Demo Don’t #7  Let Questions Drive You into the Weeds: “But what about…?” - Great Demo

Demo Don’t #7  Let Questions Drive You into the Weeds: “But what about…?”

You’ve just started your demo when someone asks a question about your system’s login security, so you take a few minutes to answer their question. The prospect asks a follow-up question which you dutifully address in more detail, taking another few minutes. The prospect considers your answer, then asks for more specifics. Obligingly, you offer a more expanded explanation of the features, limitations, and futures…

And now you are way offtrack, lost in the weeds!

Meanwhile, what has happened to the rest of the audience? They’ve checked out. They’re browsing the web, answering email, checking texts, working on other projects, and you’ve barely begun!

The SAD strategy? Answer all questions in depth, driving your demo into the weeds, the jungle, the swamp, the bog, and eventually into the dumpster!

Even better, allow hostiles to highjack the meeting: These are the people who don’t like you, they don’t like your company, and they believe it is their purpose in life to torture the vendor. They’ll drag you on a bruising slog through treacherous territory!

Solution? Follow this elegant and effective strategy:

  • Respond to Great Questions right away: These are questions that support your cause, along with all questions from executives!
  • Park Good Questions for later: These are well-meaning, earnest questions that should be answered later to avoid the weeds.
  • Park Stupid Questions as well: These come from the hostiles and need to be parked to be addressed later, as well!

For more details, see Chapter 8 “Managing Time and Questions” in the Third Edition of Great Demo!

This is #7 of The Stunningly Awful Demos Top Ten List – you can find all ten (plus a bonus) here!


You can find the full set of DO’s and DON’Ts in Great Demo!:


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