smb-tech-trendsWhoever wrote Murphy’s Law – anything that can go wrong, will go wrong – must have been doing product demos. If your small business is employing video to showcase how your product works; you have the benefit of retakes until you get everything right.  However, there are times when you need to do a live demo – at a trade show, in your small business office –  possibly on a video conference –  or onsite at a customer or prospect’s offices. Then you not only need to take steps to insure your product functions well; you also need to make sure your presentation is lively, compelling and clear in real time.

Here are six things to keep in mind when you are planning a product demo:

Know the product inside out: Knowing your product means more than being familiar with all of its features and functions.  Anticipate what questions customers and prospects may have about your product and be prepared to answer them. Also research online what buyers are saying about similar products or yours if it’s already available. Be prepared to address references to unfavorable online reviews or negative customer experiences.

Understand customer needs: Know as much as possible about your audience – what are their needs and buying habits. Develop your presentation from the user’s perspective in terms of how the product and specific features/functions will answer a need, solve a problem or create an opportunity.

product demoKeep it concise: Have a written script and follow it. It will keep the presentation focused. Your script should be simple and include key points you’ve identified through research that are ‘need to know’ for your audience. Avoid tech talk, jargon and hyperbole, such as terms like “best in class” or “industry leading.”

Practice: Rehearse your script several times to make sure your presentation flows smoothly and is engaging and has a rhythm to it. Practice in front of several of your small business team members, get feedback and have them ask questions.  You should rehearse at least three times to make sure everything is right.

Prepare supporting materials: If you have handouts or a slide presentation to accompany your presentation, finalize the materials a few days before your live demo.

Trial run: If possible do a trial run at the site where you will be demonstrating the product to make sure all the equipment is working and to test the sound quality. This may be difficult if you are demonstrating a product at a customer’s site but ask if you can.

We can all learn from each other.  Do you a have product demo worst experience to share?

Help us get out the vote for 2013 Small Business Influencer Award

Vote-2013-125x125-red - Copy-4It’s an honor to be among the nominees for the 2013 Small Business Influencer Awards. Voting is underway and continues until September 9. You can vote daily until then.  We appreciate your vote!