How not to give a demo

I’m on the receiving end of a lot of demos, and they range (as you might expect) from “can’t tear myself away” to “let me put you on mute while I clip my toenails”. Over the past months, I’ve been compiling a list of things not to do when you’re giving me a demo.

  1. Don’t come into the demo without knowing (in general) what I write about, particularly what I write about vendors. Snorting derisively about the fact that I write a blog is not going to score points for you, either.
  2. Don’t patronize me, for example by using the phrase “and now I’m going to tell you a bit about something called simulation“. Assume that I know at least as much about BPM as you do. Probably more.
  3. Don’t spend 40 minutes showing me PowerPoint slides before you get to the demo. I’m here for the demo, and if you ignore that fact, then I just switch screens and read blogs while you’re talking.
  4. Don’t (try to) bullshit me. If you don’t have X in your product and I say “hey, it looks like you don’t have X”, admit it and discuss what you’re doing to address that (if anything) rather than trying to distract me with something shiny.
  5. Don’t make me pay for the phone call. If you don’t want to spring for a toll-free dial-in number, then offer to call me directly: after all, you’re probably going to get some free publicity out of this in the end.

Having been on the vendor side as well (although not in Sales), I know that’s not always a picnic either; I’d love to hear the flip-side of this list.

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