Stop Asking the Right Questions to the Wrong People


Stop Asking the Right Questions to the Wrong People

Asking questions is one of the most powerful ways to accelerate and improve your business and marketing. But it’s important that you ask the right questions to the right people.

I’m part of many Facebook groups and nearly every day I see posts asking for advice on the rebrand of product labels, logo design and landing page creation. While sometimes the Facebook group is the right forum, often it is not.

While surveying the right people is a great way to progress in the right direction, surveying the wrong people is a great way to progress in the wrong direction.

There are many ways you can get answers to your questions such as surveys, quizzes and interviews. But it doesn’t matter how good your questions are, if you are asking them to the wrong people. So, who you gunna call, I mean ask?

When developing a new business idea, product or service:

  1. Ask your ideal customers. Sounds obvious, but this is often skipped;
  2. Ask friends and family. But take their answer with a grain of salt. If they enthusiastically say “that’s a great idea – I love it!” (which they probably will because they are invested in your feelings) ask them to part with money to see if they really think it’s a great idea;
  3. Ask someone who is already doing what you’re thinking of doing to see what challenges they faced;
  4. Ask lots of strangers. They can provide unattached, non-emotional feedback. They aren’t attached to the idea, and they have no idea how much time and effort you’ve put in.

The guys from Travello App who participated in the River City Labs Muru-D Accelerator Program recommend you take your business idea to the streets and ask the people who will use your product. They say “You will often get the best insights from the people who like your app the least.” The same rings true for your business, product or service. Take it to where your customers are and really listen to what they have to say. Especially those who like it the least.

When pinpointing your target audience:

Because we all know having a well-identified niche is important for high converting ads.

  1. Interview your existing customers, specifically those who are your ideal customers;
  2. Interview your potential ideal customers;
  3. Interview the customers who have left you or those who say they “hate” you;
  4. Complete profiling exercises so you can step into the shoes of your client. But don’t spend too much time doing this yourself. Do it as best you can, then test to see if your best guess was correct. And let’s face it, a guess without a test is still just a guess. You can do this by running a set of small budget Facebook Ads.

When designing a logo/brochure/website/book cover/anything:

  1. Spend time finding a professional you trust, then get out of their way and let them do their thang;
  2. Ask your existing ideal customers for feedback;
  3. Ask your potential ideal customers for feedback;
  4. Get it out into the marketplace and test, test, test. Adapt if and when needed.

There is an hilarious Oatmeal comic: How A Web Design Goes Straight To Hell that illustrates this point perfectly. I think the best part is when the client says “I’ve looped my mother into this conversation. She designed a bake sale flyer in 1982, so you could say she has an ‘eye’ for design.” or maybe it’s when the client brings in his dog, Miffles. Cracks me up everytime!

When looking for a coach, mentor or advisor:

Ask people who’ve been-there-done-that. Look at their situation and the results that they have achieved to assess their credentials for giving advice. Like Tony Robbins says “success leaves clues.”

So, get out there and ask questions. Just make sure you’re asking the right questions to the right people.

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