Remote Demo’s and Online Selling

Remote Demo's and Online Selling

Many of us have home-based offices, and we utilize our computers to conduct meetings, presentations, training, and sales on a routine basis. For those unfamiliar or perhaps just uncomfortable, we’ve got some helpful tips for you here.

The Software

Numerous pieces of both SaaS (online) and downloadable software will let you conduct screen-sharing with prospects or present to a live audience. These pieces of software are all designed slightly differently and built around giving different experiences to different target groups of people, including large audiences (webinars) and small group or one-on-one situations.

GoToMeeting / GoToWebinar

GoToMeeting / GoToWebinar

GoToMeeting (GTM) and GoToWebinar (GTW) have been around for a long time and are probably the most recognizable names in screen sharing due to their early adoption by so many in this space. GTM is designed for individual or small group use and is an ideal candidate for those seeking to conduct online meetings featuring screen sharing, video, and more. GTW, on the other hand, is designed for holding online events featuring more viewers.

The biggest cons of using GTM or GTW is the overall clunkiness of the software, feeling more like something that belongs to a bygone era than a modern, slick application. It can and will get the job done – but for a price, and don’t expect more than what’s advertised.



Zoom is a web-based (SaaS) and installable application capable of sharing screens, hosting significant events, and more.

Zoom has all the features one would expect in a video conferencing application, and best of all, there is a free version that allows you to host events up to 40 minutes before it shuts down – compelling you to spend the paltry $14.99 a month for the pro version. Zoom is easy to use, feature-rich, modern, and it’s hard to find many negatives – especially given the price point.

Skype Logo


We're all familiar with skype - one of the only lone, app-based instant messaging applications still standing after their rise and decline in popularity in the '00s. But skype is much more than just an instant messaging app. It's a video conferencing, telephony, and VOIP app. It has many features that make it relevant in discussing online demonstration tools because it's often used for that purpose.

Costing practically nothing with an entirely free version available, skype is a no-brainer for everyone in the business to have. The way Skype is often used is pretty simple – talk to someone on the phone, set a meeting, ask if they have Skype – if they do, you can do a call and screen share right then and there – quickly and efficiently.

There are numerous – dozens – of applications we haven’t touched on here, and it’s essential to consider that whatever app you use, the most crucial part is not the software – it’s you.


There exist not only many software options but quite a few hardware options as well. Most already have at least adequate webcams either built into their devices or already set up; therefore, our primary concerns reside elsewhere – mics and devices. 

Although just about any computer of any degree of quality built-in about the past ten or so years can function just fine for doing online demonstrations – many tablets and other devices cannot. Some devices – incredibly cheaply made, no-name knockoffs – are not up to the task of being used as a workstation for conducting online demonstrations and shouldn’t be used for this purpose. 

Microphones are a crucial part of conducting online demonstrations, and a compelling case can even be made that poor audio costs way more sales than you might expect to hear. The fact is, lousy audio when you’re trying to talk to someone and convey information is a hindrance you cannot tolerate, and therefore – you must have decent sound. 

Many devices come with the ability to capture audio reasonably well – at least good enough to work with – right out of the box. There are numerous All-in-One computers, Laptops (including Macs), and even tablets that can and will do the job of capturing your voice just fine. However good or bad integrated audio may sound, we recommend that it’s well worth it to spend a minimal sum of money to get a dedicated microphone and a pair of earbuds to go with it.

Which Mic?

There are two options we can personally recommend having used ourselves, and those are the Rode Podcaster and the Yeti Blue series of microphones. These two plug-and-play mics work with either Mac or PC-based computers (and Linux) and have a vast array of features that make them ideal for conducting demonstrations.


Rode Podcaster

The Rode Podcaster is a dynamic USB microphone that does its job remarkably well. It features a headphone jack built onto it with a dedicated volume control knob and a very reasonable frequency response, making sure you sound your best. Its pickup range is suitable as well, and we can highly recommend this excellent dynamic USB mic.

