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Nuts About Sales - Ed Jaffe - Founder of Demo Solutions

Nuts About Sales - Ed Jaffe

In this episode, we had the pleasure of interviewing Ed Jaffe, founder of Demo Solutions. He shared with us his best sales tips, experiences, and more! Watch the full video or read the interview below:

What is your name? Where do you work? 

My name is Ed Jaffe, and I run a consulting company called Demo Solutions. 

What’s the craziest thing that happened to you during a demo?

Actually, I have one that happened last week. In Chicago, we have really bad storms but we don’t normally lose power here, but we lost power for a full 24 hours. I still had a presentation I was walking through so I ran it on a 5G iPad. The demo gods are fickle. 

What’s the worst sales mistake to avoid? 

Blind RFPs. So if, when you get an RFP, that’s Request For Proposal, and you don’t have a relationship with the person who is sending it out, odds are that you’re not going to win the deal. I’ve learned this the hard way more than once, and if you don’t know who the “fodder” is, who procurement is just making you send RFPs to, it’s probably you. 

What’s the part in the sales process you hate the most?

The first 10 minutes of almost every presentation. I’m talking: “Let me tell you all about our background. Here’s who we are. Here’s our story.” It’s terrible. I just want to light every one of these slides on fire,  and just get to the part that’s about the client, not about the salesperson. 

What do you love the most about sales?

I like getting to know people. Especially in pre-sales, I’m kind of coming in where it’s a little bit later in the deal, so there’s a little bit less of the intro stuff, and we can just start talking about the challenges people have, and I feel like I get to know them and fix something for them. 

What’s your golden rule in sales?

My golden rule in sales is: never make anybody feel bad when you’re presenting to them. Understand their problems, don’t just insult them about it, let them off the hook, and then help them figure it out. 

What’s your biggest challenge when demoing? 

The biggest challenge when demoing I find is often that coordination between multiple people on the call, where let’s say you have an AE and a SE on the same call: Who leads it? Who does this? Who does that? So I find that just making you’re really prepared about. “OK, you’re going to run this part of the meeting, I’m going to run this part of the meeting.” It’s really important. Otherwise, it just looks like: “Who’s in charge of this?״ 

Sell me a walnut!

I don’t believe I can sell you something until I’ve asked you some questions. The idea is that if I just go in and start pitching, that doesn’t really work. I need to understand who you are. Maybe you like cashews. 

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