In many organizations, the marketing group is charged with building demand and generating qualified leads. Often, the marketing group runs webinars with generic demonstrations to compel prospects to reach out for a more engaging conversation. When prospects decline to conduct a short discovery, first point them to a relevant webinar session. You can also reinforce the importance of a discovery session prior to providing a personalized demo.
Additionally, many software vendors have a “request a demo” button on their website. This entry point for prospects sets a perceived expectation of a demo. The keyword is request. This is meant to capture warm prospects; those prospects who are interested enough to share their information. Some people think you owe the prospect a demo when they have contacted you through this channel. Yes, you should share some form of a demo with the prospect. However, as a sales person, it is your job to qualify what you share, point them to a recorded demo, or offer a personalized demo after discovery.
You have the right to ask the prospect for more information. Say, “Before I show you a demo, I want to make sure we focus on how our product can impact your business. Let’s set aside some time to discuss your business a little more. Then, we can show you a personalized demo that meets your business needs. Otherwise, I can share a recorded demo.” Prospects are looking for products to solve a business problem. If they do not want to discuss their problem, then there is either no problem or there is no trust. A generic demo will not build trust.