I am getting ready to start a round of customer problems interviews for a project of mine. I believe it is critical to talk to potential customers even before starting to write one line of code.
To tell the truth, I don’t even have any clearly identified problems yet, however I hope these interviews will give me some insights. I am listing here questions you want to ask your potential customers.
Focus on the problem first, not your solution
The main cause of startup death is building a solution to a problem that simply isn’t that important to the targeted users. Even if you use the best and latest web development framework to build it, you won’t have enough customers to make it worth your time.
To avoid that, you want to make sure before you start coding, that you have found a crowd that has a problem big enough they might even pay to have it fixed. Your goal here is to understand the problem, not make a feature list.
What are the goals of the “customer problems interview”?
- Identify your target customer’s top problems.
- Get a deeper understanding of those problems: what are your clients trying to achieve, what are their expectations, etc.
- Identify their desired outcomes: what exactly are people trying to achieve?
- Identify the constraints: what do they want to avoid doing however still get the desired outcome?
- Validate that the problem is a real pain point. What is their pain level?
- Investigate how they are solving this problem today. This will probably define your main competitor. What are their current alternatives?
- Start to segment your market.
- Find paths to your customers.
- Find early adopters. Who has the highest urgency to solve this problem? Who is the most ready to try new solutions?
- Understand which metrics they will use to evaluate your product. How will they know your solution offers a concrete improvement?
The SPIN framework
If there is only one book about sales and selling that you read during your life, please make it SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham. He and his team spent more than 12 years studying, very scientifically, how great salesmen work.
You might be surprised, however great salesmanship is not about putting high pressure on customers or using strong closing tactics. It is quite the opposite.
SPIN stands for Situation, Problem, Implication, and Need-Payoff. It is a great framework to use when you want to understand somebody else’s problem before offering any solution. I suggest using the same outline to conduct your interviews.
When you ask these SPIN selling questions to your customers, it will help you learn more about them, their lives, their businesses and their industries, depending on what kind of product you want to build. This is not a shotgun approach; ask only what you really need to learn. You can collect demographic information at this step.
- What is the size of your business?
- What kind of business do you run?
- What equipment/software are you using?
- How many people are in your company?
- How do you learn about new products in your industry/community?
- What websites, blogs, or magazines are you reading regularly?
- What trade shows are you attending?
- Who are the key influencers or famous people in your industry/community/culture?
You want to explore the customer’s problems, challenges, needs, frustrations, and concerns. If you can guess what those problems might be, before you hire Perth app developers, you will want to ask and validate your assumptions at this step.
- What is your biggest challenge regarding __________?
- What is most frustrating about doing __________?
- Would you say that __________ is a problem for you?
- How big of a problem would you say this is?
- Do you think all the people in your industry share this exact same problem?
- How would you rank these problems?
- Are you satisfied with __________?
- Have you tried to solve this problem before? Why didn’t it work for you?
These questions are the most critical. Their goal is to link the customer problems to concrete consequences and pain. You want to explore how serious the problem is for them: a problem is only as bad as the consequences it creates. It is probably here that you will find your real competition and it might just be “doing nothing.”
- If this problem is not solved, what are the undesirable consequences?
- What are the problems that not being able to do __________ is causing?
- How are you trying to solve this problem today?
- What effect does this problem have on your business?
- Have you tried things that haven’t worked? Why didn’t they work for you?
These questions help express the benefits a solution might have for these people. Ask them to imagine the “future state” they would like to achieve. If the gap between the consequences of the problem and the best outcome is too narrow, there may not be a problem worth solving for this crowd. If it is the case, look for another group of people.
- What would be the ideal outcome?
- How would being able to do __________ would help you?
- If you could wave a magic wand to solve this problem, what would be the result?
- How important is it for you to solve this problem?
- What would be the benefits of having this problem immediately solved?
- How much would you pay to solve the problem immediately?
How to implement it
This is not a rigid formula and you must adapt it to your own situation. Try to do all the interviews face-to-face or by phone, as it will allow you to dig deeper. It will help with the steps in your software development plan and business forecasting. I will write an update on my lessons learned during my next round of interviews later.
Customer Development is NOT about gathering a list of what features customers want by talking to them, surveying them, or running “focus groups.”
– Steve Blank
Consulting Firms – How to Pick the Best Consulting Firm
Searching for all that consulting companies can be truly difficult these days as there are a great many decisions to browse. In this article, I will assist you with tracking down the best counselling organization for your adapting needs so you’ll get an extraordinary incentive for your cash. This is what you need to do:
- Do an exhaustive examination. Dispatch your web search tools and quest for the sort of counselling organization that you are searching for. Contingent upon your necessities, you can look for IT counselling, ecological counseling, web promoting counselling, and so on. Access the initial 20 locales that surface on your pursuit page results. Regularly, these are awesome. Peruse and learn however much you can on each site. Scribble down the locales that strike you as the expert and pass on tremendous applicable experience. Pick the best ten destinations.
- Request proposals. Show the best ten locales to your associates and others who have utilized the administrations of these counselling organizations. Get some information about their encounters. Through this, you’ll find out about the nature of administration that these organizations are advertising. Go with the five organizations that are strongly suggested. You can likewise visit destinations that offer item and administration audits. You may discover a few surveys that can assist you with settling on an all-around educated choice.
- Ask. Send an email request to your best five engineer consultants. You can get some information about the administrations they offer, their rates, and so forth. Those organizations who truly mean business will, as a rule, send an answer within 24 hours, and they may even call you to talk about your interests. Take as much time as you require and pose every one of your inquiries. Keep in mind that your cash and your time are on the line, so you better ensure that you join an ideal organization for your adapting needs.
