Tristan Kromer shares 13 tweetable tips for customer development. # of questions you ask / # of sentences you speak = % of customer development you actually did.
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.
1) Who you are talking to is as important as what they are saying.
2) 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.
3) Customer development takes practice. It will get easier.
4) Don’t just listen to what they say, listen to how they say it.
5) Remember the difference between a user and a customer. A customer pays you.
6) The amount of time someone will complain about a problem without prompting is directly correlated to the amount they’ll pay for a solution.
7) Smile. People want to talk to you.
8) If someone says, “I could see a lot of people might want this” it means that they themselves don’t want it.
9) People lie. A smile, a frown, a roll of the eyes will tell you more about their reaction than, “Yeah, I’d buy that.”
10) 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.
11) If you didn’t take any notes, you weren’t doing customer development.
12) “Yes,” means no. “Where can I buy that?” means maybe. “Here’s $20 dollars,” means yes.
Suspiciously oversimplified bonus formula:
13) # of questions you ask / # of sentences you speak = % of customer development you actually did”
“12 Random Customer Development Tips” was originally published by GrassHopperHerder on July 17, 2012.
By: Tristan Kromer, lean startup coach.