Nuts About Sales: Peter Cohan - Great Demo

In this episode, we had the pleasure of interviewing Peter Cohan from Great Demo. He shared with us his best sales tips, experiences, and more! Watch the full video or read the interview below.

What’s your name? Where do you work?

My name is Peter Cohan and I work in Trinidad, California at Great Demo!

Craziest thing that happened to you during a demo

So this is when I was with a partner organization, and the partner was doing a demo for a mutual customer and it was truly awful. About 20 minutes into the demo, one of the members of the customer team stood up, walked away from the table, walked over to the wall and slowly started pounding his head against the wall.

Worst mistake to avoid

Oh, that’s easy. Letting the quarter end try to drive the close, rather than the customer’s timing. If you can let go of the quarter ends- and I know it’s hard because we’re all driven by quarters- you’re going to have higher value and higher, happier customers as you go forward.

Your golden rule of sales

The golden rule… be honest, it’s easy.

What phase in the sales process do you hate the most?

What do I hate the most in the sales process? *Crickets* In other words, the waiting process where you’re waiting for something to happen.

Most embarrassing sales story

A vendor was doing a corporate overview for the Disney corporation and when the sales rep said at the end of the session, “so as you can see we are not a Mickey Mouse organization”... end of sales cycle right there.

Funniest thing a client has told you

A guy had reached out to me by email and said, “I need to talk” and the first thing he said when he picked up the phone and we connected was he said “Our demos suck.” That was the opening line… and I just went “OK! Let’s talk.”

Your best sales tip

It’s not selling. Our job is to enable the customer to buy- and that’s gotta be a constant mindset.

The deal you made that will stay in your Pantheon of Sales

Well that’s easy… the deal that's the biggest in my Pantheon, the company was Amgen, a big pharmaceutical company. We had completed a successful pilot and they wanted to extend it to a full site license and my two key contacts, the guys I’ve been working with, we sat in a conference room and they worked from the price book and the different seat types and seat prices to assemble the deal. And they actually did it. We were working on a whiteboard and they were saying things like, “Oh wait, Bob, if we got two more of this type of seat, we can get to the next discount level. Let’s do that!” It was absolutely fabulous… I wasn’t selling, all I was doing was sitting there just keeping score. That’s the one that I will hopefully never forget.

Your biggest challenge when demoing

My biggest challenge when demoing- it’s this thing right here (computer mouse)! I suffer from a terrible, terrible disease known as Zippy Mouse Syndrome, which means I tend to move the mouse far too fast, all over the place, and I finally found a cure when a colleague told me to go to the mouse speed control and take it from normal to painfully slow.

The thing you love most about sales

Seeing the customer get real value from our product and actually hearing that communicated directly from the customer. That's what gets me up in the morning: hearing the success stories directly from the customers.

How do you celebrate closing a big deal?

Ah, by offering congratulations to my customer by sending them congratulations! It’s their win, from my perspective.

Sell me a walnut!

If you’re hungry, eat a walnut. But if you want tons of walnuts in the future, as well as some absolutely gorgeous wood for furniture and so forth, then plant it, nurture it, and then, in several years, you can truly enjoy the fruits of your labor.

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