4. Request free preliminary. Most counselling organizations these days are a lot of willing to offer free counselling meetings to their possible customers about engineering consulting firms. Exploit this and ask your main five organizations with the expectation of complimentary preliminary. It might be ideal on the off chance that you can go to the free meetings with a target outsider who can assist you with settling on a choice later on. Go with the organization that you think can offer you all that you need. They should tune in and comprehend your necessities and requests.
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At Legacy Marble & Granite, we use these five crucial steps to create dazzling custom countertops for our Lima, OH neighbors.
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Spending Time to Find the Perfect Slab that Connects with Your Style
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When it is time to install your granite or marble countertop at your Lima, OH home, our professional installers will work with your contractor to ensure minimal disruption of construction. We make every effort to eliminate stress and frustration on your part.
Following Up to Ensure Total Satisfaction
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Available for sale by Owners Do Miracles With Flat Fee MLS
Fsbo listings have done a lot of great to home owners who have classified by flat fee MLS. Property owners that have looked to sell their property to obtain money in profit have chosen MLS listing as for purchase by owner. Flat Fee MLS Ohio – If we look into the some of the stats provided by real-estate research companies they obviously say MLS listing in terms of sale by owner convey more edge then those who utilize traditional way of selling their home. Homes listed as for selling by owner has shown much more buying or rent inquiries then the other ones who may have placed their ads within newspapers or distributed fliers.
We all know that since final decade internet has been a trend worldwide and use of web has grown incredibly. More and more businesses have grown their business along with online presence and unique way real estate market has shown growth possible. People either buying or selling houses use internet as the greatest medium and MLS real estate has been the widely used platform for the similar.
MLS listing database is actually accesses by licensed real estate agents who on behalf of buyers search for potential and their choice of house. Sitting at their location buyers get the advantage of choosing the property of their choice. Not just buyers can view the information on the property in MLS position but can also view pictures of the property posted through the seller.
If you are property owner and searching to sell your home or purchasing another one, have you ever thought the reason why your close friend or neighbors had a pleasant experience marketing or buying a property? Nicely, as a seller your buddy would have approached a real estate agent who does have listed in flat fee MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE as for sale by proprietor.
Flat fee MLS provided the best kind of platform to listing as for sale by operator with a small upfront charge which is very less because compare to placing ads in papers. If we look with respect to price in traditional way of offering you might place several advertisements in newspapers to sell your house costing your thousands of dollars. Apart from this you might also pay countless numbers in sales commission in order to broker you get a buyer for the home.
In flat fee LOCAL MLS you pay for services you would like and your for sale by owner listing additionally gets maximum nationwide publicity it needs to sell in fast time. While listing regarding sale by owner inside flat fee MLS your property is positioned for months depending on the MLS directory site package you opt for. You don’t have to spend anything extra every month aside from the flat fee MLS package a person register with.
Listing concerning sale by owner a person pay the amount of sales commission rate you would have paid to conventional real estate broker. Here you will pay something around $349 for MLS listing bundle and some percentage of home cost when deal will be closed. That would definitely be really less many of them are having to pay not listing as for good discounts by owner on A MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE listing.
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A New Standby Genset for the worldwide contractor industry has been introduced by Caterpillar
Extended Range of Cat GC diesel generator sets are currently accessible for 50Hz and 60Hz applications
According to Caterpillar, thirty-one new versions of Cat GC diesel sets of generators have been dispatched. This new range of high-end value-designed fixed power solutions by the organization is explicitly focused on providing for the electrical contractor industry on a global level.
Presently accessible for 50Hz and 60Hz demands around the world, Cat GC Gensets make the specification procedure very easy, considerably reducing quotation and conveyance times, while assisting with making sure stringent budget needs are met especially for standby reserve power applications within this specific power output.
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Aside from 11 explicit models from 40-200kW for 60Hz applications in North America, the thirty one new versions that are currently accessible feature 11, with power outputs ranging from 33-400 KVA for 50Hz demands internationally just as nine from 30-175 W for 60Hz demands in places apart from North America.
Cat indicated that specific models having the popular known power yields and setups are loaded at their largest selling points for instant pick up and conveyance.
The VP for Caterpillar Electric Power, Jason Kaiser stated that the electrical project worker market is liable for appointing the biggest portion of backup power solutions for both medium and small sized standby demands, so they have explicitly developed the Cat GC generator sets specifically for electrical contractors and have now released an item that showcases Caterpillar’s prestigious exhibition at a remarkable price.
Cat indicated that its GC Gensets have been equipped with an upgraded blend of standard features that convey Caterpillar’s eminent performance and superb client value using the very little impression. The GC Gensets are great for both little to medium-sized backup applications, like wellbeing centers, fabrications, farming offices, city foundations, wastewater treatment facilities and other applications, business enterprises, and office structures.
The new versions have been added to the recent models of 8 Cat GC Genset models from 250-600kW presented in 2020 for 60Hz demands in North America, just as the 1100kVA version dispatched in October 2020 for 50Hz demands in the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and Asia Pacific.
Each Cat GC diesel generator set comes with Caterpillar’s standard two-year guarantee, for standby power arrangements, while a set-up of extra expanded service coverage alternatives is also provided. They can be furnished with the Connect Remote Asset Monitoring tool from Cat Connect, which gives information visualization, notification, and alarms that are widely available through a user-friendly web interface.
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