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Great Tips for Using Video Conferencing to Demo Your Product

March 14, 2012
at 8:58 am PST

Online meetings are a great day to deliver a product demo. They can save time and money, but doing a great job requires you adapt your skill set so you do a terrific job.

In addition to the marketing and public relations skills you already have, you’ll need to learn to embrace the tools you have for the online demo and then pump up the volume on your “wow” factor since having a nice lunch afterward isn’t on the agenda.

Lessons from the Front

Software product manager Gopal Shenoy writes about his recent experiences conducting three demos during online meetings. Two went well and the third “was an outright disaster”.

The bottom line: You can choose to avoid doing the homework to your own peril or spend the time during discovery to start building effective relationships with your prospects.

Nate Westheimer at Innonate offers some firsthand tips (and examples) for pulling together a great demo.

It pains me when people come to demo and, instead of putting on a magic show — showing off how humans (themselves) and software interact — they try to inspire the audience through their words and by speaking about their ideas; or, just as bad, they flip through a bunch of preloaded tabs in an effort to “show” the product, as if pre-loaded tabs are any better than PowerPoint slides.

Technology Do’s and Don’ts

1. Find out some basics before you set up the WebEx.

Will they be in an office, a conference room? Are there likely to be distractions? Do what you can to help them control their experience so you will be heard and you’ll have their attention. Dialing in on a phone line is probably optimum for them to hear every nuance (it also helps if you decide to record the meeting).

2. Take advantage of the technology.

Don’t set up a WebEx and then bore people with a list of bullets on a PowerPoint presentation. Customers don’t want 15 minutes on the history of your company or why you’re in business, they want to see it. Show the audience what your product can do, don’t merely tell them about it. Consider having a splash screen up to open the meeting -- a great graphic can set the tone. Use video chat to create a personal connection. Record the meeting so you don’t have to take notes.

3. Keep it simple and if something goes wrong, stay cool.

If something fails, remember, it’s your reaction to the failure tells people how you cope under fire and how agile you are in solving problems when things don’t go according to plan.

Good luck! We wish you every success.

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