Demo This


On a very regular basis, annoying sales people penetrate the switch board protocols and arrive at my extension. I am normally not inclined to entertain cold calls because when I need something, I research it and find suppliers.

A few years ago I dealt with these people by just saying that they needed to contact our main procurement office, and then I would hang-up. One day though I decided to take a different route, maybe because I was bored, or maybe because the person was very annoying. I said, “Ok. I will meet with you but you have to provide me with a full working demo for 2 weeks; or meet me at one of your existing client locations and show me a fully working installation.”

The sales person froze. They said, “We can come show you a demo presenation.”

I said, “No. We require all suppliers to install demos for us to test before we will commit (this is true), so even though you are not yet a supplier you need to play by the same rules.”

The sales person hung-up. A new strategy for managing cold calls was born.

Basically about 75% of the people selling items are just warehouse middlemen. They do not have solutions they just have stuff and they want you to buy it once. In the end you will still need to work with the brand for service, upgrades, and a full integration package. For example, you can buy XEROX from a XEROX reseller, but if they do not have certified XEROX repair people or XEROX software integration people, then you will have to work with XEROX to fill-in the gaps. So why not just work with XEROX and forget the middleman ?

Any company with decent credit, confidence in their services, and skilled with their products will be able to provide a demo or take you to an existing installation. So require this from anyone trying to sell items to your organization.

In general I hate presentations and PowerPoints. If you have something, and it works SHOW ME and let me use it. Remember sales person– you called me -So I pwn u :).

Tony DePrato

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