Unsolicited Advice on Marketing Demo’s

In my short time working in Litigation Support, I’ve been through a number of product demo’s from vendors and there are a couple of pet peeves of mine that could easily be avoided. I felt the need to address a couple of them here, in the hopes that someone out there will take the time to do this right!

First, and foremost, do your homework on my firm! If you have scheduled a product demo with me, you know where I work. Tthere are certain facts about the firm, facts which are easily found on the firm’s website and thus I shouldn’t have to tell you. Things like how many attorney’s we have, how many offices, their locations, etc. If you had spent 5 minutes looking at the firm’s site, you’d know these things. Lord knows I spent the 5 minutes looking at your site before the demo, please have the courtesy to do the same.

This goes double if there are any attorney’s sitting through the demo with me. Again, 5 minutes on the site can tell you what area of law they practice in, wouldn’t it be great if you knew what it was, and modified the demo “script” accordingly? Why yes, it really would!

Moving on to the scripted demo, it goes a long way with me if your sales guy can get through the demo without having it appear as if he’s never done this before. Case in point, if your hosted review solution requires popups to be allowed from that site for a certain function, and the popup gets blocked when he/she uses that function in the live demo, I can only conclude that they’ve never used the product before. Is that what you want me to conclude?

Another example? I have done a lot of training in my time, both in IT and Lit. Support. Whenever I run through my training “script”, I always make sure that I know exactly what is going to happen when I use a function. If I am teaching a class about Excel formulas, I make sure I know exactly what that formula will do in my training spreadsheet before I do it in front of an audience. In database training, I know exactly what my searches are going to return before I do them live. It only makes sense to do this. I don’t want to have to stumble around while the people I’m training watch and wait. It’s embarrassing. When you run a search to show me how the search works, and it gets no results, and you stumble around trying to get results, I’m embarrassed for you.

Lastly, if there’s a feature of your product that you don’t know how to use, or may not quite be ready, don’t try to show it to me. If it doesn’t work, that doesn’t look good.

So, in short, do your homework and practice your demo. Your demonstration of the product should come across like you have done it before, in fact like you do it every day.

Edited to add: If you promise me something during the presentation, I will not follow up with you to remind you to send it to me. Waiting to see how long it takes you to follow through is part of the test…

Edited (part 2): When you create a demo case for us and provide me with a logon to test drive your tool for myself, when I login and get an email 1 minute later telling me how you saw me login and to let you know if I have any questions, followed up by a phone call when I don’t immediately respond to your email, I don’t find it helpful, I find it creepy. It makes me want to do anything but login and test drive the product again. Is that what you want?

Tags: ProductDemonstrations, Advice
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