Would Your Buy This New and Exciting Product?

When you are promoting a product, one of the questions that you want to ask anyone that you meet is, “Would Your Buy This Product?”. This is one of the most useless questions to ask. Read on to know why this is such a poor question and how you should go about forming questions to ask your potential customers.

What To Do Before You Start Asking Questions

Before you prepare the list of questions to ask customers, you need to decide what do you want to get out of the questioning. What is it that you are looking for in the minds of the customers? Of course you want to find out if they will buy your product or not, but we’ll get to that later. What you should really try to find out is if they have a problem that needs solving. And you need to find out if the problem that they have is something you can solve using the product you are selling.

A useful goal of questions if to find out if a problem that needs solving exists in the mind of the customer. Establishing this, forms the basis and the origin of the journey that your customer can take along your sales funnel, finally becoming your paying customer.

Questioning Goals

So your goal in questioning people should be to find out what are the problems that are bothering your customers.

Extending this further:

  • How frequently do they face this problem?
  • How have they to tried to solve this problem on their own?
  • What solutions do they have already with them that they use to solve this problem?
  • Can they live with the problem or are they desperate to solve it somehow?

This line of questioning should give a solid understanding of their problem and the severity of the problem.

The Severe the Problem, the Easier it is to Sell the Solution

That is so obvious, you might say. And you are right. But customer usually do not know how to express the severity of the problems that they are having. People do not usually put themselves under a microscrope and watch their own behaviours. When you are on a mission to understand customers your focus should be more on their observed behaviours rather than their spoken words.

Form your questions so that customers have look back and observe their own behaviour and report that to you, rather than asking questions that questions their intentions. You can’t build a sales projection based on intentions, but you certianly can based on past purchase behaviour.

My Customer is Problem Free

You will certainly encounter a set of customers during your surveys, who might say that they just do not have any problems and so are not looking for the solutions offer. There are few things you can do in such a situation:

The Origins and Symptoms of Customer Problems

  1. Thank the customer and walk away, they may not be in your target market
  2. If they fit the profile of your target customer but they don’t face any problems as of now; they might face it in the future – try to get them to signup for your newsletter so you can sell to them when they are ready
  3. Check to see if they exhibit the symptoms of having the problem of your interest, they me just be unaware of how to express the problem – you can explain to them the symptoms and then make them aware that they are facing the problem and the solution can get rid of all the symptoms

In Conclusion

Steve Blank who is the master of getting customers to share their problems with you calls this process the Customer Development Process. Another great resource that can help you with asking the right questions is the book Talking to Humans. These two resources can benefit you and save you from days and months of barking up the wrong tree.

Written on May 20, 2015