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How to find your first customers to talk to and interview them

Covering Lean startup tactics

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How to find your first customers to talk to and interview them

  1. How to Find Your First Customers and Interview Them Jason @Evanish November 5, 2013 Startup NEXT Mountain View, CA
  2. Who is Jason @Evanish? 100’s of customer development interviews with: Cofounded: Blog my learnings at: JasonEvanish.com
  3. Today’s Topics Customer Development Interview Process How to Find Early Customers Your Questions
  4. The Customer Development Interview Learn in detail at: bit.ly/CustDevInterview
  5. The Structure 3. Solution The MVP House 2. Problem 1. Person
  6. The Structure – 1. Person Learn about them and their role in your industry. • Who are they? What’s their role? • How is your budget handled? • How do you find new products for work? • How much time do you spend on [Task X]? Goal: Get a baseline background of the person you’re talking to. Be broad.
  7. The Structure – 2. Problems Learn about the problems they recognize first. • NOT about the problems you think they have. • What are your top 3 challenges you face in your job related to [industry X]? • If you could wave a magic wand…what would the solution be? Goal: Get them to say the problem you want to solve is a problem they have (prefer unprompted)
  8. The Structure – 3. Solution Now you tell them about your product concept. • “That’s interesting” = Kiss of Death. • If they’re not anxious to use right away, they’re not a key target. • Read body language, voice inflection and energy level for signals of interest. • Best reaction is actually following through after the meeting or calls. Goal: Discover if they’re interested in your solution and gather feedback.
  9. Tips for making the most of Interviews 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Take good notes. Involve other team members. Be Conversational. Go off script. Ask to see any MVPs they’ve made/use. If they’re excited about something, ask if they’ll pay for it. Show them mockups or early concepts if you have them and pay attention to their reactions/feedback. 8. Always Follow up. 9. End with an ask. 10. Be open to new problems and opportunities! 11. Summarize and review your notes with your team.
  10. Where do you find people to interview? Find 95 methods at: bit.ly/1stcustomers
  11. The Best Place to Find Candidates:
  12. Help not Sales
  13. Manage Expectations • Only 10-20% of those you reach out to will respond. • Getting started is the hardest, then you can find the channels. • Different target customer usually means having to find a new goto channel.
  14. Now what? • Interview in groups of 8-10 people per customer type. • Summarize notes and review with others. • Look for common patterns matching C-P-S. • Compare to your high level metrics to see if anecdotes match data.
  15. Take 10 minutes! Write your own script: –WHO will you talk to? –WHAT will you ask? –WHAT are you validating?
  16. Customer Development in a Nutshell Common Sense + Diligent Process + Thought =
  17. Questions?
  18. Contact me…I’m happy to help. On Twitter: @Evanish Other sites: About.me/Evanish Email: Evanish.J@Gmail.com Find all my Lean learnings at JasonEvanish.com/lean-startups/ Find a detailed, blog form of the interview process at bit.ly/CustDevInterview And tips for finding your first customers at bit.ly/1stcustomers
  19. Further Reading - Books The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Customer Development By Patrick Vlaskovits & Brant Cooper The Cliff Notes for Lean Startups; a must read for everyone on your team. The Startup Owner’s Manual By Steve Blank An in depth guide to lean Startups for your company. Helpful from Day 1 to 1,000. The Lean Entrepreneur By Patrick Vlaskovits & Brant Cooper The Four Steps to the Epiphany By Steve Blank Awesome, actionable examples for any market. The Bible of Lean Startups. Tough read, but excellent content. These books, especially 4 Steps, were key sources in creating this presentation & my learning of this methodology
  20. Further Reading – Helpful Presentations • The Customer Development Methodology – by Steve Blank • Startup Metrics are for Pirates – by Dave McClure • The Top 10 Reasons to not be a Lean Startup – By Patrick Vlaskovits & Brant Cooper • How to recruit and interview potential customers – by Elizabeth Yin • Minimum Desirable Product: Customer Development for the “Winner Take All” Web – by Andrew Chen

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