Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Demo Tourette Syndrome

Does your demo sound like you have DTS? That’s right, Demo Tourette Syndrome. You start out sounding fairly normal, then you start blurting out buzz words, features, and functions. Not pretty.

It has happened to all of us. We all know there are features that will have value to the prospect and may tip the scales in our favor, but… What is one of the keys to a successful technical demo? That’s right, tell a story. Blurting out features does not tell a story, in fact it ruins the flow of any story you may be telling.

So how do we do this, adding some disconnected features to a good demo flow? A little planning is a good start. The discussions you have with the prospect will let you know what features they need to see. If these can be aligned to tell a smooth story, great. But what about the flyers, those features outside of the story? Two stories can be better than one, but even that is sometimes not possible.

Tell your story and get agreement that you have met the primary need, and then say that in addition to all of that, they also will be able to do the following, listing the features and benefits. Hold them till the end, resist the urge to talk about items outside of your storyline while in the same area or module.