The Guide Demo Identity

People buy from people they like, and everyone likes The Guide Demo Identity – but Guides will sometimes go too far out of their way for a potential deal

Biggest strengths of the Guide Demo Identity:

  • They’re warm and genuine – people want to spend time with Guides
  • They aren’t aggressive sellers – they help the audience come to their own decision
  • They can become a “trusted advisor” faster than the other Demo Identities typically can

Biggest risks for the Guide Demo Identity:

  • They have trouble saying no, even when the answer should be no
  • They find it difficult to set boundaries, so a colleague or client may take over the meeting, even when The Guide is “on stage”
  • They may struggle with time management as the (important) relationship-building conversations can be time-consuming, leaving less time for the demo
Who does not love the Guide Demo Identity? Those who like to hear the word no. Is this your identity?

What does a typical demo from a Guide look like?

  • Guides are all about relationships. They typically ask lots of questions and work to build rapport as much as possible before presenting, which leads to more relaxed demos than those of other identities.
  • The Guide doesn’t show up and deliver a hard sell, rather, they point the audience in the right direction and then they ask the audience to follow them. This makes audiences more comfortable with their decision because they feel like they are in control – and the best Guides know how to let the audience think they’re in control of the meeting, when the Guide is actually the one in control.
  • Guides are typically able get more information from the audience than other Demo Identities, which can be quite an advantage when it’s time to close the deal. This also leads to increased trust between the presenter and audience.
  • Their demos and presentations are often interactive – Guides want to hear what the audience has to say. And that desire is genuine as they enjoy getting to know people and helping them, which, in turn, makes the audience want to partner with them.
  • Guides focus on people above product, and their successes come because people like them and, as we know, people buy from people they like.

Favorite word of The Guide Demo Identity is YES.

What are the Guide’s blind spots?

  • Guides’ focus on relationships can mean lead to trouble setting boundaries with the audience or even with their own team, making it easier to lose control of the meeting.
  • Guides don’t like to say no. When asked if they can solve a particular use case or have a certain feature, they may try to answer with a “yes,” even if that’s not the answer (i.e. we don’t have that feature per se, but you can do this other thing that’s almost like it)
  • Guides can be a bit too trusting of what the audience says – if the meeting ends with the sponsor saying “this was great, let’s talk sometime next week,” a Guide will be more likely to take that statement at face value than other identities will.
  • Guides influence without being aggressive, which can lead to more follow-up tasks or meetings required to close a deal than with other Demo Identities.

What are the Guide’s most common demo fails?

Leveraging buzzwords, Slow your roll, Narrating the demo

The Guide Demo Identity, a consummate pleaser.

How can Guides deliver better demos and presentations?

  • Decide what boundaries are before going into a meeting – what are you willing to agree to, and what are you not willing to agree to. And share this with someone else on the team, so they can be “bad cop” if needed. A win plan template can also help here so there’s clarity on what next steps should be.
  • Create a rapport with the sponsor or another “friendly” audience member, and make sure they’re in the room and willing to say what you want them to say. They can also help shut down any difficult audience members and keep some of the difficult questions “offline.”
  • Make sure that colleagues understand the “one stage, one actor” rule, and determine a non-verbal cue for when others on the sales team want to say something (i.e. standing up and waiting for the Guide to pass them the floor).
  • When it’s time to close the deal, assuming you’ve built a strong rapport with your sponsor or other executives, know that it’s ok to get a bit more aggressive as you’ve earned the client’s trust.