Here are a handful of phrases that we often hear from software vendors in demo meetings, followed by what the customer thinks in response… 

Vendor Says:  “Let me tell you a bit about our company…” 
Customer Thinks:  Nope, no need to – we wouldn’t have agreed to invest our time in a demo if we didn’t already know about you…

Vendor Says:  “Let me give you a product overview…” 
Customer Thinks:  Is this for our sake or yours? Which of these products are relevant to us and our specific situation?

Vendor Says:  “And we’ve just re-named our products, as follows…” 
Customer Thinks:  Oh joy, more useless things to remember…

Vendor Says:  “And we’ve created some product bundles as well – let me share these with you…” 
Customer Thinks:  Why? Am I doing proof-reading for your marketing department?

Vendor Says:  “Let’s go through a day-in-the-life…” 
Customer Thinks:  Oh god, no. My day is painful enough already, why would you want to walk me through it again?

Vendor Says:  “So we’ve created seven fictional characters for this demo:  Mark the manager, Angie in accounting, Isaac in IT, Candace the CFO, Oscar in operations, Eustace the end-user…” 
Customer Thinks:  Wait – you want me to remember each of these names and their roles? I don’t even know all of the folks in my own department…!

Vendor Says:  “Let me show you how the navigation works…” 
Customer Thinks:  Will this be on the test?

Vendor Says:  “One of the questions I get a lot is…” 
Customer Thinks:  Sure, but did WE ask it?

Vendor Says:  “The other question is…” 
Customer Thinks:  Ditto...

Vendor Says:  “And this is really important…” 
Customer Thinks:  Thanks – good to know what YOU think is important, as opposed to us…

Vendor Says:  “Another really important thing is…” 
Customer Thinks:  Sounds like everything in your software is important – which means that none of it is…

Vendor Says:  “The other nice thing…” 
Customer Thinks:  How many nice things are there?

Vendor Says:  “Oh, and this is really cool…” 
Customer Thinks:  In whose opinion?

Vendor Says:  “Now, if you want to…” 
Customer Thinks:  But what if I don’t?

Vendor Says:  “Or, you can also do this by…” 
Customer Thinks:  Please just show me the fastest way to get it done…

Vendor Says:  “There are three ways you can do this – let me show you…” 
Customer Thinks:  Will these be on the test? Please just show me the one fastest way that I’d use in my day-to-day work.

Vendor Says:  “Let me show you how to…” 
Customer Thinks:  Did I ask? Do I care? Am I interested?

Vendor Says:  “What we call…” 
Customer Thinks:  Who cares what YOU call it?  I’ll never remember those terms anyway.

Vendor Says:  “Gee, I’ve never seen that happen before…” 
Customer Thinks:  We have… All the time!

Vendor Says:  “Let me try that again…” 
Customer Thinks:  So that you can prove that it REALLY doesn’t work and you, the technical expert, don’t know it?

Vendor Says:  “In our next release due next year this should work much better...”
Customer Thinks:  Great, then I’ll hold off buying until the next release comes out next year.

Vendor Says:  “Remember when I said….” 
Customer Thinks:  Nope.

Vendor Says:  “Let me show you what happens behind the scenes…” 
Customer Thinks:  Did I ask?  Do I care?  Am I interested?  I like sausage, but I’m not really interested in seeing how it was made…!

Vendor Says:  “Let me explain how this works…” 
Customer Thinks:  Did I ask?  Do I care?  Am I interested?

Vendor Says:  “To be honest…" 
Customer Thinks:  Wait a minute – so everything up through now has been a lie?

Vendor Says:  “To make a long story short... "
Customer Thinks:  Too late…!

Vendor Says:  “Now don't take this the wrong way…”
Customer Thinks:  Too late again…!

Vendor Says:   “One of the neat things that I like is…”
Customer Thinks:  Glad you like it; I could care less...

Vendor Says:  “That’s a great question…”
Customer Thinks:  Oh, so my others questions were stupid?

Vendor Says:  "So, when you sort of pull up this chart, you can kind of see your team's performance, you know?" 
Customer thinks:  Sort of?  Kind of?  Don’t worry, my check to pay for the software will sort of, kind of be good, you know?

Vendor Says:  “Oh – one more thing I want to show you…”
Customer Thinks:  One more?  How long will this go on?

Vendor Says:  “We’re running short on time, so I’ll have to go really fast, but I want this to be interactive, so stop me if you have any questions…” 
Customer Thinks:  Oh god no – the run-on demo…!

Vendor Says:  “Oops – looks like we ran out of time before we got to the best stuff…” 
Customer Thinks:  Too bad – looks like we won’t ever see your best stuff…

Vendor Says:  “I’ve saved the best for last…” 
Customer Thinks:  When our management team is gone and the rest of our brains are mush…  Why didn’t you Do the Last Thing First?

[With thanks to the many contributors from the Great Demo! Community…!]

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