Back in the early days of Hannon Hill, as part of my learning how to sell, we hired several inside sales reps. The reps did a great job setting demos by following a process similar to Predictable Revenue (it was more cold calling heavy and many years before the book came out). Once a demo was scheduled, I was brought in to deliver the demo and act as a joint product manager and sales engineer. In fact, I demoed our content management system to over 1,000 prospects, sometimes one-on-one and sometimes to an audience of 20 or 30 people.
Entrepreneurs would do well to personally demo their product to the first 1,000 prospects. Here are a few reasons why:
- Talking to prospects in-person or over the phone generates unfiltered feedback, perfect for enhancing the product
- Excitement and passion shine through the voice, and no one cares more about the product than the entrepreneur
- Repeatedly demoing the product results in constant refinement of the script and flow, making it better for everyone else on the team doing demos
- Unreleased features can be shown to build awareness and assess value, while doing so in a controlled environment
Personally demoing the product to the first 1,000 people created the shortest feedback loop possible and helped refine the product as fast as we could. I’m confident that doing those demos, over and over again, made a huge difference in the success of the business.
What else? What are some other thoughts on the idea that entrepreneurs should demo their product to the first 1,000 prospects?