Monday, March 12, 2018

I Used to Think I Was Really Good at Doing Demos…

I used to think I was really good at doing demos…  But I didn’t know the truth. 

I assumed that that I was really good since my demos were smooth, polished, in high demand by my sales counterparts and complimented by customers.  I assumed that since my talk-track was complete, confident, and covered most everything, I was really good.  I assumed that since I could pack a pile of content into a 1-hour web session, I was really good.

But I didn’t know what I didn’t know.

My demos were good, but they could have been MUCH better.  I thought I was “unconsciously competent”, executing my demos consistently and confidently, but it turned out I was (in fact) “unconsciously INCOMPETENT” – I didn’t know what I didn’t know…

Based on this, here are a few thoughts to consider…

- If you have a polished, consistent talk track – your demos could be better.
- If you present a standard demo much of the time – your demos could be better.
- If you anticipate all of the questions people might ask and address them before they are asked – your demos could be better.
- If you make sure to cover your key differentiators – your demos could be better.
- If your audience is generally just quiet – your demos could be getter.
- If your audience often responds to your check-in of “Any questions so far?” with the response, “Nope, we’re good…” – your demos could be better.
- If you frequently run out of time – your demos could be better.
- If you do a demo and the customer says, “Thanks, we’d like to run a POC” – your demos could be better.
- If your customers say, when they negotiate their license agreement, “You showed us a bunch of stuff we won’t use, so reduce the license fees…” – your demos could be better.

And the list goes on…!

Those of us who are “seasoned veterans” likely have the most to learn – and unlearn.

After all, what is the definition of an expert in the world of demos?  I’d say it is someone who is consciously and constantly seeking to improve…

So, if you think you are really good at demos – and yet you’d like to get even better, contemplate taking a demos skills training course (hey – how about a Great Demo! Workshop or Master Class?).  Perhaps, like me, you don’t know what you don’t know…!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Logging In As "Sys Admin" For Demos…

One of our objectives in a demo is to “suspend disbelief” – to make the demo appear as real to the customer as possible.  A rapid way to destroy the illusion is to login as a “System Administrator” – and worse, to call out specifically that you are doing so.

The only people who actually login as a System Administrator are, well, System Administrators…  Everyone else – Execs, Middle Managers, and Staff End-Users – would likely never login as a Sys Admin are at risk of being confused or overwhelmed.

A great alternative was proposed by a recent Great Demo! Workshop participant, who suggested changing the display name from “Sys Admin” to the actual name of the key customer participant in the demo meeting.  Wonderful!

Monday, March 5, 2018

[Warning - Shameless Self-Promotion Alert!] Great Demo! Public Workshops and Master Classes

Our next Great Demo! Public Workshops and Master Classes are scheduled as follows:

Public Workshops:
  • (March 14-15 in Atlanta Great Demo! Public Workshop – is SOLD OUT).
  • April 18-19 Silicon Valley Great Demo! Public Workshop – click here for pricing and registration information.
  • June 13-14 on the Silicon Slope (Salt Lake City area) – contact me for more information.
  • September 5-6 Amsterdam Great Demo! Public Workshop – contact Natasja Bax at for more information.
  • October 10-11 Silicon Valley Great Demo! Public Workshop – click here for pricing and registration information.

Master Classes:
  • June 13-14 Chicago Great Demo! Public Master Class – contact Paul Pearce at for more information.

Public Workshops are excellent opportunities for individuals, small groups or for teams that have new hires. They are 1.75-Day Workshops, with the first day focusing largely on core Great Demo! material and the second ¾ day addressing more advanced topics and techniques. 

We’ve found that these sessions are most productive when there are two or more participants from each organization – and best when a combination of sales and presales participants are present (singletons are also fine). This helps to mimic real-life interactions as much as possible, both when preparing demos and delivering them in the role-play sessions.

Public Master Classes bring your team’s demo and Discovery skills to a truly outstanding level of practice:

  • Take your team’s demos to the next level
  • Develop high-performing Questioning and Discovery skills
  • Master complex situations of multiple players and solutions
  • Explore more challenging situations, beyond the “core” methodology
  • Reward and provide incentive for your team overall

Master Classes are typically 1.5-Days in length.  Participants are expected to have completed a Great Demo! Workshop previously.

PS - If you do decide to register for San Francisco Bay Area Public Workshops and are coming from out of town, you might want to make reservations now at the hotel where the Workshop will take place or nearby, as hotels tend to fill up fairly quickly.