Want more sales? Give examples.

Want more sales? Give examples.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

tagged: demos, selling, software

Photo Credit: digitalART2

I sat through yet another sales pitch and it was bland and dry - in ways that could have been solved with a little bit of thought into some good examples. Most software demos have a point where you need to enter data. And that is as boring as it sounds. Unless, you take a page from Magicians and develop a patter.

Back up a bit: the pitch was for software. In the demo, when it came to fill in fields, the usual boring bits were filled in. A "Name" got "name" as a result, "Question" got "question 1." It was left to those of us being demo-ed to connect the dots between the demo and our particular need. The phone conversation was zero as we waited, somewhat patiently, for the fields to be filled in. We waited out the boring part to see the good part.

I'd suggest some possible alternatives:

  • Use the prospective customer's data.
    You could ask a few question (before demo day - not during the meeting) to help you have some better data to fill in during a demo. You, presumably, have a plan for your presentation - you know what holes you'll have to fill in: so send out an email a few days in advance with a few questions. Or, get that information while on the phone.
  • Create some useful & interesting generic information.
    You could set up generic information - but that had a story. So, rather than trying to speed through filling out a form, that's where you start with your patter.

This is the magician's trick of the story to go with the illusion. You, as audience, are there for the trick or the software. But the patter, the story, is interesting of itself - and entertains the audience while some of the "work" is done.

If you read a lot of Dave Barry, you'll discover that one of the easiest ways to be funny is to be specific when it's not called for. "Scrappy pugs" are funnier than "dogs." "Miss Piggy" is funnier than "the user". Instead of saying "special interests," say "left-handed avocado farmers."

From: http://www.joelonsoftware.com/printerFriendly/articles/fog0000000033.html

If you are selling, take some time and write some good patter. It will make a difference with your audience.

Thursday, September 25, 2008, 12:00 AM

tagged: demos, selling, software