The Three Es of a Great Sales Demo — A Chain Reaction

John Mansour
3 min readOct 11, 2023

When all three of these factors are present, it’s going to be a great sales demo.

There are a lot of steps in the sales process that can make or break a deal, but buyer politics aside, the demo is the biggest hurdle to clear because the product is the centerpiece of the evaluation.

The Goal of Every Sales Demo

A great sales demo creates a greater urgency to buy, which accelerates the sales process and ideally cuts to the chase to get the deal done. Here’s why. A great demo helps buyers envision themselves using your products to make their job easier and get better results. It’s the great emotional buying driver.

The endgame is to get everyone on the buyer’s evaluation team pushing internally and cutting through the politics to help you close the deal sooner rather than later so their vision for how they work (with your product) becomes a reality ASAP.

Here are three things that can help your cause and there’s a chain reaction that happens when you nail the first one.

The 3 Es of a Great Sales Demo

1. Empathize

Think of yourself as a therapist here, and it begins in the discovery phase. It starts by being a great listener. Then all you have to do is share a story or two about your own experiences or those of another customer that were just like the situation your buyers are describing to you.

Say things you know they’ll agree with. “You’re 100% right! That’s a total nightmare. I remember when…”

You’re walking in their shoes and speaking about something as eloquently as they are. You’ve now established credibility and have perfect context for whatever you’re going to show in the product.

2. Engage

You’ve earned credibility because you’re projecting yourself as a fully-fledged expert on the business of the customer at a level that far exceeds the competition. Your buyers are now fully engaged.

Here’s how you’ll know. They’ll start asking “best-practice” questions that have nothing to do with your product and more to do with how everyone else is doing something or how you did it (if you’re a former practitioner).

Put the demo aside for a minute and take the opportunity to fully engage them in a business discussion. Your knowledge of their business or educating them on new practices makes your product look all the better.

3. Energize

The result of buyers becoming fully engaged with the presenter is they become energized. You’re having a great discussion about why they have the issues, the outcomes they’re after and best practices to get there using your product.

They can now see themselves doing their job with your product and they’re imagining how much better it will be relative to whatever they’re doing now. When they’re energized, they’re ready to buy.

The Bottom Line on Great Sales Demos

We’re making one big assumption here and it’s the fact that your product makes the job of your buyers look much easier and more desirable than it is now!

With that as the backdrop, presenting from the perspective that you’ve been in the buyer’s shoes shows “empathy.” Now they’re “engaged” because you’ve demonstrated tremendous credibility by speaking their language and convincing them you understand their business as well as they do.

Because you’re in a good cadence of framing things that stress them most then showing the solution with a few features (the end result, not how you got there), they’re now “energized” to advance the sales process. You’ve given them hope by selling to their aspirations.

It’s like a form of therapy for your buyers, and when they feel good about you, they’re more likely to buy from you!

Want to learn the art of software demos that encompass these three factors? Check out Product Management University Demo Courses, on-demand or live, and get certified in value-based demos.

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John Mansour

Eliminate inconsistencies in how customer value is defined with personalized hands-on training courses for B2B/B2B2C product management & product marketing.