Accelerate Podcast with Andy Paul
March 7, 2017

Cut “No-Decisions” in Half with Great Software Demonstrations. With Peter Cohan. #399

Peter Cohan is Founder of The Second Derivative, author of Great Demo! How To Create And Execute Stunning Software Demonstrations, and expert in giving online software presentations and software demonstrations.


[3:22] Peter wanted to structure demos to be compelling, convincing, and intriguing. He invented a methodology to do that.

[5:38] The online demo is a critical milestone on the buying journey. It’s the moment when things start to go wrong. Peter shares a story how this can happen.

[8:51] Some use demos as discovery to find out things they should have learned already. Peter says it’s best to do discovery fully before a technical proof demo. The next-best case is a 3-minute vision generation demo before discovery.

[11:03] The overview is one demonstration Peter recommends never to do. These go by various names: ‘show up and throw up,’ ‘spray and pray,’ and ‘the harbor tour.’ Your prospect will jump ship!

[13:00] Focus on what (customer’s pain), and how (specific capabilities relevant to solving the pain). Specific capabilities include only what fixes the pain point. Next, comes the value of change, and critical dates. It’s all about customer situations.

[15:52] Andy views the demo as a story, beginning to end. Peter suggests using customer success stories to introduce a vision generation demo. Journalism’s inverted pyramid is a good demo model: Headline, graphic, summary, explanation.

[21:50] Don’t use a standard non personalized demo. Summarize often, and ask: “Is my understanding correct?” “Is there any new information?” “Is this the kind of thing you had in mind?” “Would you like to see what it takes in software?”

[23:45] When you summarize frequently, you give the audience cues to comment, ask questions, and participate. You reinforce your message, and allow the audience to reflect back what they hear. Ask them to give feedback as they listen.

[30:44] To demonstrate a complex matter like a CRM, break it into chunks, introducing each one, developing it, and summarizing it, with questions. You might have a separate 10-minute demo for each function.

[31:58] Before going to a demo, understand the situation slide fully, and be able to discuss it in depth. Role play a discussion beforehand. Know what you will say, and what you will not say. Prepare. You can cut no-decisions by half, with good info.

[34:44] You want a relationship. After vision generation, follow up with a call: “Are you comfortable with setting a time for a real discovery call?” After the discovery, call to ask: “Are you ready for a demo?” Then ask: “What else is needed?”


October 19, 2016

How Sales Needs to Start Learning (and Not Wait to Be Trained.) With John Barrows. #283

Joining me on this entertaining episode of Accelerate! is John Barrows, a leading sales trainer for tech companies. Among the many topics John and I discuss are why sales reps have to take responsibility for their own development and why they shouldn’t wait for sales training to get better, John’s “Rule of 1%”, strategies for sales reps to improve their active listening skills, steps reps should take to elevate their demo and presentation skills and much, much more. This is a must listen episode!

June 30, 2016

How to Use Emotion to Capture Your Prospect’s Interest. With Michael Hauge. #189

Bestselling author of Selling Your Story in 60 Seconds, Michael Hauge, is a story and script consultant, author, lecturer, and coach who works with writers, producers, directors and prominent stars to sell their ideas in the cut-throat competitive world of Hollywood. In today’s episode, Michael shares how sales reps can use emotion as the best tool to create the compelling first impressions that capture a prospect’s attention. Among the topics we discuss are:

  • How to quickly establish rapport with potential buyers.
  • How to engage a potential buyer’s emotions using a story.
  • The key steps to structuring a compelling story that sells
  • How to use a story that motivates the prospect to take the next action.
June 27, 2016

Win More Deals by Writing Exquisite Proposals. With Jason Swenk. #186

Jason Swenk is a self-proclaimed defender of truth, justice, and effective business practices. Jason helps small business owners develop the right systems to create winning proposals that drive the growth of their businesses. In this episode, Jason shares his key steps to writing a winning proposal. Among the topic we discuss are:

  • Eight steps to writing an exceptional proposal.
  • The difference between a cover letter and an executive summary.
  • The common mistakes most people make when writing a proposal.
  • Why you need to stop emailing proposals and present them instead.
  • How to increase the closing percentage of your proposals.
June 23, 2016

Selling Your Idea, Vision, Dream, and Yourself, to Investors. With John Livesay. #184

John Livesay, is known as the ‘Pitch Whisperer,’ and he is the author of The 7 Most Powerful Selling Secrets. He shows startup companies the keys to becoming irresistible to potential investors. In today’s episode, John discusses his 5 C’s of investor presentations. Be sure to listen to learn the important differences between a sales presentation and an investor presentation. And, why passion and empathy are the keys to connecting with your audience and selling your vision.


