The Friday Four: It’s all about “The Big Demo!”

The Friday Four: It’s all about “The Big Demo!”

By Scott Sambucci | April 8, 2016

Installment #10 of “The Friday Four.”

Throughout the month with our Startup Selling members, we’re focusing on the “The Big Meeting” – the right way to prepare, deliver, and execute on this critical step in your sales process.

Here are my four sales ideas for you this week, all focused on this topic.

1 – LIVE WEBINAR NEXT WEEK: “How to run your PRODUCT DEMOS without looking like a STARTUP”

You’re getting to “The Big Meeting” to demo your product, but they always end with – “Looks interesting… We’ll circle up and get back to you… Thanks…”


To help you with this critical step in your sales funnel, I’m hosting a FREE webinar next week – “How to run your PRODUCT DEMOS without looking like a STARTUP.

I’ll cover three (3) strategies that you can put to work RIGHT AWAY to significantly improve your product demos. You definitely don’t want to miss this one!



2 – FIND CUSTOMERS: Sometimes the prospect only meant “not right now,” so go find out.

Even the prospects that said “no” might really have been saying “not right now.”

How often are you going back to your old leads and prospects? Remember the ones that said – “Get back to me after the new year…” In January that it wasn’t a good time to make a change, but maybe later this year…

A lot has probably changed with your company and product, and most of all, with their situation.  You owe it to them to try again.  Tell them that since you last talked three months ago, you’ve made huge strides with the product and you’ve been thinking specifically about them and their situation.

Keep it short:

“Hey {NAME} – I read this article {INSERT LINK} and immediately thought of you and our conversation back in January.

I’ve got a couple of ideas that I want to share with you specifically about your company and situation that you’ll want to hear. We’ve made HUGE strides in the product and helping our customers since we last talked.

Can you swing 15 minutes on the phone next week?”

Screenshot 2016-04-08 13.49.053 – GROW REVENUE: Sell the vision.

Love David Cumming’s post – “Sell in Advance of the Roadmap.” As a startup, it’s important to sell what you have. If all you have is an MVP, then sell that MVP and get paid now for your MVP. But, you need to sell the future too.

During my time at Blend, we were consistently selling 6-9 months ahead of product development. As we launched our loan originations product, we started selling in December with a two minute video and a hard-coded mock demo that required two hours of engineering time every time we did a demo (sorry, Ian!). The first working version of that product went live the following August.

As a startup, you have a secret superpower – flexibility. Including your long-term product roadmap gives your customer a view of the future, and gives you leverage to say – “Let’s get started today with the solution we have now. As it develops, you’ll be first to access the newest features, and as a paying customer, you’ll influencing our roadmap.”

The best part is that you can start small with a modest contract, then give yourself leverage to grow the contract size in 6-12 months as you fulfill on the roadmap.

Get revenue now, grow it later.

Screenshot 2016-04-08 13.49.194 – BUILD YOUR SALES PROCESS: Create checklists.

Do you have a demo checklist? If not, get to work. In fact, you should have multiple checklists… One for a web demo and one for an onsite demo. One for an initial short demo and one for the longer technical demo.

I drafted an email that I’d sent send to admin assistants and my product champions about a week ahead of any onsite meetings.

My email included a checklist asking about details on the room configuration (i.e. big conference room with project vs small meeting room with a flat screen), Internet access, parking options, procedures for checking in, and whether or not another meeting was scheduled before or after our meeting the same room.

ProTip: Ask the admin assistants to block off 30 minutes before and after your meeting if the room is showing open so you have buffers.

Remove variables and be prepared. Build your sales demo process.

5 – BONUS TIP!! Check out my podcast interview with Peter Cohan – “Product Demos the Right Way, & Avoiding the IKEA Demo.

Peter is THE MAN when it comes to running product demos.  A few key areas we cover:

  • Why you only have once chance at a product demo, and how to do it right the first time.
  • That’s there no such thing as standard demos, and how to discover the “Critical Business Issue” of your target accounts in preparing for your product demos.
  • “The the curse of knowledge” and how answering your prospect’s questions before they ask can KILL your demo.
  • How to demo your software product in three slides or less.

Okay, that’s a wrap. Hope to see you on next week’s webinar – “How to run your PRODUCT DEMOS without looking like a STARTUP.

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