I’m reading a book called “The Mom Test” by Rob Fitzpatrick that has me very excited. Several people I have talked to regarding their small business idea have asked me for some sort of template for customer survey questions. I am not sure “standard” questions are the way to go, but there are certainly guidelines to what makes a great question. This book lays out some of those measurements.
Let’s try something. I’m going to list a series of questions/statements from Rob Fitzpatrick’s book, and in your head determine, on your own, whether you think it’s good or not. I will give you Rob’s answers below.
- Do you think it’s a good idea?
- Would you buy a product that did X?
- How much would you pay for X?
- What would your dream product do?
- Why do you bother?
- What are the implications of that?
- Talk me though the last time that happened.
- What else have you tried?
- Would you pay X for a product that did Y?
- How are you dealing with it now?
- Where does the money come from?
- Who else should I talk to?
- Is there anything else I should have asked?
Ok–here are the answers. Ready?
- Terrible. Awful. Bottom line: Opinions are worthless
- Bad. Bottom line: Anything involving the future is over-optimistic.
- Bad. Bottom line: People will lie to you if they think it’s what you want to hear.
- Kind of ok. Bottom line: People know what their problems are but don’t know how to solve them.
- Good. Bottom line: You are shooting in the dark unless you understand your customer’s goals.
- Good. Bottom line: Some problems don’t actually matter.
- Good. Bottom line: Watching someone do a task will show you where the problems lie better than asking your customer where they think they lie.
- Good. Bottom line: If they haven’t looked for ways to solve it already, then they aren’t going to look for/buy your solution.
- Bad. Bottom line: People stop lying when you ask them for money.
- Good. Bottom line: While it’s rare for someone to tell you precisely what they will pay you, people will often show you what your product is worth to them.
- Good. Bottom line: Knowledge of their purchasing process could lead to repeatable sales.
- Good. Bottom line: End every conversation like this.
- Good. Bottom line: People want to help you. Give them a chance to do so.
I love this people oriented approach. What do you think?
Originally written: December 29, 2016