Last week, we started the process of creating better results by NOT marketing to the masses. If you missed it, click here. You can easily catch up.
Now that you’ve selected your ideal customer segment, you can now begin the process of understanding what gets in the way of the progress that these customers want to make in their jobs.
Go back and reread the above paragraph. Note that this discovery process does not include asking questions such as “how are we doing?” or “how can we improve?” While important, big transformational strategies come from deep customer empathy. And empathy starts with setting aside what you offer and trying to understand what success looks like to your customer.
Empathy is hard, but the following process has never failed to help me get into a deep, empathetic conversation that’s created the seeds for better strategies and easier selling:
- Pick a role that you typically sell to. Examples — Purchasing manager, CTO, VP of engineering, etc.
- Be sure not to mix roles. B2B companies often have to appeal to several roles inside a prospect. And each role is trying to progress in different ways. For now, pick the role that is essential for you to initially convince.
- Interview several customers, all in the same role or position. Ask them:
~ How do you define success in your role?
~ What is the hardest part of achieving that success? (These are the unresolved pains that you might be able to relieve.)
~ If you could dream up a way to solve that problem in a way that you cannot do today, what would that look like?
Silence feels awkward, but these questions make your customer think. Let them.
Keep asking “What else?”
Don’t sell. Keep the focus on the customer.
Interview in teams of two: One asks questions and one takes notes.
What do you do after you’ve completed several interviews? I’ll cover that next week!
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