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on November 12, 2013

How To Deliver A Good Tradeshow Demo

San Francisco Skyline

I love working a tradeshow booth. Seriously. I’m about to spend four days at Dreamforce doing just that while talking and demoing to prospects, customers and partners. Doing this will give me valuable feedback on product, messaging and use cases that I’ll use to improve my sales and marketing. I also take an hour or two and walk the floor to check out demos from other companies that interest me. Over the years I’ve noticed all the good demos had a few things in common. Here’s what the best ones do:

Start With A Question:

Before you start on your pitch or demo do some listening. A couple of simple questions at the beginning helps you understand the person’s perspective and role. I usually ask, in a friendly casual way, what kind of business they’re in and what type of role do they have. With this info I change the flow of my demo and look for examples that matter to them.

Demos are Stories:

A killer demo isn’t a series of clicks to show the wonders of your product. Good demos are stories and good stories have heroes and villains. Build a story around how your hero (or product) defeats the villain (or pain point) and people will pay attention and really understand what you’re showing.

Have A Flow:

If you’re telling a good story you need to have a beginning, middle and end. Most demos I see do pretty well on the beginning and middle but forget the end, they just sort of stop with “and that’s what we do”. You need a finish. Maybe it’s saving the wow feature for the end or sharing a bit of roadmap or pulling out a mobile phone to show that you can do everything there. Find your end.

It’s a Demo Not Training:

Demos last 10 minutes MAX. If your demo is longer than that you’re doing training and a tradeshow booth is a lousy place to do training. Edit your demos to stick with the highlights and outcomes of your product and save the deep dive for a longer meeting.

End With A Question:

So how do you know if your demo hit the mark and your product made sense? By asking a few questions. A simple “is this something you could see using in your business”? or “how do you deal with/take advantage of X in your organization?” is how to get great feedback and open the door for a lead.

A tradeshow floor is a busy and distracting place for attendees so you need to bring your A-game, hopefully these help out. If you want to test me and my demo stop by our booth. I’ll be ready!

Introhive’s booth at Dreamforce will be #N1330. We’d love it if you stopped by to say ‘hi’. Check this special Dreamforce page for details, and to follow along with all of our blog posts, recommendations, and recaps.

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