Peter Cohan

Debilitating Demo Diseases: Logorrhea

Logorrhea – Excessive Talkativeness Symptoms: Customer is unable to break-in to ask a question; presenter feels obligated to keep on talking if he/she hears nothing from customer. Condition is often exacerbated when working over certain conference room speaker phone systems. Audience often lapses...

Debilitating Demo Diseases: Staff Infection

Staff Infection – Victim of Momentum Symptoms: Doing the same demo(s) over and over, regardless of customer needs or desires. Examples: "We've always done it this way…" "New hire, are you? Great – here's the script for our demo. Memorize it by next...

Debilitating Demo Diseases: Harbor Tour Delusion

Harbor Tour Delusion – Living in the Land of Hope Symptoms: Presenting a long, tortured demo that attempts to cover all of the possible customer needs and problems before any reasonable discussion of the customer's situation. Aka: Harbor Tour Demo, Show-up-and-Throw-up, Spray and Pray,...

Debilitating Demo Diseases: Atrophied Communication

Atrophied Communication (aka CRM Refusal) – Pre-Call Inadequacy Symptoms: Sales rep communicates key pre-call information in the car on the way to the customer, in the customer's parking lot, or in the customer's lobby. Examples: Sales rep: "Oh, by the way,...

Debilitating Demo Diseases: Rampaging Pronouns

Rampaging Pronouns – Too Many Fictional Characters Symptoms: Demo begins by introducing Mike the Manager, Eunice the End-User, Veronica the VP, Andrew in Accounting, Sally the Sales Director, and Ike from IT. Presenter immediately loses track of which pronoun to use: I,...

Debilitating Demo Diseases: Auto-Demo Hell

Auto-Demo Hell – Cluelessness in Recorded Demos Symptoms: See Vacuuosititis. Additionally, victim assumes that all prospects have the same problem, the same challenges, and the same objectives. Victim attempts to create a "one-size-fits-all" demo in spite of serving multiple markets and job...

Debilitating Demo Diseases: Vacuuosititis

Vacuuosititis – Cluelessness in Marketing Roll-out Demos (aka Feature Rash) Symptoms: A rash of features and non-specific, buzzword-compliant benefit statements. Atrophied, disconnected, narcoleptic audience reaction. Snoring. Examples: "Now I'll show you our new biframulator tool, designed to save time and money. "Next I'll...

Debilitating Demo Diseases: Overscriptosis (Hardening of the Demo)

Overscriptosis – Hardening of the Demo Symptoms: Following a rigid vendor-created demo script, regardless of the needs or interest of the customer. Difficulty in determining if the demo is live or recorded, even with the presenter's mouth moving in the front of the...

Debilitating Demo Diseases: Clairvoyance Annoyance

Clairvoyance Annoyance (aka Premature Elaboration) Symptoms: Prescience. Answering questions before they are completed because you've heard them all hundreds of times before. Causes severe annoyance in customers. The appearance of great embarrassment, flushing and jackass ears on the presenter may also...

Debilitating Demo Diseases: Crickets

Crickets Symptoms: The sound in the room after the presenter asks, "So, are there any questions so far?" Examples: Chirp-chirp-chirp-chirp-chirp-chirp-chirp-chirp-chirp-chirp-chirp-chirp…. Cure: Encourage, drive and generate interactivity. Turn the demo from a one-way presentation into a two-way conversation. Involve the customer. Ask...

Debilitating Demo Diseases: Feature Pox

Feature Pox Symptoms: Presentation of waaaaaaaay too many features and capabilities. Severe boredom, ennui, and sleeping may ensue in the customer's ranks. Other symptoms include stifled yawns, furtive glances at wristwatches and – in one documented case – a customer getting up...

Debilitating Demo Diseases: Blackberry Consumption

Blackberry Consumption Symptoms: Sales rep sitting in the back of the room completely focused on his/her Blackberry; severely swollen thumbs; impaired ability to communicate in complete, grammatically-correct sentences. Examples: Tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap…– huh? Cure: Actively engage in the demo presentation; choreograph the team members' roles before...

Debilitating Demo Diseases: Breathlessness (Demo Asphyxiation)

Symptoms: No pauses or breaks in the delivery, followed by shortness of breath, flushed face and finally passing out. (Fainting is often an outcome of Rambleitis when compounded by Whooping If and Conjunctionitis.) Examples: "And another really cool thing about our software...

Debilitating Demo Diseases: Death By Corporate Overview

Death by Corporate Overview Symptoms: Palpitation of the audience; sleeping audience and, eventually, severe audience loss. Audience members doodle aimlessly, glance at watches repeatedly, furtively use Blackberries, and bang heads on walls. Examples: "Oh my God, no more slides…" "No, I'm not...

Debilitating Demo Diseases: Zippy Mouse Syndrome

Zippy Mouse Syndrome Symptoms: Mouse movements erratic, haphazard; movement may never stop. Mouse may circle, constantly, around certain portions of the screen. Customers turn away from the screen, get uncomfortable, and reach for the Dramamine. Examples: Watch other people's Remote Demos (e.g., via WebEx...

Debilitating Demo Diseases: Whooping “If”

Whooping "If" Symptoms: Presenter offers an ever-growing range of options, generally linked together by "if…" If's often multiply rapidly, causing great boredom in the audience and the risk of encountering unexpected bugs and precipitating detailed, pointless questions (aka "Stupid Questions") on topics of little interest...

Debilitating Demo Diseases: “Rambleitis”

Rambleitis - Run-on Demo (aka Demo Diarrhea) Symptoms: No pauses, no breaks, no interaction with audience – often compounded by Conjunctionitis, fits of Whooping If and Zippy Mouse Syndrome. Examples: "…and the really cool thing about this is…" "…and the next thing I want...

Stunningly Awful Demos: “Conjunctionitis” and Other Debilitating Demo Diseases

In my next several posts, I'll offer a compendium of debilitating demo diseases that commonly afflict sales, presales and marketing teams when preparing for and presenting demos. I'll identify the major symptoms for each disorder, provide one or more examples to aid in...

How Is a Demo Like a Newspaper Article?

Pick up this morning's newspaper and consider two things: 1. How you read the paper. 2. How the articles are written. Consider organizing your demonstrations like a newspaper article. Here's why: If you are like most people, you scan the newspaper for articles that catch…

Competitive Demo Situations: Biasing Toward Your Strengths

The end of the quarter is only a few weeks away – and you are in competition for business you really need to make your numbers. The customer has organized a final round of demos from the vendors who have made it this...

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