Nathan Gold

Presentation Coach, Trainer, and Speaker

The 2-Minute Demo

Frequently in your career, you will need to be able to give a 2-minute demo of your product. This is the especially true at trade shows where you generally have about that amount of time before you lose the attention of your viewer.

You must be able to demo your product in less than 2-minutes time,

although it may seem impossible at this moment. With enough practice using the following method, you will begin to see the advantage of a 2-minute demo for all of the people involved, including you and your voice.

Here's the 2-minute demo approach:

At a trade show venue, you simply tell the person who is watching that your demo will take 2-minutes, or less, and then it is up to them if they want to see more. This way, you briefly qualify the person in less than 2-minutes so that you can be sure to have time for the next person who may be the key executive you have been waiting for. Plus, you have just told the person exactly how much time this demo will take. Remember that time is this the most precious commodity that people have. Once they know exactly how much time you have to invest in your demo, you will usually see a more attentive and interested listener.

If you waste your time and the audience’s time demoing feature after feature after feature, no one wins and both parties leave unhappy. But, if you asked the person who wants to see a demo a question such as, “What’s most important to you about (…)?” and fill in the blank, they may tell you exactly what they are looking for or what their biggest pain is. Then, you can take the 2-minutes and demo your product to their unique needs because you just asked them what was most important to them. By the way, it’s a great idea to follow the above question with, “And, why is that important?”

Taking this approach to demos in a trade show booth can keep the traffic moving. When you get a hot prospect that needs more time, it is best to have a separate area that you can escort them to for a full blown demo by yourself or possibly another person.

Audiences are generally more receptive to people who demo who are NOT in a sales role. Product marketing managers can be a very good source of demos since they spend a great deal of time with the products and, hopefully, the customers. Non-salespeople are always perceived to be more credible and honest anyway. It’s a fact of life. Accept it.

Common sense also dictates a 2-minute approach. The person you are talking with may not have more than 2-minutes to watch or they may simply be in the wrong booth, if at a conference or trade show. The person behind them could be your next big customer. Anyone is usually willing to give you 2-minutes. It’s those long 15-20 minute demos that will cause the people who are waiting, to leave. And, the people watching your demo may be giving you signs that they need to leave too, and NOW!

Everyone has their own qualifying questions they like to ask. Here are a few of the best, non-intrusive questions that continually produce consistent results for me:

1. What keeps you and your executives up at night? 2. What do you spend most of your time thinking about? 3. What is the biggest unsolved challenge in your business?

When you ask the first or second question, be prepared for a variety of answers. If you want, you can occasionally changed the first question to: With regards to your business, what keeps you up at night?, but I like to get people thinking and the original question let’s them go to business or personal thoughts. Sometimes the answers are business related and sometimes people get a strange look on their faces. In either case, you have their attention in the first 10 seconds! Now, it’s time to cement that rapport.

Until next time...Demo with Passion.