Stunningly Awful Demo Phrases


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Here are a handful of phrases that we often hear from software vendors in demo meetings, followed by what the customer thinks in response…

Vendor Says:  “Let me tell you a bit about our company…”
Customer Thinks:  Nope, no need to – we wouldn’t have agreed to invest our time in a demo if we didn’t already know about you…

Vendor Says:  “Let me give you a product overview…”
Customer Thinks:  Is this for our sake or yours?  Which of these products are relevant to us and our specific situation?

Vendor Says:  “And we’ve just re-named our products, as follows…”
Customer Thinks:  Oh joy, more useless things to remember…

Vendor Says:  “And we’ve created some product bundles as well – let me share these with you…”
Customer Thinks:  Why?  Am I doing proof-reading for your marketing department?

Vendor Says:  “Let’s go through a day-in-the-life…”
Customer Thinks:  Oh god, no.  My day is painful enough already, why would you want to walk me through it again?

Vendor Says:  “So we’ve created 7 fictional characters:  Mark the manager, Angie in accounting, Isaac in IT, Candace the CFO, Oscar in operations, Eustace the end-user…”
Customer Thinks:  Wait – you want me to remember each of these names?  I don’t even know all of the folks in my department…!

Vendor Says:  “One of the questions I get a lot is…”
Customer Thinks:  Sure, but did WE ask it?

Vendor Says:  “The other question is…”
Customer Thinks:  Ditto..

Vendor Says:  “And this is really important…”
Customer Thinks:  Thanks – good to know what YOU think is important, as opposed to us…

Vendor Says:  “Another really important thing is…”
Customer Thinks:  Sounds like everything in your software is important – which means that none of it is…

Vendor Says:  “The other nice thing…”
Customer Thinks:  How many nice things are there?

Vendor Says:  “Oh, and this is really cool…”
Customer Thinks:  In whose opinion?

Vendor Says:  “Now, if you want to…”
Customer Thinks:  But what if I don’t?

Vendor Says:  “Or, you can also do this by…”
Customer Thinks:  Please just show me the fastest way to get it done…

Vendor Says:  “There are three ways you can do this – let me show you…”
Customer Thinks:  Will these be on the test?  Please just show me the one fastest way that I’d use in my day-to-day work.

Vendor Says:  “Let me show you how to…”
Customer Thinks:  Did I ask?  Do I care?  Am I interested?

 Vendor Says:  “What we call…”
Customer Thinks:  Who cares what YOU call it…  I’ll never remember those terms anyway.

Vendor Says:  “We have the concept of…”-
Customer Thinks:  Great – and how is this important for us?

Vendor Says:  “Gee, I’ve never seen that happen before…”
Customer Thinks:  We have…  All the time!

Vendor Says:  “Let me try that again…”
Customer Thinks:  To prove that it REALLY doesn’t work you, the technical expert, don’t know it?

Vendor Says:  “Remember when I said….”
Customer Thinks:  Nope.

Vendor Says:  “Let me show you what happens behind the scenes…”
Customer Thinks:  Did I ask?  Do I care?  Am I interested?  I like sausage, but I’m not really interested in seeing how it was made…!

Vendor Says:  “Let me explain how this works…”
Customer Thinks:  Did I ask?  Do I care?  Am I interested?

Vendor Says:  “We’re running short on time, so I’ll have to go really fast, but I want this to be interactive, so stop me if you have any questions…”
Customer Thinks:  Oh god no – the run-on demo…!

Vendor Says:  “Oops – looks like we ran out of time before we got to the best stuff…”
Customer Thinks:  Too bad – looks like we won’t ever see your best stuff…

Vendor Says:  “I’ve saved the best for last…”
Customer Thinks:  When our management team is gone and the rest of our brains are mush…  Why didn’t you do the Last Thing First?

Any additional to add?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Peter Cohan
Have you ever seen a bad software demonstration? Peter Cohan is the founder and principal of Great Demo!, focused on helping software organizations improve the success rates of their demos. He authored Great Demo! - how to prepare and deliver surprisingly compelling software demonstrations. Peter has experience as an individual contributor, manager and senior management in marketing, sales, and business development. He has also been, and continues to be, a customer.


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