The Closing Demo

(One of the Four Types of Demo)


You’ve been working with a prospect for three months, or maybe longer. The evaluation or pilot validated that your product works in their unique environment. It’s time for the closing demo, with senior managers in attendance. Expectations are high, and everyone on both sides wants to close the deal or stop wasting time. What do you show? 

The Closing Demo is arguably the one which should have the most impact at any given account. It requires more than a blog post to explore fully, but you’ll be successful if you follow these steps with your prospect Acme:  

  1. 100% of the content of a closing demo must be about Acme’s business and technical issues, and how you solved them. Not 50%, not 90%, but 100% from the first words out of your mouth. This late in the game, generic platitudes about your company and philosophy are a complete waste of time. Here are two topic starters you can use:

    • “Acme’s technical issue was X... Together we solved it like this...”

    • “Acme wanted to reduce the cost of Y...Together we did better than Y by using our product like this...”

  2. Show your product within the context of their environment. For example, if you are selling Microsoft Excel, show Acme’s spreadsheets and formulas, importing Acme’s data from Acme’s front end and exporting to Acme’s back end. If your product integrates into a customer dashboard, menu system, or software environment, demonstrate it in that context.

    Your goal now is to show how well you fit with their existing processes and tools. Remember, their management is thinking about the cost to integrate your product and train their staff, and remembering other purchases they’ve made that ultimately did not work out.

  3. THIS IS CRUCIAL: Acme’s team leader should either perform the demo herself or narrate it. Have other Acme team members present individual topics in their specialty areas. This proves that the customer team believes in your product. Imagine how good you will look if you do this and your competitors do not. Or imagine if your competitors do this, and you do not!

One final suggestion: Usually you want to send the attendees away with some sort of report or ROI document. If you want to stand out, write the whole story of the evaluation as a narrative from Acme’s perspective. Here are some of the sections of that report:

  • How Well We Met Each of the Original Objectives for the Evaluation

  • Solving Our #1 Problem…

  • Bonus Data: Things We Learned Along the Way

  • ROI: Fast, According to Our Internal Business Case Guidelines

Use copious screen shots, and print it as a booklet. Trust us, you will be the only vendor who does this, and senior managers cannot resist reading a booklet about their company. They will show it to their boss, who will show it to their boss…more than one of these has ended up on the CEO’s desk.

Click here to contact us to see samples or learn more about effective Closing Demos.