November 25, 2008

The TOP 10 Demo Mistakes

An effective demo can play an important role in clinching the deal, however if it goes wrong you may never recover. 

So here is a checklist of the Top 10 Demo Mistakes and how to avoid them:

 1. Doing the demo remotely when it should be
face to face.
Remote demos or leaving the customer to demo by him/herself mean you don't have control of how your solution is being experienced.

2. Failure to agree
success criteria
Agree in advance what the prospect considers to be a 'success'.

 3. Not
qualifying the audience
It is essential to find out in advance; the audience's level of experience, their particular interests/priorities/needs, available budget and timing.

Leaving it to chance
Too many presenters do not adequately structure and script their demos.

 5. Not enough
A good demo requires good interaction between the presenter and the audience.

6. Not focusing on what is
To avoid your audience asking 'so what?' pick a demonstration scenario that is interesting and relevant to the audience in question.  Too often demos demonstrate the technology, but not the underlying business case/application.

 7. Focusing on
features not benefits
If a demo focuses on technology features and not benefits the viewer won't really get to understand the advantages for their business.

8. A
poorly prepared presenter
A good demo in the hands of the wrong person can spell disaster.

Assuming that the audience knows more than they do
Presenters often jump straight into the detail of a demo without setting the context.

Going too fast and trying to show too much
This is another reason why scripting, storyboarding and practicing demos is so important.

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