May 4, 2016

On Accelerate! Now: Episode 148 with Julie Hansen. 5 Ways To Prevent Sales Presentation Fatigue (in Your Customers.)

Julie Hansen is the founder of Performance Sales and Training and a leading sales presentation coach. She is also the author of Sales Presentation for Dummies and ACT Like a Sales Pro. In this episode, Julie and I discuss why salespeople are still relying on outdated and obsolete presentation methods in today’s modern market. And what they need to do to meet their customers’ expectations. Be sure to listen in! Among the topics we discuss are:

  • Why sales reps are stuck using old presentation models. And how they can change.
  • How to create and deliver compelling sales presentations that sell.
  • 5 ways to prevent Presentation Fatigue in your customers.
  • The commonalities between acting and selling and how sales reps can harness these to transform their results.
April 12, 2016

On Accelerate! Now: Episode 132 with Anne Miller. Six Steps to Become a More Effective & Persuasive Seller

Anne Miller is an expert in the use of words that help you sell. She’s a speaker, coach, and author of Metaphorically Selling: How to Use the Magic of Metaphors to Sell, Persuade, & Explain Anything to Anyone as well as The Tall Lady with the Iceberg. In today’s episode, Anne provides strategies that any sales person can utilize to become a more effective and persuasive speaker. Among the many topics we explore in this conversation are:

  • How you can become a more effective and persuasive seller in an increasingly visual world.
  • The different vocabulary you should use when presenting online vs presenting in-person.
  • How you must change your presentation style when you can’t see the prospect’s reactions and body language.
  • The four questions you have to answer to create a persuasive story to tell a prospect.
March 10, 2016

On Accelerate! Now: Episode 109 with Tim Wackel. Planning, Preparing, and Engaging are the Basics of a Winning Sales Process.

In this episode, Tim Wackel, a top sales trainer and an expert on making a better sales presentation, discusses how preparation is the key to developing and presenting the perfect sales pitch and getting a sale. Included among the questions we discuss are:
  • Why is it important to ask the right questions before your sales pitch?
  • Who should you focus more of your efforts on in training: the top performers or the middle class performers?
  • Why you want to ensure the company you are working for has a compelling message.
  • What is the 30/20/10 Rule and why is it important?
  • How to train sales reps to become better at asking questions.
January 21, 2016

On Accelerate! Now: Episode 74 with Patricia Fripp. The Essential Ingredients of Effective Sales Presentations That Win Deals

In this episode, Patricia Fripp, President of Fripp & Associates, past President of the National Speakers Association, and one of the leading presentation coaches, talks how to build effective sales presentations that win more deals. Patricia describes how to avoid sounding just like everyone else when presenting to clients. And she shares why “prospects would rather have a good listening to than a good talking to” and how that will shape exactly how you should present to prospects.  Include among the topics we discuss are:

  • The secrets of teaching young sales professionals how to be effective presenters to seasoned, experienced prospects
  • A process to build effective sales presentations
  • An effective opening line that will surprise you
  • When and how to use visual aids (hint: stop using so many PowerPoint slides!)
  • How to personalize virtual presentations

This episode is a must listen for anyone that makes sales presentations to prospects. Or manages those who do!

December 29, 2015

On Accelerate! Now: Episode 58 with Jack Malcolm. Lean Communications: What The Lean Revolution Can Teach You About How to Effectively and Persuasively Communicate Your Sales Message

Jack Malcolm, is President of the Falcon Performance Group and the author of Bottom-Line Selling and Strategic Sales Presentations. In this episode, Jack identifies the single biggest barrier to effective, persuasive communication that exists in sales, and in business in general. He describes a streamlined communication process, based on lean manufacturing principles, that enables sellers and presenters to deliver more value in less time to the recipients, or target audience. Jack also provides actionable recommendations about how to assess the effectiveness of your communications, as well as exercises that you can use to ensure that your pitches, stories and presentations are focused on meeting the needs of your customers. If you want to effectively and persuasively communicate with customers to accelerate your sales, then this episode is a must listen!