Unbound Growth Blog

How to Avoid Boring Sales Calls and Demos

Posted by Carole Mahoney

 12/28/18 7:28 AM

Less naps, more questions

It’s been a busy end of year... last year I spent nearly 800 hours watching recorded demos and listening to client sales calls. From discovery calls to demos, I have heard  some good, a lot of bad, and some just downright… boring.

Through that experience, I have developed some pet peeves. I am going to call these PSAs’; Potential Snore Alerts.


PSA #1: If you start off your discovery call by asking “how are you today” - you have blown your chance to differentiate. 

Asking questions in sales is essential because when you ask a question you are forcing someone to stop their thought process to address it. So why ask a throw away question like, "how are you today?" We ask it automatically and get an automatic response.

Change it up! Ask almost anything else to break the pattern in their mind. Ask how they are feeling, what their day is looking like today, even what their commute in was like. 

PSA #2: The next major go-to question; “so tell me about your role.”

That’s not actually a question, but when asked salespeople will say they “asked” about their role. I can almost hear the eye roll from your prospects....

"Tell me about your role" is the equivalent of asking that attractive someone at the bar what their zodiac sign is.

Here’s an idea- go to their LinkedIn profile, look at their education and work history and ask, “How does a Liberal Arts Communication major become a tri-athlete and managing partner to one of the fastest growing companies in North America?” 

PSA #3: The feature dump followed by the question, “Does that make sense?”

In a lot of the demos that I have watched over the past year, you could interchange anyone on the other end of the line- and it would be the same demo.

Please set aside your love for naps and give your prospects less demo and more questions!

A simple way to switch this up is to ask, “So what's going on that you wanted to speak about today?” followed by, “and how did you get to be the lucky one who is looking into it?” and then, “how long has it been that way?” and, “why are you looking to do something about it now?” 

Then with that foundation, you can ask, “Who else has complained about this?” and “what have you already tried?" Or “how do you do it now?” and then, “why do you think that did, or didn’t, work?” Followed by, “what if it continues, or isn’t fixed?” and if the problem is fixed, "what does that mean for you?"

Only then, once you have the problem and impact, are you allowed to show off your shiny baubles by saying, “What if you could do it this way?"

Thats my PSA announcement for today.

Join us for the #livesaleslab or the #livesalesmanagementlab in 2019!

We will start up our #livesaleslab again on January 15th and beginning on Monday January 14th, we will have a Live Sales MANAGEMENT Lab. So stay tuned for soon to be announced details, but save your Mondays at Noon EST for it!

Register for the Live Sales Management Lab

Topics: sales coaching, salespeople, #livesaleslab

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