Yeti Blue

Yeti Blue

The Yeti Blue is a USB condenser microphone that contains numerous features, including the ability to plug headphones into it with a volume adjustment knob and a gain control knob. The Yeti also features a variable pickup pattern, meaning the microphone can be adjusted via a knob to pick up sound in different ways. The build quality of the Yeti is also remarkable; it's made of solid metal and weighs a hefty 3.4lbs, which brings us to the absolute advantage of the Yeti - it comes with a stand, right out of the box, no extra's needed.

Which one? You’ll have to decide for yourself, but it’s essential to make a note of the fact that, beyond all the technical specs, microphones sound different from everyone’s voice, and it’s a good idea to make sure the mic you select is the mic you sound best using. Guitar Center and many local music stores rent these and other mics out; it might be wise to go ahead and rent yourself one or more mics before purchase to see how well it works for you and with your setup.

Earbuds, Speakers & Noise Loops

Earbuds, Speakers & Noise Loops

One rookie mistake made by perhaps millions of people every time they try to communicate online is the error of placing speakers near their integrated microphones, creating noise or sound loops. These loops occur when you hear feedback from the other side generated by the speaker's output being picked up by the mic and pushed back through to the other side. This is something that can be eliminated by the use of a pair of headphones or earbuds.

There are many brands of earphones produced by many companies with variable quality. Our advice is to check reviews and make sure that whatever you buy to use to listen does its job correctly.


Mic Basics

A bit of basic theory is vital for everyone to know when it comes to microphones because not everyone is an audiophile, and there are some terms you'll need to understand. The first thing you need to understand is that just like a speaker has a volume which is a measure of sounds level coming out of the speaker, microphones have gain, which is a measure of the sensitivity or sound level which they will in-turn pickup.

On Yeti’s Blue mic gain is indicated by a simple knob which you can turn, which will increase or decrease your voice level – simple, but essential to understanding how mics work.

Condenser vs. Dynamic Mics

The second thing you need to understand about microphones is that there are two basic microphones – dynamic and condenser. The mics that are integrated into most laptops, desktops, phones, headsets, and more are small condenser mics. They are used because they are small in size and cheap to manufacture, and, let’s face it, they do their job okay for necessary communications just fine.

Most (if not all) mics you’ve seen mounted on podiums and screamed into by several generations of rockstars are dynamic mics. The difference between a dynamic and a condenser microphone is that condenser mics run on electricity, which is required to function, and dynamic mics do not. Dynamic mics generate enough electricity using specially designed magnetic capsules that don’t need to be fed power. The primary difference between dynamic mics and condenser mics in practical use is that dynamic mics have a concise, effective pickup range – they pick up the person talking just fine but mute the background noise naturally because of their natural design.

All this is why when you see people in studios, they are always using dynamic microphones such as the Electrovoice RE20 or Shure SM7B, which are two very popular dynamic broadcast mics.

Note: Professional mics use what is known as an XLR connector – a large, three-pronged connector engineered in the early 20th century. This connection type is incompatible with PCs and requires a dedicated ‘interface’ to send a signal in via USB.

Why Not Dynamic?

You may notice one of our top mic recommendations here – the Yeti – is a condenser mic. To be precise, the Rode is a dynamic USB mic, and the Yeti is a condenser USB mic; both also act as external sound-cards and allow you to listen as well as talk through the same device – the mic. The reason we recommend this and not a regular broadcast dynamic option is simple – cost and complexity. A dynamic mic requires a microphone preamplifier and a dedicated interface – usually, an external sound card with a preamp built-in that plugs into the computer’s USB or Firewire. This is expensive and unnecessary for someone running a home-based office.

Set & Setting

When conducting online presentations, the most important thing to consider initially is your set and setting.

Often, the uninitiated will plop their laptop on their kitchen table and start trying to use it to conduct demonstrations and whatnot, paying little attention to background noises, lighting problems, and interruptions – this is a huge mistake. 

When you hop on to conduct a demonstration as an attendee, would you like to hear the person talk? What if you witness a gigantic mess if they share their cam? What if other people interrupt your presenter?, What if there is tremendous background noise spoiling your ability to listen?. The odds are, if you were on a meeting plagued with issues, you’d be upset and likely not buy – nor will your prospects if you aren’t careful. 

