Customer development is hard. It takes work to get it right and you’ll always be improving your technique. Here are a few pithy tips I like to keep in my head while I’m getting out of the building.
- Who you are talking to is as important as what they are saying.
- Ask the customer to describe their problem using their own words. It’s probably the exact same words they’ll type into google to find a solution.
- Customer Development takes practice. It will get easier.
- Don’t just listen to what they say, listen to how they say it.
- Remember the difference between a user and a customer. A customer pays you.
- The amount of time someone will complain about a problem without prompting is directly correlated to the amount they’ll pay for a solution.
- Smile. People want to talk to you.
- If someone says, “I could see a lot of people might want this” it means that they themselves don’t want it.
- People lie. A smile, a frown, a roll of the eyes will tell you more about their reaction than, “Yeah, I’d buy that.”
- Paired customer development will allow one person to focus on asking the right questions while the other takes notes and, more importantly, critiques the interviewer.
- If you didn’t take any notes, you weren’t doing customer development.
- “Yes,” means no. “Where can I buy that?” means maybe. “Here’s $20 dollars,” means yes.
Suspiciously oversimplified bonus formula:
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