Bad customer development

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. Click To Tweet Ask the customer to describe their problem using their own words. Click To Tweet

It’s probably the exact same words they’ll type into google to find a solution.

Customer Development takes practice. It will get easier. Click To Tweet Don't just listen to what they say, listen to how they say it. Click To Tweet Remember the difference between a user and a customer. A customer pays you. Click To Tweet amount of time complaining = amount they'll pay for a solution Click To Tweet Smile. People want to talk to you. Click To Tweet I could see a lot of people might want this = They don't want it Click To Tweet People lie. A smile, a frown, a roll of the eyes will tell you more about their reaction than, 'Yeah, I'd buy that.' Click To Tweet Paired customer development lets one person focus on asking the right questions. Click To Tweet If you didn't take any notes, you weren't doing customer development. Click To Tweet 'Yes,' means no. 'Where can I buy that?' means maybe. 'Here's $20 dollars,' means yes. Click To Tweet

Suspiciously oversimplified bonus formula:

# of questions you ask / # of sentences you speak = % of customer development you actually did Click To Tweet

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