Great Demo Workshop Attendee: “Holy Crap! My Demos Have Too Much Detail”

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Demos, Sales, skmurphy, Testimonial, Workshop

After every Great Demo! workshop we contact the attendees with a short E-Mail that reads in part:

I want to check-in to see how you have been doing using the ideas and skills we covered in our Great Demo! Workshop three months ago.  Specifically, I’d like to hear:

  1. What have been the results so far?
  2. Do you have any success stories to report or share?
  3. Any questions or new situations you’d like to discuss?

What follows is a redacted e-mail from a real attendee at a recent Great Demo workshop. We have his permission to post it, but he asked that we remove identifying information because of his candor about his approach to demos before he came to the workshop.

Hello Peter,

I would like to tell you that your workshop has had a positive impact not only on my demos, but also on my customer meetings in general.

The key message I took away, “Do the last thing first,” has proven very effective at increasing customer engagement in our demos. Our product is a sophisticated one with a long history–what are prospects sometimes describe as “very complex” or “arcane” even “confusing.” We sometimes present modules that–in hindsight–were of no of interest to the customer. This can not only turn a demo into a waste of everyone’s time but also convert a hot prospect into a lukewarm one.

It’s seems obvious now, but getting right to the point and then working backwards based on the customer’s level of  interest (“Peeling back the onion”) has triggered a lot more questions and demos that end in clearly defined next steps instead of “you’ve given us a lot to think about, please let us get back to you.”

The example that really punched me in the gut when I realized what I had been doing was your hyperkinetic impersonation of someone doing a demo of Microsoft Word. Your first answer to  the question, “Can you print?” seemed  reasonable: you opened the print dialog box and walked through all the print options in detail–portrait or landscape, single or double-sided printing; color or black and white, number of copies, print quality, etc…

But when you did the second take and said “Yes, would you like to see it?” and clicked the print icon I had this terrible sinking feeling.

“Holy Crap! My demos have too much detail,” I said to myself.

Change is hard, but the three of us who attended your class took the “Great Demo” approach back and have seen a difference in the number of demos that now lead to sales that are progressing.

You may be in the same predicament if your approach demos involves one or more of the following:

  • You include a multi-slide corporate overview whether the prospect requests it or not.
  • Demos are viewed as an opportunity to provide training on your product.
  • It’s not uncommon for a demo to end with prospects sitting in stunned silence or murmuring, “let us think about this and get back to you” instead of asking questions.

We have two Great Demo! workshops on on the calendar for 2014 in San Jose

May 21&22, 2014 “Great Demo!” San Jose, CA Register Now
October 15&16, 2014 “Great Demo!” San Jose, CA Register Now

Charles Minnich of Hyland Software on “Great Demo!” Workshop

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Demos, Events, skmurphy, Testimonial, Video

Here is a brief testimonial from Charles Minnich of Hyland Software after he attended our Great Demo workshop in September of 2010.

For more testimonial videos see Peter Cohan’s YouTube Channel. We are offering another Great Demo Workshop October 12 in San Jose:

Create and Deliver Surprisingly Compelling Software Demonstrations
“Do The Last Thing First” — the recipe for a Great Demo!

When: Wednesday, October 12, 2011 8 am – 5 pm
Where: Moorpark Hotel, 4241 Moorpark Ave, San Jose CA 95129
For out of town attendees: The Moorpark is located 400 feet from the Saratoga Ave exit on Hwy 280, about 7 miles from San Jose Airport and 35 miles from San Francisco Airport

Cost: $590
Before Sept. 28: $566

This is an interactive workshop with Peter Cohan geared especially for you who demonstrate B-to-B software to your customer and channels. Bring a copy of your demo and be prepared to present it — we’ll help you turn it into a surprisingly compelling demo!

Register Great Demo

This seminar outlines a framework for the creation and delivery of improved demos and presentations to enable increased success in the marketing, sale, and deployment of software and related products. Whether it’s face to face, in a webinar, as a screencast, or as a self-running demo the ability to present the key benefits of your software product is essential to generating prospect interest and ultimately revenue. Peter Cohan of The Second Derivative gives us the recipe for a Great Demo!

