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Talking to Your Customers IS Market Research

March 13, 2014

Quick story for today’s post. I have had the privilege of being a guest or part time mentor for a entrepreneur incubator for the last couple of years. Every few months I get the opportunity to interface with some incredibly bright, creative and energetic folks launching the next great thing. Sometimes in tech, sometime in retail, sometimes in education. You never know what will come next.

One of the things I have noticed in all the one-on-one conversations I have with these teams is their need for information, and their failure to see one of the best sources of it, right in their grasp. It’s their customers!

Help_request_from_pile_of_paper

Some of these companies are pre-revenue, but they still have a test or pilot customer. Or people they have talked to about the idea and want to be a first customer. This is also a same behavior I see in our larger more established clients, as well.

It is not a sign of weakness to ask your customers for advice. As a matter of fact, they may be flattered by it. I must have said it 5 times in the last 3 days: “most people are very willing to help if you ask politely”. We humans are kinda funny that way – we like to help people (its in our biology). We just don’t like to be sold.

So ask for help. Ask questions. You may be surprised by how willing people are to give of themselves to help you and your bright idea succeed.

 

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Dan Kraus
Written by Dan Kraus

With more than two decades of experience in sales, marketing, and go-to-market strategies, Dan Kraus has developed a deep portfolio of experiences that he now uses to help small businesses profitably grow their businesses. As an entrepreneur, Dan understands the challenges of growing a business with limited capital and human resources. As a line of business manager in larger companies such as SAP America and Great Plains Software (now part of Microsoft), his experience launching new business ventures inside reputable organizations established his reputation as a creative and effective executive that could both plan and execute within corporate confines.

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