Talk to your (future) customers!

lunch

lunch (Photo credit: jaded one)

I was reading a blog the other day written by the group at 16 ventures.   Titled “Take your customer to lunch, not me” it reminded me of advice I have often given.  When you are working on part of you business model and looking for feedback, do not forget your current or future customers.  They are the ones that in the end will have the final vote on your success. 

Here are three approaches may want to consider:

  • Turn each question you have around and look at it from the customer’s view, what will they receive for their money.  When you meet with the customer, explain the whole view of the idea from price to what they will receive.  Ask the question then do a lot of listening.  As the customer offers ideas, ask probing questions to understand the why of their response.
  • Ask a former customer.  This is an opportunity to find out more about what they were really looking for and gives you a perspective from a non customer that knows your company.
  • Get a few of your customers and prospects together and run the question by then in a group setting.  Let them discuss the idea amongst themselves.  You may end up with a better idea in the end than what you started with.  

Asking your customer before making a change is a great way to insure success and prevent a major failure.

(This post originally ran in March of 2010.  From time to time I re-publish older posts I think are still relevant)

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Written by Mike Colwell

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