Demos for senior execs: no context, no demo

Walk in with value. Earn "confidence through competence."


In enterprise sales, I flip the classic demo script.


I'm in the industry. Attend events. Listen to webinars. Speak with customers all the time, ask about what is working, what is not. Research the industry and the technologies every single day. Listen to investor calls. Read 10Ks. Research org charts on LinkedIn. Track who's been fired and who's been hired.


This is the baseline.


Add proven impact from other client work, with models of business value as predictable benefits that move the needle.


Highlight risks and how we will de-risk them. Don't wait to be asked.


Approaching with humility as a trusted advisor, a fellow explorer (thanks to Andy Raskin).


Senior execs will always say, "show me."


With good preparation, on average, in 25 minutes, senior execs say "we had no idea this is possible, we want to evaluate it, I want x to see this right away" and they drive the conversation on next steps, hurdles, budgeting. When I've lost, it's not because they didn't see value. Might be vendor risk, ability to support, etc.


Another common response is, "this is great. Could you also do x? How could you help with y?" So the prospect is suggesting alternative needs inspired by the initial value and impact, OR "expanding" the scope, OR sharing a higher-priority need that s/he thinks we can address.