Get Out of The Building

Steve Blank tells us that to find out what customers want we need to get out of the building. If you’re going to help people you have to talk to them about what they truly want and need. Getting to the heart of the matter means that you have to get out there and talk to people.

I am about to start talking to some customers. I don’t know why I don’t do this more often. There have been times in my life when I have done customer interviews after a project to see how things are going for the user (or what they hate about the product that they were just forced to use.) I have done informational interviews to understand other people’s roles. I have done customer interviews to try to understand what customers want. Every time I start making these calls, it seems like such a daunting task. Every time I have finished a call I feel refreshed and energized. I learn something new. I see an original question I should be asking. I understand what someone needs, or doesn’t need, a little bit better.

I’m going to start doing some customer interviews to see what people need when it comes to getting their projects done on time. I have no idea what I am going to find out. What will people like, what will they want? Are they willing to pay money for it, or is it something that they find easily enough on the internet, without spending money.

Here is my list of questions that I will ask:

  1. Do you do project work within your company?
  2. In general, what are the length of your projects?
  3. Do you ever have trouble finishing a project on time?
  4. What stops you from completing your projects on time? Or What is your secret to making sure that all of your projects get finished on time?
    [And the last two questions, compliments of Steve Blank]
    Who else should I be talking to?
    What should I have really asked you?

With this list of questions, I’ll start calling businesses. I’ll let you know how it goes. I feel energized already, thinking about the insight we might gain.