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  • Writer's pictureNopadon

Two mind-reading questions every startup should ask their customers

Updated: Nov 22, 2021

Dangerous Questions

Obviously it's great if you're listening to your customers! But if you're asking questions like “Why did you sign up?” or “Which features do you find most valuable?” that can get your marketers into trouble.

You see, your customers already understand your product. So, while those answers may be beneficial to your product team, they're misleading for your marketing efforts because they can lead you into saying things like “All in One” and that’s a huge no-no in our world (read why you should never say “all in one.").

Genius Questions

Instead, marketers need to understand: What were people were doing before they found you? Where were they looking for help? And what solutions did they think they were looking for? Those insights will help you find new channels, search terms and referral partners, and even craft better messaging.

This week’s video gives you specific customer interview questions, plus what to listen for to uncover those answers, so you can target new marketing channels and craft better messages.

Video Transcript

Hey, team, today's rant!

So we've worked with hundreds of teams, and the overwhelming common thread is the lack of customer knowledge. Hands down.

Everyone knows it's great to listen to your customers, but still, very few people actually do it. And on top of that, teams ask the wrong questions and don't know what insights to listen for.

Most people ask questions like, "Why did you choose our product?" Or "Which features do you like best?" Oh, guess what? Those questions are surprisingly useless.

I'm Nopadon from Startups R Us. In today's video, I'll explain why questions can backfire, and I'll give you two great questions to ask and what to listen for. So first, what's wrong with "Why did you sign up?"

It sounds like a logical question, but the reality is that once people are signed up, they're in a very different state of mind. They understand your product, and they've already sold. So to convince cold prospects, you need to know what people were thinking before they signed up before they found you.

Right. Okay, so to make this easier, Let's pretend where the growth team or product team for a meeting booking app?

You with me? There are lots of questions, but today we're just going to start with two. So the first question, what else did you consider? What else could you have used to solve this issue? There are many ways to solve a problem, and teams get fixated on their direct competitors. But the truth is, you compete with whatever solution your prospects decide to use to fix their problem. It's not a direct competitor; it's a workaround or a totally different category. It's called an alternative solution.

So what to listen for? We're going to listen for that workaround. What is that cobbled together solution? We're gonna listen for solutions outside of your product category.

So here we have information where they said they were thinking of using a team of "Virtual PAs" or a team of SDRs or a chat app on our website or using Zapier plugins.

So here we have four different ways prospects have thought about dealing with the pain of meeting bookings. So what should we do with that info? Well, this insight gives us new places to fish for customers. Finding these hidden competitors will help us take

Our targeting in new directions. We may not have considered Virtual PAs or a team

of SDRs as competitions in the past, but these are alternative ways of solving that booking pain.

So if patterns emerge, we can target people looking for virtual PAs with a

cheaper solution. Or we can create a lead magnet around how booking apps can help you "10 X your SDRs efforts".

So question two, what will signing up for our product or service allow you to achieve?

And what we're listening for is what their ultimate aim is? What is their ultimate goal? Not some sort of task so they'll say things like "Easier booking!", "Faster booking!", "More convenient booking!" But what does "Faster" or "Easier" booking allow them to do?

Harvard Business Professor Theodore Levitt said it best in the 1960s.

He said, "people don't want to buy a quarter-inch drill; they want a quarter-inch hole."

What he's saying is, prospects don't care about your product or features, only the perceived benefits of those features. So stop talking about your product. Talk about what you'll allow them to do. The answer to this question will help your message resonate with prospects and improve your conversion. You can use this for your headline. So Here's an example of a booking company targeting sales teams using "More leads. More wins." Look, it seems like a small deal, but time and time again, we get teams who 10x their landing page conversions just on this.

So the main takeaways are that you can find target more prospects by identifying your hidden competitors. (Alternative solutions)

To convert more prospects into customers, focus less on what you do and what you'll allow them to do.

Stay tuned, and we'll fire up another video with more questions. You can ask your customers to find and convert more users.

Thanks so much for your time.

Talk to you later.

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