Thursday, April 13, 2017

Make Your Demo a Purposeful Conversation

In Great Demo! Workshops we introduce the idea of “Peeling Back the Layers” and turning your demo from a firehose delivery into a two-way, bidirectional conversation.  Here are some exercises to help put some of these ideas into practice:

Exercise Number 1:  Is your customer engaged?

How can you tell if your customer is engaged and listening?  One great indicator is the number, frequency and relevance of the questions that they ask.  For example, if you demo for 10 minutes and then ask, “Any questions so far?” and hear the customer say, “Nope – we’re good”, that’s an indicator that things are going poorly…!

So, assess your last few demos (honestly):  How many minutes were there between questions from your customer?

-          1-2 is great;
-          3-4 is very good;
-          5-6 is good;
-          7-8 is risky;
-          9-10 or more is pretty bad, frankly.

So, what can you do to improve these numbers?

Exercise Number 2:  Mechanics – Avoiding “Premature Elaboration”

Do the following before your next demo:  Make a list of the questions you typically expect to get in that demo (for one product, for a set of typical job titles).

Next, prepare answers to those questions (or simply extract the answers from the talk-track of a “traditional” demo…) – but plan to let the customer ask those questions, rather than to pre-answer them in your upcoming demos. Have the answers ready to go, but put them behind your back (figuratively speaking…).

Now, generate a list of these questions in “prompter” format, so that you can track if and when these questions are asked in your upcoming demos. (“Prompter” format means using one or two words or simple word phrases).

During the demo track if and when each question is asked (it’s more important to track if than when…).  (You may need to ask a colleague to do this for/with you.)

Try to capture down any “new” questions you hear.

After the demo, review and contemplate the results.  How many questions did your customer ask on their own that were on your list?

-          80% or more is great;
-          60 – 79% is good;
-          40 – 59% is risky;
-          Less than 40% suggests that either your customer wasn’t interested or you pre-answered too many questions!

Now, set yourself an objective to increase your percentage over time.

After several demos, review the aggregated results. Do customers ask certain questions when you want them to?  Then you are doing really well..!

Note: the list of questions and rough timings is now a terrific on-boarding tool for new sales and presales folks!

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