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 A large part of my day is spent helping clients find the most appropriate solution for their requirements – varying from ATS, CRM, funky tech to make them more organised and rich… This inevitably involves  a number of demonstrations or what is often called ”a Beauty Parade”.  These are a great way of looking at your options, but I have seen some go horribly wrong.

Here are 6 simple steps to put in place to ensure your demos run smoothly and you get value from the process.

  1. Create an exec summary – providing an overview document to all attendees will help them understand exactly what the presentations are for and what they should be looking for during the presentation. You need to manage their expectations and ensure that you gain their opinions which should help make a speedy decision.
  2. Check technology – find out how your suppliers will be presenting and what technology they need. Ensure it is all set up and tested the day before.
  3. Allocate appropriate time – allow plenty of time before the start of the session for the supplier to set themselves up, be specific on how long the presentation should be and allow time for Q&As and to clear the room.
  4. Use the same people as the “judging panel” – it may sound obvious but if you are comparing more than one solution, ensure that all the same people are present at each presentation; only then can you make an objective decision.
  5. Get away from a standard sales pitch – prep the supplier to ensure their demo is based on your agenda. You want to be shown the relevance of their solution against your requirements, not all the wonderful things their solution “could” do for you.  (Dare I suggest that you take time to find out what your requirements are beforehand?)
  6. Provide feedback forms – give every attendee a bespoke feedback form that will also allow them to make notes during the presentation.

My ultimate tip?  The demonstration is for YOU not the supplier so make sure that you get what YOU need from the session – manage the process.

Are you going through this process?  Do you have any words of wisdom?

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