Small and midsize businesses often share the same conundrum: a critical need to showcase their product but limited funds to do so. These budgetary restrictions include the high travel costs required to physically demonstrate solutions for prospects, both at the prospect’s location and at trade shows.
How does a cash-strapped Silicon Valley startup exhibit its offerings to demo-requesting prospects in New York, Hong Kong and Dubai? If simply emailing them a link to a free cloud trial won’t suffice—and web conferencing is too limiting—is travel the only answer?
Fortunately, there’s another high-sensory option.
When it comes to business relationships and product demonstrations, nobody can dispute the value of being in the same room as your prospects and clients. There’s no substitute for the handshakes, face time and perhaps cocktails afterward. That’s why larger organizations—those that have the resources—will continue to pay for foreign and domestic travel.
But what about SMBs that have completely marketable offerings, but are just trying to keep the lights on? The next best thing to being there may be virtual reality. Since VR offers an immersive, high-sensory experience—engaging prospects and enabling them to walk through solutions like no other medium—it may be a great play for SMBs looking to expand their reach. Imagine the virtual, client-centric customization and branding opportunities—without the cost.
Just a matter of time
VR headset sales in the U.S. will reach 2.5 million units this year, a 79% increase over last year, according to Consumer Technology Association (CTA). This is a clear indication that VR isn’t just for gaming anymore, and the SMB market must take notice. The same consumers using VR at home may very well be your next decision-making prospect in the business world.
If your hot prospect doesn’t own a VR headset, send them one. It’s much cheaper than putting your team on a plane. Prospects who aren’t accustomed to VR technology will especially appreciate the freshness of your sales pitch.
Get in the door—virutally
Let’s say you do have a travel budget, and would be more than happy to demo your solution onsite for your prospect, but you’re not invited to do so. Or you’re showcasing your product at a tradeshow, but the audience you really want to target isn’t there. Perhaps you can get in the door with the VR play. Send a less-threatening virtual invite to experience your solution. It may be seemingly low commitment for the prospect, but it’s also completely immersing them in the world you’ve created—and your next meeting may be a physical one.