Client Conversations: 3 Ways To Make Yours Count
No matter what your product is, every business aims to assess and match the needs of their client base. Getting the best sense of what a potential client wants can mean the difference between a profitable idea or an expensive mistake. Here are 3 tips for founders to follow when talking to potential clients.
Never talk about your concept
This may seem counter-intuitive. If you don’t tell potential clients what your ideas are, how can you know whether or not they will meet their needs? In truth, it’s not the client’s job to decide whether your concept will be useful to them, it’s yours. The purpose of meeting with potential clients is to assess their interests and their needs, and determine yourself if you can meet them with your product. If you want to develop an app that helps people to coordinate their carpools, don’t ask them if they’d be interested in such an app. Ask them whether they ever struggle to organize a carpool, or how they currently do it. Answers to these questions will tell you a lot more about your projects’ future because the potential client isn’t required to disagree with you, or spare your feelings about your new app.
Understand and rank consumer problems
It’s not enough for your idea to solve a problem in your customers’ life. Your idea needs to also solve a problem that’s big enough for them to pay you to fix it. Most people would be happy to have a mild inconvenience taken care of for them in theory, but when ranked against serious issues they have with running their business or organizing aspects of their personal lives, they probably wouldn’t make a serious investment in making that happen. Ask your client what their top ten ranked problems are, and take that as a signifier of your ideas’ real utility to them.
Ask for a tangible commitment
Customer conversations during early development are about reconnaissance, not making sales. However, if someone claims that they would buy your product, follow up with a suggestion about how they can make a financial commitment. This gives you an opportunity to learn about their real intent and decide whether other customers would really get behind your product after all.
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