At The Rental Show, don’t ask for a software demo. Ask these questions first so you can be assured you’re not wasting your time.
Wynne has been exhibiting at The Rental Show for what will be our 15th straight year this February in Atlanta. I’m proud to say that with the exception of two, I have been to every show. We spend hours on the trade show floor, meeting with clients and prospects—and we truly do enjoy every minute of it.
The reason I bring up my history with The Rental Show is because I have seen thousands of people come through our booth. I have had hundreds of discussions with people looking to invest in software, and I’ve noticed a lot of our discussions are very similar. There are the general questions that always need to be addressed right off the bat (What does Wynne do exactly, for example), but there are some questions that visitors should start asking way before the product demonstration to make the most of their time researching software solution providers. Your time is valuable and the exhibit show floor is expansive—make vendors cut to the chase!
Question 1. My Business Struggles with _________. How Can Your Software Manage That?
You’ve made the initial introduction, badges have been scanned. Now it’s time to get to the meat of the matter: what your biggest concern is. The exhibitor may ask you this right off the bat, but if they don’t, you should be. From a vendor’s perspective, we’re not only there to show you our software, but we’re also trying to solve your problems. And if this is your primary concern, then let’s make it the primary topic. In the end, there is nothing more disheartening than seeing a product you really like, only to learn later that it can’t address The Big Problem.
Question 2. Our Long Term Strategy is __________. How Can Your Software Manage That?
Come armed knowing what your short- and long-term strategies are. Expansion into new countries, acquisitions, or a new division that will change the way your business runs—all these are very important for the exhibitor to get a clear, concise vision of your goals. In terms of software, you’re investing for the long-term and want a product that will get you there, and be there well beyond that. Question 1 positions you to fix your current issues, and Question 2 positions you to achieve your business goals.
3. We Are Unique in that We Do ______________. How Can Your Software Manage That?
We’ve installed our software for over 100 companies, and we can say that not one of them has an identical software set-up. Every company has something that makes them unique, be it the way they handle services, billing, or equipment set-up. And, you should be able to continue that if you’ve been successful thus far. Ask the vendor whether the software can handle your unique situation, because your software should adapt, not your business process.
If you’re completely satisfied with the responses, go ahead and ask for that demonstration. You can evaluate the product knowing there won’t be any sticking points ahead.
If you’re visiting The Rental Show, please stop by Booth 2319 (and ask us these three questions!).