Your background should be relatively uncluttered and not distracting; the light should be adequate to illuminate you but not positioned or intensified to such a degree that it becomes ridiculous. Background noise is a significant consideration and has got to be kept to a minimum.

Computer Setup

Computer Setup

Moving on from the microphone and software, the next piece of hardware that needs to do its job is your computer. Most computers manufactured in about the last 10 to 12 years will host a webinar just fine if used correctly. The problem most people encounter with their computers is user error. Many times, people who are otherwise incredibly professional, neat, and tidy have computers so messy and full of junk they can either barely run correctly or else they are a visual marvel to behold the mess that resides upon them - this won't do.

If you’re broadcasting your desktop to a prospect – it should be a clean desktop. If you want to make sales, you have to consider the viewer’s perspective and the technical underpinnings of what you’re doing. 

Whenever we conduct webinars here at Rocket Driver, we always do a thorough cleanup and inspection of computers that are already swept daily for viruses and intrusions and not used for personal web browsing. We strongly advise all of our partners to do the same.

  • Make sure your browser history is cleared!
  • Make sure your cache is cleared!
  • Make sure your desktop is neat and tidy!
  • Hide your bookmarks and other things questionable – if they are questionable!

The idea is basically to treat your computer’s desktop and anything you plan on showing to someone like it’s your office – give it a good sweep before you invite anyone in, eh?

Cam Options

Cam Options

Like with microphones, there is an entire realm of different camera options available, ranging from the incredibly inadequate and obsolete on up to the professional and ridiculously expensive. Fortunately for many people, the integrated webcams in their all-in-one computers, desktops, tablets, and other systems are usually more than good enough to get the job done today- but that doesn't mean you don't have options.

For most people, the best option for upgrading their camera to do presentations is the Logitech C920 or C930 line of cameras. The C920 features a relatively small aperture (recording field of view), making it ideal for those who wish to present themselves but not a wide area behind and beside themselves. The C930 is newer and features a fisheye lens that increases the area it can pick up and therefore captures more. 

With good integrated options, you have to ask yourself when it comes to your camera whether or not what you have is doing its job effectively.

When it comes to analyzing whether your cam is up to the task or not, the essential criteria are – how awful does this look or not? If the output of the cam is blurry, angled wrong, and fixed in that incorrect position or other issues – it’s time for an upgrade, period.

The next question related to cams is the practical benefit and how this relates to you getting sales.

Some people are naturally fond of using the cam as a tool for sales because they (rightly) recognize that it increases rapid rapport building with prospects and sends a confident message – stats back this up. 

If you’re someone naturally gun-shy of webcam exposure with prospects, it’s understandable (I was!). Still, you have to realize that the benefits dramatically outweigh the negatives, and with preparation, you’ll do fine.

Many people stumble when it comes to the camera because they become self-conscious of themselves and their surroundings and tend to critique themselves negatively. Does this remind you of anything? It should, sales itself. Most new salespeople have the same anxiety and apprehension about going onto demos – period. With experience, it becomes more relaxed, more comfortable, and more natural, and after a while, your polish will become evident to viewers.

Presentation(s) vs. Meeting(s)

This article concerns itself primarily with the fundamentals of conducting online demonstrations for sales; however, everything here applies equally well to hosting online meetings. 

A considerable benefit of being set up to do online demos and meetings is meeting with clients on their schedule and showing them progress or even upsell them more services. This cannot be overstated in terms of how powerful it is to have pre-determined monthly meetings with clients where you can flip on the laptop and talk to them in a way that communicates the value of your services and shows that you care while being a tool for sales.


Of all the errors made by salespeople, perhaps the biggest and worst of all is when it comes to being late for meetings, and online sessions are no exception. The truth is showing up late to an online meeting you’re supposed to be hosting almost guarantees that it’s going to be a failure. The fact is that no attendee is going to sit on their computer staring into the monitor waiting (hoping) someone shows up – they’re gone, in minutes, and so is your sale.

The reason for salespeople’s delay is not a lack of respect or desire to make money – it’s the chaos of doing their job coupled with inappropriate or lacking systems. 

To be on time, every time, you have to have a scheduling system of some sort, and ideally, in this day and age, it should be digital and give you a reminder. 

