Your Demo training day

Demo training day, feels like this should announce itself with a big bold theme music, but really these are what we do all day, most days. These are some of our best tools for demo training in a sales team. These are the short form of exercises that you can look up more information on or contact us to curate your own (duh dun duhhhhh) Demo training day. 

Listening without Trying to Solve 

Sounds counter intuitive that we would want you to practice listening and not solving, especially if you are solutions architects right? Well it is really hard. But forcing yourself to listen without solving and then circling back around to a total problem, is actually the way to the better solution. Lots of times problems are complex and there is nothing worse than someone trying to fit your problem into a solution, which can happen if you are not listening completely to your prospect. This is part of discovery, but really you should be doing this during your demo, or when anyone speaks to you. See more here. 

Small Talk to Build Connection 

We linked to a blog post that is this exercise in a nutshell, but what this does is make small talk that actually matters. It is small talk you remember. Why is this important? From the moment you are meeting your audience, you want them remembering you. There are a lot of gimmicks people use to get people to remember them, but this is not what we are talking about. One of the best is connecting on the level of shared experience. Whether that is a blog, podcast, or industry related event, or current events where you live. The key here is to connect with your audience, they might not remember what you said but they will remember that you made them feel a certain way or seen. Start off all demos with a few connection attempts. 

Giving Negative Feedback Positively 

There is no easy way to deliver negative feedback. But feedback is so critical to performance and building a culture where feedback is part of becoming better is what we all should strive to achieve. The anxiety leading up to feedback is also almost always worse than the actual feedback. We have an exercise that we will be offering next week on this, but for now, spoiler, here are our steps for giving and receiving negative feedback. 

  1. Take a deep breath and accept the internal discomfort 
  2. Create a hierarchy free space 
  3. Offer an intention FIRST, state the purpose of the feedback 
  4. Clearly separate the work from the person 
  5. Reinforce that the feedback is work related and that the intention is growth 
  6. Acknowledge the subjectiveness of your feedback
  7. End with a positive 

If these make you feel nervous reading them, we know, it takes a lot of practice and the best way to get better is to relieve hierarchy and practice feedback with non threatening statements first. There is no need to go through every one when delivering feedback to your colleagues, but try to keep these in mind. 

Setting Boundaries in Difficult Conversations 

I feel ____________________ (actual feelings not thoughts) when you ____________________ (specific and non blaming description of observed behavior) because ____________________ (how this affects you). Are you willing to ____________________ (what you want them to do instead).

The above is the proper way to assert yourself when a boundary has been trespassed. In sales and demos, things run a bit differently. The way this exercise is adapted for presales is that you get together in your team and come up with scenarios where your boundaries are pushed and write down the good, average, and awful responses. Then you practice scenarios whereby you name the elephant in the room and move on with keeping boundaries. There are going to be clients and situations that push beyond scope and assigning boundaries to this and treating them as such is a great way to move a sale forward without sacrificing sanity and profit. Ultimately both parties are looking for a solution and if it is like pulling teeth in the beginning stages or middle stages, do your whole organization a favor and bow out early. 

Demo Training Day, Training Day Movie
Demo training day is nothing like Training Day

Your Demo training day 

Are you ready to host a Demo training day with your presales team? If not, we can help! It is what we do. Book founder Ed Jaffe for a day or series. Let’s Chat! 

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