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Why The Perfect Sales Demo Never Includes the Word “If”

February 16, 2022

The ‘If’ Trap: How it’s Sabotaging Your Sales Demos

Do you want a telltale sign that your product demos aren’t very good? Listen to how many times you say “if.”


Every time you say “if”,  add 10 points. If you collect 20 or more points, you’re doing a terrible job. That’s how bad it is if you’re using “if” more than once in your demos.

I’m sure many of you are wondering what saying “if” has to do with delivering a good sales demo.

Let me explain.


Keys to effective sales presentations

When doing sales presentations, it’s our job to share the features and functions of the product that meets the specific and pre-identified needs of the prospect. Unfortunately, when we say “if” we aren’t showing the features and functions that meet the client’s needs. In reality, we’re saying we don’t know what their business needs are but we’re going to show them the feature anyway.

Let me clarify.

Imagine you’re a rep for WordPress. You’ve prepped your sales presentation in PowerPoint, and now you’re doing a demo for a prospect, and you say, “If your organization has multiple authors and editors who have different approval levels, you’ll like this feature.”

The telltale sign of ill-prepared salespeople

It’s if-then statements like the one described that destroy a demo. By inserting “if” into product demos, we communicate to the buyer that we have little understanding of how their business works, what’s important to them, or what they need.

It’s ill-prepared salespeople who are unfamiliar with their prospect’s business processes, goals, objectives, and needs that use if-then statements. Salespeople use “if” as a way to sling features like spaghetti at a wall to see what sticks. 


Ditch the sales script

Salespeople who use “if” in their demos are hoping that by saying “if you use this” or “if you do this” or “if you have that”, the buyer will eventually say “yes,” we do have that, or we do use that, in order to figure out what the prospect needs. You know that file on your computer, Sales Presentation Script, that you change the name of the prospect and the company and that’s it, delete it, now. 

This type of selling is lazy and doesn’t do anyone any favors.

Tailored product demos

Before a salesperson does a demo, they must know what’s important to the buyer, how they run their business, what their processes look like and more. There is no time for “if” statements in a good demo.

If you’re using “if” in your sales demos, it’s time to stop. You’re just telling your customer that you have no clue what they need or how you can help and that you’re hoping they will share their requirements with you– but that’s not their job. Your sales presentation outline, agenda, whatever you want to call it should be catered to only the features and tools that directly alleviate the problems you’ve identified in your discovery. 

Don’t make your buyers do your job.

Want to learn more about what it takes to avoid “if” perform kickass sales demos that increase close rates? Check out our Free E-book here.




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