There are so many systems available to help you keep track of your schedule that it would take ages to cover all of them. Our recommendation is Calendly, a scheduling and appointment management application that is web-based and integrates directly with Zoom. 

Meeting Planning

Meeting Planning

Moving on entirely from the hardware and software, the next big hurdle many people face is how to conduct their meetings with prospects. Having conducted thousands of webinars and online meetings, I can tell you that preparation is the key to success & going into battle without a game plan is a foolish idea.

Suppose you want to succeed as a salesperson doing demos online. In that case, you have to develop a plan of attack for every prospect individually – just like with any typical sales situation.

Since online demonstrations feature screen sharing and cameras as visual aids and because it’s a bully pulpit where you’re free to control the viewer’s attention and focus it upon what you want, it’s a good idea to do your homework on them first. It’s good to start by checking their website, digging into what is or isn’t wrong there, then browse online, researching them and their competitors. Once you have a picture of what you, from the outside, see as lacking, then you come armed to the conversation about that person later on.

Common Mistakes

It’s prevalent for salespeople to hop onto webinars with a generic “canned” presentation in mind. This happens far too often and has spoiled many sales. In our industry, the needs of one company don’t always translate well to another and maybe diametrically opposite. You have to take the time to do your homework and conduct your demonstrations based upon both the real needs of your prospect and what they think.

This brings us to a crucial point: in this business, as many of you know, sales is a matter of gently nudging prospects in the right direction and usually throwing some cold water on false perceptions and ideas they may have. 

A widespread scenario is for a website to be both obsolete and hideous and for its owner to think it’s fantastic despite never earning them a nickel. 

When you’re in person with someone and showing them something new they haven’t seen before, it tends to be easy to persuade and educate them. Online meetings can be a slightly different story and require a gentler approach – because of the lack of physical presence and how this plays on charisma and persuasion generally.

Wrapping Up

Another widespread mistake made by many salespeople selling online and in-person is that they don’t bother to handle the wrap-ups of sales properly, and they pay dearly for it. At the end of every single viable sales call you to have – whether online or off – you should be scheduling and pinning down a follow-up with your prospect.

Scheduling is the natural part because, generally speaking, there is always something in the future to discuss and go over. If your meeting was viable, then you should have to have either a quote generated for that prospect or, more often than not, there is more to cover and no time left to do it. Often the closing will have taken place on that meeting – minus money changing hands then and there, of course requiring a future meeting. So you have the rationale baked in the cake of the conference itself; all a good salesperson has to do is ask when would be convenient for us to reconvene? – that’s it, keep it simple. If they respond negatively to the idea of a future online meeting, a phone call can sometimes suffice.

The point of all this is, make sure you schedule your next contact with your prospect right then and there, don’t get caught chasing a sale you already sold – foolish.

Following Up

Following Up

Second only to not scheduling in the grander pantheon of errors is not following up. It's impossible to quantify or attempt to even hazard a guess as to how many salespeople make this error, but if we could see that figure, our guess is it would be pretty high.

If you don’t chase the money in sales, you will never catch the sale – it’s that simple. If you’re working hard to market to people, spending your money and time working on getting the opportunity to demonstrate to prospects, then you ought to never shortchange yourself through laziness and disorganization. 

The simple truth is that a vast number of demonstrations end in a kind of stalemate or standoff of sorts; the prospect wants what you have, they can afford it, they are just stuck on the fence and cannot or will not make a snap decision of any kind. In cases where your meetings end in radio silence, a serious effort must be made to contact that prospect. What you need to do is get them back into your pipeline – get them on the phone, schedule a follow-up meeting, and go at them again – and again, and keep going at them until you close them out or burn them out as a lead. 

Final Thoughts

Remote sales are not new; they began as a novelty with the telegraph and quickly progressed to the telephone and now the computer. Anyone and everyone can become an effective communicator and develop the skills necessary to conduct excellent online demonstrations. 

What differentiates excellent communicators and presenters from mediocre ones isn’t their messaging – it’s their message. Treat each demonstration as an opportunity to learn and grow as a sales professional. You’ll be on the fast track to success because your messaging will improve as you learn to be a better researcher and consultant and apply the theory behind digital marketing services to real-world scenarios.

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