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. Share on X Ask the customer to describe their problem using their own words. Share on X

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

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

Suspiciously oversimplified bonus formula:

# of questions you ask / # of sentences you speak = % of customer development you actually did Share on X

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