so that you do not lose their interest. Ensure it is presented in clear language and visuals so that there is no confusion, and they can understand the essence or main message of the story.
When it comes to the success of your story demo, it can only be truly measured by the reaction of the client.
Allow and encourage the client to provide feedback on your demo after you are done. This can be five minutes of discussion at the end of the meeting, or sending them a feedback form if the demo is done virtually or remotely.
Use the feedback provided to continuously change and adjust your story demo to be the best that it can be.
A good story is always a successful way to connect to people. A story demo is an interesting way to capture the attention and interest of a potential client and convince them to invest in the product you are presenting to them.
A story demo should have everything any great story has: characters, a narrative, and emotion. It should also be personalized and relevant to the client at hand.
Always plan your story well with a script and storyboard, highlight all key features and benefits to the client, and gather any feedback from them afterward. Most importantly, keep it simple and clear.
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