Business Development and Sales Professionals

Know Your Real Competition

Your real competition is not other companies. It is…

Hundreds of stimuli competing for your audience’s attention
Your self-interest which is competing with the interests of the audience.
Presentation rules—outdated and based on mistaken premises

A Fresh, Not Canned, Demo or Sales Presentation is Good for Your Customer and Your Company

I am immersed with a client as they build and rehearse a demo which is part of the proposal submission process. The attention to details that reflect this one particular customer’s needs is impressive. Every required scenario has been deconstructed so that all requirements are covered and there is true cohesion across the spectrum of capabilities of the product.

The proposed implementation team from Program Manager to task leads to developers are involved. This company recognizes that a generic demo delivered by account managers and the sales team will not help them wow their customer. No matter how many demos they are asked to do, they always use the proposed delivery team to customize the demo, practice and rehearse it and deliver to the customer. They have an impressive track record of contracts awarded.

Contrast this approach to companies who have a traveling team of sales and demo people who focus on the product rather than the customer. The prep work is certainly less and I also think the impression made is also far less than amazing. A customized demo impress the customer and it establishes a relationship between the people who will be working on the implementation and the customer’s team before project start.

This client has gone a step further by creating a means of keeping the implementation team members in the forefront of the customer’s minds. From the time of the demo through the decision period the customer has pictures that help them recall the real people and look forward to working with them.

The next time and every time you’re invited to demo your product make the investment in customizing the demo. You will be rewarded many times over.

How do you demo your IT product without making the customer’s eyes glaze over?
These three factors have earned my clients many contracts.
1) remember that a demo is not training. You must not try to teach every step of every process your product is capable of.
2) there is always an end user for each process or capability. Adopt the persona of various end users and help your customer visualize how their own people will use the product.
3) focus on the benefits of the product in all your speaking. As you introduce a new process or capability, talk about how this component advances them towards their goals.

Of course you have to have an awesome product and your demo must be customized to the customer. No one applies a generic product to their needs. Be specific. A recent client did all of the above and won a contract over two much larger competitors. Personalization of an outstanding product awed the customer.

Begin the “getting to know you” stage with these questions

What works in print does not work in person

With ever-faster technology your audiences have been trained to process many images and sounds faster than ever. Successful speeches and presentations are not written documents delivered by mouth.

Just think “iPad” and “smartphone” and you’ll get the picture.

Explore the resources here. You’ll get a taste of what makes a difference to audiences today:

Two self-tests: Edgy/Informative and Content/Delivery

5 Steps to Transformative Speeches and Presentations graphic and slide share

Evaluate Your Speaking Skills, Plan to Develop One at a Time repeatable self-assessment

Write a Speech Now model for every speech and presentation

If you’re not ahead of the crowd, you’re already falling behind. I work with business development and sales professionals through coaching or mentoring. Every plan is customized to your specific needs. If you’ve delivered one too many boring presentations that failed to generate business, call me to discuss your needs. 703-790-1424