Customer development surveys always sucks for B2B: have a conversation instead.

Customer Development Surveys Always Suck For B2B

“Nothing beats meeting face-to-face with a customer. Yet, asking the same questions of potential customers over and over again is tough. It’s tempting to try to automate this process. After all, a founder’s time is so incredibly valuable.”
Samanta Shi in “Lessons Learned: 4 Tips to Make Customer Development Surveys Suck Less

If you are selling to business and you tell yourself “my time is so incredibly valuable,” I need to automate my interactions with prospects you are missing the point. The key challenge in the early market is to establish and maintain trust by listening, making and meeting commitments, and following up to very that your customers are satisfied. It’s not so much about punching the most important item on your task list as cultivating relationships with key customers, partners, and employees: all of these start with conversations and are built on trust

Once you are trying to validate what you think you have learned, start making good faith offers. Don’t start surveying more prospects, see if the firms you have already talked to are willing to buy. And if not,  learn why not in a conversation.

Practical tips for how to conduct B2B Customer Development Interviews