How to conduct an engaging product walkthrough
Product walkthroughs are an amazing opportunity and probably your biggest stumbling block as a sales individual. Let that statement sink in.
Yes, no amount of phone calls, cold calling, emails or product information can compete with the instant impact of a product walk-through. However, very few sales individuals are adept at doing a good product walkthrough.
Before we start talking about how to make sure your product walkthroughs are engaging. A quick caveat, not all products are ‘walkthrough’ friendly. So if your product is one of those, you might want to device an alternate strategy to get the ‘wow’ factor from your prospects.
So, without further delay, here are some things you can do to make your product walkthroughs powerful.
Customize, customize, customize
If you want to avoid a regular snooze fest, customize your walk-through to make it relevant to your prospect. Talk about industry specific insights and make sure you do regular name dropping to reference other customers from the same domain.
The smartest way to name drop, is to do a quick introduction deck and have a customer’s page on the deck. You can also drop names when you are showcasing a value proposition.
The customization does not end on just name dropping.
Customization is essential when you are showcasing the product.
Don’t waste your and your prospect’s time by showing them features that have no relevance to their business case.
No matter how ‘killer’ your feature is, if the feature is not relevant to your prospect: avoid showing it off.
It is important to remember, that your prospect may not always know the best way to achieve a goal.
So as a consultant, it is your job to make sure you guide them on how to do something better with the help of your solution. So don't restrict yourself based on a 'standard' pattern. Learn to adopt your walk-through to be more consultative in nature.
Engage your attendees
A common mistake made by presenters when engaging in a product walkthrough is to ‘get on’ with the presentation when the business case is evident. No matter how well you know what to do, you need to make sure you pause at regular intervals and engage your prospects.
Another trick that ensures your prospects are engaged is to ask the silent attendees in the walkthrough to speak up.
For example, you can always engage a silent attendee like this:
“Hey Sarah, you seem to be very quiet. I hope I am not going too fast. If you have any questions, feel free to stop me in the middle.”
You can also use advanced engagement options like getting them to perform certain actions that are relevant to the product walk-through.
Listen for verbal cues to know what value pitch is working
Imagine a product that has 100 features to show case. Now imagine you narrow down your pitch based on discovery to around 20 features. That is still a lot to show without putting your attendees to sleep. It is therefore vital, that you keep an open ear for verbal cues with regards to value props that are impressing your prospects.
To give you an example, if you were a car salesman and your prospect came to life the moment you played music on the car’s music system. You know that you need to work more towards the entertainment features in the car.
The same holds good for SaaS based product walkthroughs. Listen for the ‘wow’, ‘cool’, ‘that will be useful’ verbal cues during the walk-through and then build your walkthrough around those. The biggest mistake you can make is to carry on with your walk-through regardless of what is exciting your prospect about the product.
Make it easy for your attendees to interrupt you
You heard that right. Many sales individuals we have worked with, complain that sometimes attendees put them of their ‘flow’ or are annoying because they ask too many questions.
As a sales individual this is both a good and a bad thing for you. The good thing is that the prospect is clearly engaged the bad thing is you are probably taking too long to get to what is relevant to their use case.
The best way to handle interruptions is to pause for questions regularly. In addition, be open to letting your attendees ask their questions no matter how irrelevant they are.
If you find an attendee too eager and side tracking your walk-through, politely inform them that you will setup a FAQ at the end of the walkthrough just for them and they can just keep noting down all their queries till then.
Always have a Q&A at the end and have next steps
Engagement is not just about piquing your attendees interest during the walkthrough, but it is also about making sure they are engaged once you are done with your walk-through.
So, keep a dedicated Q&A session at the end of the walk-through and make sure you have next steps outlined by the end of the walkthrough.
One final piece we recommend doing from time to time, is to get feedback on walkthrough from your attendees at regular intervals. You don’t need to get feedback after each walk-through if you want, but make sure you are collecting feedback regularly.
We hope this was useful, if you have any further questions just send us a tweet to @insideselling we will be happy to answer.