For more information see:

SKMurphy, Inc. 8 Years In: What We Are Working On Now

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Customer Development, Sales, Testimonial

“Sean Murphy adds tremendous value for startups in setting them up “getting out of the building” and how to make sense of the data they’ve gathered.  He’s one consultant I personally know (I’m sure there are others) who doesn’t confuse his role with the founders. I think of his consulting firm as a “force-multiplier” for Customer Development.”
Steve Blank in a discussion in the comments for “Consultants Don’t Pivot, Founders Do

I got the following E-mail from an entrepreneur on Friday

Heard a lot about you and been meaning to connect! Appreciate you taking a look through my blog and your comment was awesome. Is your main thing right now? What else are you working on?

What follows is my answer, in case you had the same question.

We do customer development and new product introduction consulting in B2B markets for expertise driven products. Typically companies or consultants who want to turbocharge their practice with technology –we recently worked with a team that had developed a 1.2 mm thick heat pipe made from nanomaterial that can be used for LED, high performance computing, and electric vehicle applications).

I don’t like to travel but we have a global practice with about 2/3 of clients  in Silicon Valley (either HQ, for events,  and/or deals in Silicon Valley) and 1/3 in North America, Europe, or Asia. We collaborate with remote teams  using a variety of technologies including skype, CentralDesktop, and GoToMeeting.

We help with strategy (typically bringing clarity and a priority to a set of problems and/or opportunities), pricing, negotiation, sales presentation preparation, and early market exploration. We have a strong focus on sales because a paying customer is not a market hypothesis but a  fact, offering proof that your product and go to market strategy are viable.

I am not very fond of the word pivot, I think most successful startups actually build on “problem/founder fit” and need to zoom in on where they offer the most value to get established. I have taken an entrepreneurial approach to life (punctuated by education a number jobs in large companies) for more than three decades.

We also do

The common thread is small group discussion as a way of facilitating knowledge sharing and learning. The breakfasts normally have 8 to 16 people around a single table, the book club is a panel discussion between 3-5 people with questions from the audience to keep it lively and engaging, and the workshops we normally cap  at between 16 and 22 depending upon the subject matter. Private workshops are with one team and their advisors and typically are 3-6 people

We Recommend LectureMaker Studios In Silicon Valley

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Testimonial

I  met Ron Fredericks of LectureMaker when I was co-chair of the SDForum Marketing SIG in 2006. Ron was clearly a very bright engineer with a passion for both embedded systems and video (@DoMoreWithVideo). We kept in touch and last year he e-mailed me that he had opened a video studio in Sunnyvale. We have used his studio to create two short videos:

I enjoy working with Ron, he is a true professional in his approach to video production. He is committed to quality work and consistently delivers results that make me and my business look good.  The convenience of his studio in Sunnyvale allows us to do short videos as needed. The option to take two hours and turn out a 30-60 second  for an upcoming event or new product or service have proven to be a very useful addition to our repertoire of extended capabilities.

Conference Testimonial from Achilles Test Systems

Written by Theresa Shafer. Posted in EDA, Testimonial

When we first started working with SKMurphy our product was complicated and our message was even more complex.  SKMurphy helped us focus our product on a market that we could succeed in and create a message that was sharp, crisp and quickly show value add.  They helped us understand that people’s attention spans were short, and that you only have a very limited time to send your message.  Quality and relevance were of the essence, not quantity or complexity.

SKMurphy helped us select potential customers, set up presentations and demonstrations, and listen carefully to what the customer was saying.  They helped us differentiate between customers that had a real need and what their pain points were from the customers that were just being polite and would potentially lead us on and waste our time.   They gave us advice on how to negotiate evaluation and pricing terms, how to close a sale and strive for a purchase order.

In very short time, SKMurphy helped us get ready for two trade-shows, DVCON and DAC.  Without interfering too much with our day to day business we were able to organize and successfully execute two shows.   Being a small company keeping expenses down was a must.  They knew how to get the most out of a tradeshow with the least amount of money.

Their experience with tradeshows is immense.  They knew what the important things to do were.  And a lot of time these things could be done very inexpensively.  They helped us with slide shows, demonstrations, posters, banners, press releases, press interviews, and all the detail logistics that go into making a show.  Both or our shows went effortlessly and flawlessly. We were not distracted by any unrelated to business and 100% of our energy could go into sales and lead generation.

Sean Murphy’s knowledge of the industry, the individual companies and the people involved is enormous.  He has good instincts determining which people to spend time with and which people to avoid.  He knows which people are going to help you and have upside potential for your company and which people are not, are clear competitors and should be avoided.


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