Avoid starting with Would you, Do you rather or What if.”
How to reach people to interview
One of the hardest jobs for customer development is find out how to ask people to give us more than 30 minutes of their time to talk about our business.
The easiest way to start doing interviews is asking our friends and family for help. They will be more willing to help us in the beggining when we are still practicing and don’t have a lot of experience with in-person interviews.
But it is important to understand that you are planning to build a whole business around people that you have no relationship with. So, the only way to fix this problem is starting creating relationships with them.
“I’ve been busy busy doing interviews and, though they were kind of scary in the beginning, I’m actually having fun now. I’m shocked at how open complete strangers are to chatting with me.” – Henry Finkelstein, LeanSteps Alumni
“Anything you can do for free that gets you attention of the key customer archetypes
and helps drive then into your acquisition activities.” – Steve Blank’s Udacity class
Where do they network? Where do they meetup? You need to start showing up at their events and start making closer approaches. And if there isn’t a specific place for you to meetup with them, so it is time for you to create one.
Blogging about your customers’ pains is a very good way to get closer to them.
“One person’s opinion is not a fact.” – Alline Watkins
“Maxime learning, not accuracy” – Walter
Avoid Leading the Interviewee
“Every single word said by the interviewer leads the customer and influences the answers of the interviewee.” – Alline Watkins
It is very important to capture what is on top of your customers’ mind before start pitching your solution to them. Prioritize open ended questions about their current activities and behaviors and try to understand their honest opinions. It is very common that customers’ interests are different then ours.
This video shows my friend Walter interviewing an event organizer. It is good to have a friend by our side to stop us when we fatally start trying to pitch our solution before knowing the main problems that our customers have on top of their minds. 🙂
This video is an excerpt of a 30 minutes interview with an event organizer.