How to turn down demo requests from non-target customers?

Since we rolled out a demo request link on our site, we've been getting a healthy amount of calls set up. And though the demo request form has questions that help us gauge if a prospect would be a good fit, there are some prospects that we know would definitely not be a good fit but have a demo scheduled.

Is it a good idea to retroactively decline a demo call with an explanation? Any tips to lessen the amount of demo requests from non-target customers?

  1. 2

    Hey Kevin, I get the struggle, but don't think retroactively declining the demo offer straight up is the way to go.

    Firstly, I'd refine your demo request form to filter out more non-target customers if that's really a serious problem...

    Secondly, if you notice that a 'bad fit' prospect signs up anyway, I'd send them a helpful email checking that they actually want the call.

    After all, it'll be a waste of time for them as well.

    The points you want to hit are something like...

    • It looks like you're { bad fit reason }, is that the case?
    • If so, then I just want to give you a heads up that { competitor/alternative solution } might be a better fit for your needs instead.
    • Otherwise, if you're { good fit reason }, apologies for the confusion - I'm looking forward to seeing how we can help on our call at { time }.

    That way, you're consistently providing value.

    1. 1

      Great advice, thanks!

  2. 1

    What percentage of sales are you making on the demo requests?

    1. 1

      Started last week, with an extremely poor demo script. On week #2, I only opened up this Thursday so I could have time to finesse the pitch, demo, etc (along w/ other pertinent non-sales tasks).

      Even then, there's only 4 demo slots I can have per day (I'm currently not US- based), so this makes it hard to make calls with prospects 9-5.

      Nonetheless, learning has been extremely valuable. It's going to take us some time to improve and set some benchmarks on sales call conversions.

      People who request demos typically have other demos lined up with larger competitors. We're in a marketplace w/ 50+ competitors. We're not the best fit for certain verticals (e.g, eCommerce stores) -- so starting to learn more about exactly who's a good prospect for us

      To answer your question, if you gave us a few months, I could let you know if was worth it for us or if we were able to make it worthwhile.

      1. 1

        It sounds like you are doing something right though to get any responses at all. Do you feel they are random people just surfing by?

        What kind of feedback are you getting during the demos?

        1. 1

          Some brick-and-mortars and agencies request demos, but we're not the best solution for them. Also a lot of eCommerce stores but there are better tools out there we'd recommend. We're working on updating our language to make this more clear.

          Listening to the types of rewards and referral programs people want to run has been helpful (most already know) and since our marketing site is pretty sparse, talking to prospects helps us learn what the true FAQs are that we should be acknowledging on our site.

  3. 1

    You need to be recording your demos to the healthy prospects and make those public, then redirect the prospects that don't seem like a good fit to them.

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