Yeah, Talk To Strangers! (When Building a New Product)

Verbal feedback is straight GOLD when you are creating something new for the first time and getting a positive consensus that the problem you are aiming to solve is spot on is the ultimate holy grail.

So when you first start out, do some concept validation work and hit the phones or get out in front of some potential customers and simply listen to them about their pain points. Then, bridge this with some specific questions that ask if what you are thinking of doing would add any value or solve any or all of their problems.

These insights not only will help you validate that what you are doing is something worth investing time, money, and resources in…but will also help you prioritize your product roadmap.

Save Yourself Time & Money Building The Right Thing:

For example, maybe your initial belief is that you MUST launch with features A, B, C, and D in order to bring enough value to customers. But when you talk to some potential customers you could find out that they don’t really have a need for features B and D, but would pay a ton for a robust feature A and C. BINGO! This is absolute music to any entrepreneurs ears.

Now, you know where to spend your blood, sweat, and tears for the highest ROI plus you get rid of the excess “fat” of features B and D.

An Approach to “Talking to Strangers”:

Make sure not to make drastic pivots and plans based off of 1 person’s opinion. Create a quick high-level survey using Google Forms, SurveyGizmo or Survey Monkey and send that out to a few people in your contacts or on LinkedIn to get a handful of opinions. Then, go more in-depth based on the results from your survey and physically talk to a handful of people.

I would suggest having 5 or more conversations in person or on the phone and record them if possible (but ask their permission first). These types of recordings can later be used for positive quotes that you use in your pitch deck, show investors, or use on your website to add credibility, if permitted.

Article By:
Kim Grennan
Chief Analyst @ InvestVR