How to Close More Sales with Live Demos

By Jamie Davidson · March 1, 2016

Run successful live demos

Seeing is believing, right? Live virtual demos can help turn a prospect into a customer more quickly.

But not all demos are created equal. Giving a live demo online can be a great opportunity – but only if you do everything you can to prepare and present in your best light. Nothing like a bad demo to put a sour taste in your prospect’s mouth.

When done right, however, live screen share demos can help you close deals and improve collaboration with prospects and team members around the world.

Ready to run the best demo ever?

“It’s not about having the right opportunities. It’s about handling the opportunities right.” –Mark Hunter

Why live demos matter


The ability to personalize the demo to the exact group you are speaking to can make a world of difference. You’ll be able to review individual needs and give concrete examples to enhance your pitch. For example, you could use a prospect’s own data or website to show them how your product may work for them. Or you can show off any custom materials that you’ve created (proposals, graphics, etc.) to make a positive impression.

Address questions and concerns right away

When you do a live demo, nothing is completely scripted – which is a good thing. While you can follow a general plan for your main presentation, you have the flexibility to answer any questions as they arise. Adjust your focus to their desires as appropriate. That way, you mitigate any conflicts or concerns on the spot that may come up later in the buying process.

Get immediate feedback

If you’re collaborating on a project, you can give and receive feedback immediately in a live screen share. You can even hand over the presenter role to another attendee so they can share their screen. This function can be particularly useful for remote teams or freelancers to get on the same page quickly.

Full control

You control what attendees see – and what they don’t. Guide your group through things you want them to see (and leave out anything that is unfinished or may detract from your message). Control the direction of the conversation with well-prepared and organized visuals.

Show off your human side

A live demo serves as a great opportunity to show a personal touch. Again, instead of sending them a prerecorded video, you’ve offered a live demo – make sure to engage in friendly conversation and provide your unique expertise. The more a potential customer gets to know you, the more likely they are to convert.

“There are no traffic jams on the extra mile.” – Zig Ziglar

How to run a stellar live demo

Follow these best practices for maximum impact.

Know your audience

If you can, research your attendees beforehand. What does their company do? What problems might they have that you can help solve? What are they most interested in? You can shape your demo to these particulars for maximum impact.

Be upfront

Prepare them with an overview of what you’ll be covering and ask them point blank what they want you to focus on – no point in covering things they don’t necessarily care about.

Clean up your display screen

Make sure that only relevant content is displayed on your desktop. Minimize any other windows and mute any notifications that may interrupt your presentation (such as email or instant message) as these may detract from the professionalism of your demo. If you’re going to be visiting websites, load them all in advance so you’re not facing browser issues in the middle of your demo. You can quickly and easily visit each site that loaded previously. Hide any personal bookmarks or browsing history – these can be distracting.

Use a headset

The last thing you need is to be messing with a phone handset or speakerphone snafu during your meeting. Use a headset or headphones to ensure that your hands are free to drive the demo, not fumbling a phone.

Get personal

Make some small talk to get the demo going on the right foot. At the very least, ask your attendees where they’re located (if you don’t know already) and how the weather is there. It’s small but shows that you’re a real person who can make them feel welcome.

Stay secure

Confirm that demo accounts don’t reveal identifying information. It can be embarrassing (or potentially risky) to reveal personal email accounts, passwords, or content on a live demo. Create a generic test account or mockup that doesn’t compromise your security or professionalism.

Remain open to questions and feedback

Robots need not apply to conduct live demos. The purpose of doing a live demo (versus sending a recording) is to be in the moment with your attendees. So try not to get flustered if someone interrupts you or asks a question you didn’t anticipate. A live conversation is exactly that – live – and full of opportunity for you to show off how you think on your feet.

Follow up

Any good salesperson knows to follow up. Round out your presentation with a timely follow-up message summarizing your demo and offering clear next steps.

The power is in your hands now: prepare an engaging live demo to add a high-touch element to your sales funnel. Before long, the conversions will start rolling in!


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