How to use Leading Questions in Demos to Show Solutions? We see leading questions in almost all demos. Sometimes they are big wins and sometimes they can cost the solutions department and account managers a sale. In this blog we are going to take a quick dive into why we use leading questions, what they accomplish, and isolate when they are a winning maneuver in a SaaS sales demo.
What is a Leading Question?
A leading question is a targeted question that may or may not arise from discovery, refers to a function of your software, and is not brought up by the client. These look like this,
“Let me ask you a question…….”
“If I am hearing you correctly you use this, but what if I showed you this……”
There is nothing wrong with a leading question. Many times they can win deals, depending on time, who is asking, and where in the demo the question is asked. They can also rescue a demo if the solutions consultant is new and starts veering in a direction away from the discovery findings.
Why do we use these so often?
Everyone wants to make a point and get a deal sold. There may be new features that you are excited about, you might be itching to show a client. Another example might be that you are nearing the end of a demo and have 20 minutes left, so figure, hey why not show more features? This is called demo stuffing. See a quick video on why this is a bad idea. The last reason we mention above is to try to recapture lost attention with a bright, shiny, feature, that the client may or may not respond to.
When is a Leading Question, Good?
If you are nearing the end of a demo, say have 25 minutes left, and you have, on good authority from sales lead that they would potentially be interested in a feature, this is the time to ask a leading question. A good example would be a common problem to someone in their field, or all fields, such as virtual solutions. Many times this peaks interest and they maybe had forgotten to ask about a feature because they were thinking about something else and you reminded them. Listen very carefully when they reply to the leading question. If they intimate that they are happy with their current solution, do not push on showing how great yours is; they do not care and could get offended.
When is a Leading Question, Bad?
Sometimes we go into a demo without a lot to go on. Maybe we are in the wrong stage of the process, maybe the discovery was not conducted properly, and maybe you are trying to regain control of a demo that has gone off rails with solutions and features confused. Leading questions have the incredible power to get them back on track, and make things worse. Bad leading questions are those that are initiated quite simply, by anyone on the product side, that does not come from either prior discovery or from the client. Asking questions just to show features is not going to impress your client. Remember this is for their benefit, not yours.
Ultimately, How to use Leading Questions in Demos?
Yes. You should use leading questions to help address concerns that were not brought up in the demo by the client, but were part of the discovery, OR near the end of a demo, to address common concerns that you can be reasonably sure that they experience. Leading questions are a form of manipulation and the audience is going to feel this. Be sure before you start down this road, that you establish trust. This is why asking leading questions near the end of the demo is so important. They already trust you, since you have solved problems, so introducing new solutions that they may be interested in, does not hurt the demo outcome.