This "Inception" product demo hack helps us get more customers

This "Inception" product demo hack helps us get more customers

“Brilliant!” That’s what I thought when I heard Kevin sell this deal.

He was giving a product demo to a prospect, but in a way I’ve never heard of before, and it ultimately helped to make the sale.

If you're looking for ways to demo your product more effectively, keep reading.

Adapt this approach to your company and you'll transform your product demo into a sales machine.

The neglected little feature I never mentioned during product demos

I’ve demoed Close hundreds of times, but never once did I mention “Opportunities” in our sales software. It’s a pretty simple and standard feature, and most sales CRMs have their own version of it.

I always kept demos focused on the main selling points for the prospect, rather than forcing them to endure an excruciatingly long parade of each and every feature our product has to offer. And our “Opportunities” window never seemed to be important enough.

It’s basically just a little box that summarizes the main points about this opportunity:


You can add a dollar value to the opportunity, a percentage to indicate how confident you are that the deal will close, the estimated date when the deal will close, what the status is, who owns it, whether it's recurring or not, comments, and you can add multiple opportunities per lead.

It’s pretty self-explanatory, and thus, I never brought it up when giving a live product demo.

Turning ordinary features into impressive experiences

Kevin on the other hand uses it in his demos. When he’s doing the demo, and sharing his screen with the prospect, at some point he tells them:

“Let me show you how this works in action. I’m obviously using Close to sell you this deal, and I’ve got you as a lead. I’m now going to open up your lead page here, so you can see how I’m using Close to sell to you.”

He then opens up the contact’s page that. It displays all their contact info and the timeline which includes the complete conversation history, both via email and phone, between Kevin and the prospect.

Kevin: “Now I want you to focus on this box here that’s called Opportunities. Tell me, how confident are you that you’re going to buy our sales software?”

Prospect: “Probably around 70%.”

Kevin: “I’m happy to hear that. This means there’s still some work to be done for me to actually win you over, but we’re on the right path.”

And he moves the confidence level on the screen to 70, while they’re watching on their screen.


Kevin: “Now let’s look at the next field, dollar value. How many users do you think you’ll buy, and at what level?”

Prospect: “Probably 10 professional users because we want the unlimited US calling from within the app and bulk email.

Kevin: “Great, that’ll be around $1100 a month, right? I can save you $1320 a year on this if you pay for a year upfront, that’s basically more than a free month. Do you want that?”

Prospect: “Sure, makes sense.”

Kevin: “So now you’re an opportunity worth $11,880 annually.” And he puts that in the opportunity field.


Kevin: “I like what I’m seeing here. Now let’s look at the Estimated Close date. How much time do you think you’ll need to make a decision, what needs to happen?”

Prospect: “Well, we just need to make sure the final integration with our internal dashboard works well, we’ll do that tomorrow, so we can probably make a decision on Wednesday.”

So Kevin takes a note and adds the Estimated Close date and clicks the save button.


Kevin: “As you can see, you’re now an $11,880 annual opportunity with a 70% chance of closing by Wednesday, depending upon the integration with your internal dashboard. Now, how can we work together to make this opportunity real, to close this deal and make this a success?”

Produce product demos Hollywood style

This is brilliant! He’s selling them our sales software by showing them how to sell with our sales software, and the example he’s using is their very own lead page which he’s updating live in front of their eyes.

It’s like sales meets Inception!

And rather than positioning himself as sales person against the prospect (like many pushy sales people), he turns this into a joined effort. Both parties are invested in making it happen.

It’s almost exciting to be invited behind the curtain and see how a company that’s selling to you is doing it, what data and notes they have on you, their internal process.

We usually don’t get to see these kinds of things, and thus, it creates this special and unique experience for the prospect. By doing it this way, it creates this almost irresistible sense of curiosity - you want to see how we're selling to you.

And because you're not hiding anything from the prospect, you're building trust in the sales process.

Why didn’t I think of this?

It seemed obvious once I thought about it, and it made me wonder: what else am I missing?

It's a good question to ask yourself regularly: What is something you could easily do that would improve your performance, but you’re not doing it because you simply haven’t thought of it yet?

How can you use this in your product demos?

Unless you’re selling sales software, you probably can’t apply this directly to your business. But how could you apply the principle to your product demos?

How can you transparently involve the prospect into the process for your own product?

How can you make your product demos more engaging and inclusive?

What were highlights you've experienecd when getting a demo?