Sunday, October 21, 2018

How Would You Feel If…? A Hospital Example of Daily-use vs. Set-up Mode

Imagine you go to the hospital emergency room because you think you may have broken a bone in your arm…

You arrive and:

  • The ER admissions person greets you, but then takes you through a presentation of how the hospital was built, where the funding came from, the key leadership, some of their famous customers, and their locations around the country…
  • After 15 minutes, he finally goes through the forms.
  • (Your arm hurts more and is swelling…)

After finally being admitted, you are taken to the X-Ray Department, where:

  • The ER nurse describes how to set up the X-Ray apparatus and the other imaging equipment, then discusses the network requirements and infrastructure needed to move high resolution images throughout the hospital, followed by showing you many of the nuances of the Department’s new equipment…
  • After 20 minutes, she then runs the scans.
  • (Your arm has gotten really large and hurts very, very much…)

You are taken to a room and are told that a doctor will be with you shortly.  She enters, says hello, and:

  • She logs into the hospital Electronic Health Records system, noting how easy it is set up a new doctor in the system with all of the required documentation, including current (and future) training status, specialties, hours, patients, tasks and current appointments for the day.  She shows how to add new info to the doctor’s record and how to set up a series of appointments for the next week.  She offers comments about how privacy and security are paramount and are maintained in the system, and shows how two-factor authentication works. 
  • After 25 minutes, she locates your record and reviews the completed X-Ray scans.  She concludes that you have a broken arm that needs to be set.
  • (Your arm is huge and has gone numb…)

The doctor leaves the room, noting that a nurse will be in shortly to bandage, splint and put a cast on your arm.  A few minutes later, he enters and:

  • He describes the history of bandaging, splints and casts, from medieval times to the present, followed by detailing the chemistry of how casts are formed, noting the impact of temperature, humidity and air pressure on the resulting plaster.  He then reviews the options for mixing the plaster, depending on the expected duration of use, the size and location of the cast, and finally whether the cast will be expected to support no use, occasional use, or light-continual use.
  • 30 minute later, he mixes and sets the cast on your arm.
  • (Which still hurts like hoo-ha, but the pain medication portion of this story will come another time…)

So:  How is this experience different from a demo where the presenter shows “Set-up Mode” functionality for each module, before getting to “Daily-use Mode” operation? 

For solutions on how and when to present Set-up Mode vs. Daily-use Mode, see my article

Monday, October 15, 2018

Great Demo! Workshop Participant Report on The Menu Approach – From Skeptic to Success

Here is a slightly sanitized message from a recent Great Demo! Workshop graduate:

“I used the menu technique from the start.  I found quickly that addressing specific capabilities does not take up the full hour allotted to me.  Typically, if we tried to wrap up the meeting at this point, the customer would be looking over my shoulder for more (so to speak).  So, I developed the menu slide (with hyperlinks to specific capability slides for each option).

The first time I did it, I did not do a great job of ‘selling’ the menu.  In addition, the customer was in ‘we just asked for a demo so spoon feed me!’ mode.  It was also a WebEx 😐

However, we all got into the rhythm of it pretty quickly.  They actually saw that they could take me anywhere and despite the initial reluctance on their part (and my ineptitude) we had a really positive meeting, which was far more interactive than meetings previously.

The second time, armed with my experience, I actually called out that this was not a traditional demo and explained what I would be doing right from the start.  When we had covered the specific capabilities, up came the menu and this time I was more like a three-star waiter (definitely not a silver service waiter).  This one went really well, with lots of questions, discussion etc. and the meeting over ran.  Whilst we might not win them directly, they are definitely looking at our partners to provide our solutions.

Really enjoying using the Great Demo! theories.  My initial skepticism has gone away.  Am I an expert? No. Am I getting there? Possibly.  Have my demo’s improved? You’d have to get feedback from sales, but I find the meetings are more engaging and enjoyable.” 

For more info on the Menu Approach, see the article on our website at

Monday, October 8, 2018

Demos and Hit List Length – What’s Best?

I was watching a demo recently and the presenter executed a search.  When the results came back, he said,

“…And look, we just found 375 records with that search – isn’t that terrific?”

Actually, no, it’s not.  Very few of us really want to review and sort through all 375 hits! 

When we are delivering demos, we need to be cognizant of what constitutes comfortable hit list lengths.  This may require some pre-planning and/or the use of filtering to generate “final” results lists that are more in line with the way customers typically work.

As a self-test, how far down a Google search results list do you explore?  A few records?  The first page of results?  Perhaps one or two pages?  The number of hits you typically review can give you a reference point for what length lists your customers would like to see…!