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Great Demo!: How To Create And Execute Stunning Software Demonstrations Paperback – April 5, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 308 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Inc.; 2nd edition (April 5, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 059534559X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595345595
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #190,313 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Peter Cohan leverages twenty-five years of experience in selling and marketing business software and as a customer. The Great Demo! method comes directly from extensive firsthand experiences in developing and delivering software demonstrations, and in coaching others to achieve surprisingly high success rates with their sales and marketing demos.

More About the Author

Peter Cohan is the founder and principal of The Second Derivative, focused on helping software organizations improve their sales and marketing results - primarily through improving organizations' demonstrations.

The bulk of his experience is with complex, enterprise software and strategic systems sold to varied audiences in a range of vertical markets. He has enjoyed roles in technical and product marketing, marketing management, sales and sales management, and senior management.

In 2003, he authored Great Demo!, a book that provides methods to create and execute compelling demonstrations. The 2nd edition of Great Demo! was published March, 2005.

In July 2004, he enabled and began moderating DemoGurus®, a community web exchange dedicated to helping sales and marketing teams improve their software demonstrations, which was subsequently transitioned to the Great Demo! LinkedIn Group in 2010-2011.

Before The Second Derivative, Peter founded the Discovery Tools® business unit at Symyx Technologies, Inc., where he grew the business from an empty spreadsheet into a $30 million per year operation. Prior to Symyx, Peter served in marketing, sales, and management positions at MDL Information Systems, a leading provider of scientific information management software. Peter currently serves on the Board of Directors for Collaborative Drug Discovery, Inc., is an advisor to NewallStreet, Inc. and a mentor to StartX, the Stanford University start-up accelerator. He holds a degree in chemistry.

Peter has experience as an individual contributor, manager and senior management in marketing, sales, and business development. He has also been, and continues to be, a customer.

Customer Reviews

Peter Cohan has made a significant contribution to sales education in his book Great Demo!
CoverDesignStudio
Great Demo!: How To Create And Execute Stunning Software Demonstrations The book is simple, but don't let that fool you.
Brian K. Seitz
It is a very easy read with straightforward examples of what to do and what not to do during the demo.
Kenneth P. Hetrick

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Roy Massie on May 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
In Great Demo, Peter Cohan applies his own methodology for how to give a demo in how he writes a business book. Even though the book is nearly 300 pages, it gets directly to the main premise. Show your prospect the best part, the most valuable aspect, of your product right at the front of your demo. Cohan does this with the book as well by giving us the "punch line" on page 5, not page 205. Just after the Introduction, the author gives us the "answer" to effective software demonstrations - "Do The Last Thing First." Show them that part of the killer demo that's meant to knock their socks off; that part traditionally following the grand build up like a symphony musical. Just skip the prelude, build up and all that other stuff and show the customer what they really want to see. Then you have their attention to fill in the details because you've proven (hopefully) up front that you are relevant and worth their time. It is interesting to observe how many proven advertising schemes already have this grab `em-up-front tactic built in. This can be seen in some television and magazine ads, most trade show tables, and yes even SPAM. Great Demo addresses this human need for immediate resolution - why is this worth my time at all? - in the board room during demos.

With 250 more pages of regular content (not counting the Appendices, glossary, etc.) Great Demo has a lot more to say about knowing what the most relevant part of your system might be to show each individual client and how to deal with the inevitable questions, etc. But, the core of Great Demo is simple, memorable and effective. I have had the opportunity to give several demonstrations since reading Great Demo and I have found this up front approach really changes the dynamic with the prospect in a healthy way.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth P. Hetrick on July 29, 2003
Format: Paperback
I think we have all sat through software demos, which were extremely boring, poorly planned or appeared to be meant for another audience. The reading of Great Demo! will ensure that you don't make those mistakes. It is a very easy read with straightforward examples of what to do and what not to do during the demo. It covers the entire gamut of the software demo including the identification of the customer's critical business issues, communication within the sales team, identification of the room specs, and the time-line of the demo. Overall, it is an excellent guide for anyone associated with a technical sales team.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Guy Kawasaki on April 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
If everyone just read and practiced chapter 1, the world would be a betterplace. At the very least, the world would be a less boring place. Unfortunately, those who most need this book are least likely to read it--unless you buy it for them and give it to them.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 24, 2004
Format: Paperback
For somebody with years of experience in the field it is a very humbling experience to read Peter Cohan's book. Peter is clearly a master of the field and has spent a lot of time thinking, organizing and practicing all the key points he develops in his book. The book not only covers the key elements of giving great presentations (and I say presentations on purpose as most of what he says goes beyond demos) but also does it in a well organized way.
Whatever you are, experienced or beginner in the field of presentations and demos, this book is key. What other book gave you a major rethinking of how you work within its first 10 pages?
This one does, read it and you'll see.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mike Pawlowski on June 2, 2003
Format: Paperback
I'm an application engineer for a software reseller, and have found Peter Cohan's "Great Demo!" to be an invaluable guide in crafting my own demos to achieve maximum impact. One of the most valuable pieces of advice Cohan provides in this book -- to demonstrate the end result at the beginning -- has made a real impact on the demos I perform. My audiences are immediately engaged in my demonstration, and want to see more. The structure of the book itself highlights the effectiveness of this technique. By kicking off the book with this important piece of information, the reader is driven to read on.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone involved in any facet of a technical sales process -- salespeople, application engineers, sales VP's. The techniques that Cohan describes will make a real impact on your bottom line.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 16, 2004
Format: Paperback
Demos are of critical importance but are far too often left unmanaged, unstructured, or un-coached. Some people are naturally good at them, others aren't. And deals are won or lost based upon what happens during that critical single event. Believe me.
There is wisdom here. Lots of it. It's full of content -- actionable and thought provoking. Cohan covers preparation, style, questions, special situations, time management and, very specifically, what it takes to deliver a great demo.
This is one of the few books I've seen on the subject that ties the demo all the way up to the business needs of the CEO.
If you are in software sales, this book is for you. If you're a rep, buy two copies. One for you and one for the person who does your demos. If you do demos, buy one for yourself and one for the rep with whom you work.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sharon N. Jacobs on October 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
Having worked at Hewlett-Packard for over 20 years in sales development, marketing, and senior management, I had the opportunity to present numerous demos, and later, to supervise dozens of people making presentations and giving demos to HP's customers. "Great Demo" has the potential to help the reader learn much more quickly how to give effective demonstrations and presentations. While you may not have as many funny-in-retrospect stories to tell as do those of us who had to learn through years of experience, "Great Demo" can help you become more successful more quickly.

I recommend Peter Cohan's book not only to sales people and sales managers, but also to product marketing, sales development, and R&D managers who need to sell their products internally as well as externally.
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