Startup Selling Podcast Ep. 21: Product Demos the Right Way, & Avoiding the “IKEA Demo:” An Interview with Peter Cohan

Startup Selling Podcast Ep. 21: Product Demos the Right Way, & Avoiding the “IKEA Demo:” An Interview with Peter Cohan

By Scott Sambucci | April 4, 2016

The Startup Selling Podcast is brought to you by SalesQualia. If you’re a startup looking to Find Customers, Grow Revenue and Build Your Sales Process, check out the Startup Selling Program.

peter cohanIn this episode, I interview Peter Cohan, most known for his “GREAT DEMO!” system and training – teaching software companies the RIGHT way to demo their products.


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A few key areas we cover:

  • The importance of “teaching demos.”
  • 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.

We hope you enjoy the podcast and would greatly appreciate feedback! Any suggestions on future topics you would like to hear covered and/or podcast guests you’d like to hear would be great! Enjoy!

Episode Notes:

01:55 – How did Peter get into teaching demos.

04:30 – How to assemble data on a when a sale happens.

07:35 – Doing it right the first time your demo’s going to be much shorter and you might only have to do one of those and get you to the finish line.

09:00 – No such thing as a standard customer/demo.

15:00 – Doing discovery, ask sufficient questions to be able to design a demo that fits the customer’s need.

23:18 – The curse of knowledge, when you have seen it all before and you forget that every customer is unique. Put the knowledge you think you have behind your back and ask the right questions.

26:05 – Pre answering questions before they are asked takes away the role of the audience. Takes away the ability to interact.

28:47 – How to address having new people in the meeting that you haven’t had a chance to do needs assessment with.

33:46 – Always start a demo that has people you haven’t interacted with before with three questions; what’s your name, job title and what would they like to take away from the demo.

41:18 – Turning the demo from being all about the vendor, to being all about the customer.

46:33 – Have the fewest number of steps to complete any particular task.

50:27 – Manage your infrastructure. Expect your hard disk will crash! Be ready for anything.

57:17 – Do the last thing first, don’t teach people how things work but show them what good things you’re offering to help them solve their problems.

Resources mentioned or related to this podcast

  • The Second Derivative helps software organizations achieve their sales and marketing objectives.

Key words: startup selling, sales, product demos, scott sambucci, salesqualia, startups, enterprise sales

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