How To Speak
CustDev
A Founder Centric Module
One day...

One day...

A customer wakes up, turns on their
computer, logs in to their email using a new
program they use ...
Image by wstryder
Image by wstryder
2 stages of learning

Learn

Confirm
2 stages of learning

Observe

Experiment
2 stages of learning

Collect

Analyse
Do we
understand
them?

Does anyone
care at all?
Do we
understand
them?

Are we building
the right
product?

Does anyone
care at all?

Will anyone
pay for it?
“The best designers carefully
move from exploration to
refinement, making sure they
spend enough time exploring
before lock...
Question

How much of what
you believe about
your customers is
wrong?
C
ER
EX
aka. How To Be Wrong
aka. How To Bring Yourself The Bad News
Sooner

E
IS

Cust Dev
Compass
Always Know
Your Big 3.
Tweetable Text
How do authors pre-build their customer list?
How do authors test copy and learn about their
readers?
How d...
Leancamp
What awareness channels can we partner with?
What do people learn at Leancamp that they
apply?
What do famous tho...
Establishing
Credibility
Credibility
Setup

“I’m researching
how teachers
deal with...”
Lying
bastards.
Everyone will tell you what you want to hear,
especially if you want to hear it.
Dear son,
You are the best and
your idea is awesome.
You should do it - I will
buy one.
Your Mom
Getting
actionable
facts.
Pricing, tricks,
advisors, politics,
introductions
Only available in pre-product conversations!
Rule Of Thumb

Talk about their
life, not your
idea.
Softball
Questions
Get them comfortable talking.
Softball Questions

How’s it going
with... ?
Signals

?
Job

Obstacle

Goal

Current
Solution

:(
:|
:)
Person

Excited

Remiss

Upset

Decision
Trigger

#
Measurement...
Recording
The Right
Stuff.
Their words - not yours!
One phrase per card.
Pair up. One interviewer, one notetaker.
Anchor
Questions
To explore a signal.
Anchor
Question

Interesting. Tell
me more about
that.
Anchor
Question

Can you help me
understand... ?
Rule Of Thumb

Direct the conversation
to specific, past
events, not general,
current or future.
Deflection
Questions
To bring the conversation back to actionable
information.
Question

I’d love to tell you more,
but it’ll help if I can
understand you better
first. What where you
saying about... ?
The Mom
Test
Past, Facts, Specifics
Question
Arsenal
Softball, Anchor, Deflection
Good or bad questions?
❝Would you buy a
product which
solved this problem?

❞
❝Would you buy a
product which
solved this problem?

❞
❝How do you
currently deal with
this problem?

❞
❝How do you
currently deal with
this problem?

❞
❝How have you
dealt with this
problem?

❞
❝

When does this
problem pop up?

❞
❝

When does this
problem pop up?

❞
❝When’s the last
time that
happened?

❞
❝What makes this
time-consuming or
go off-track?

❞
❝What makes this
time-consuming or
go off-track?

❞
❝Has this ever been more
time-consuming than
normal or gone off-track?

❞
❝

Please show
me how you...

❞
❝

Please show
me how you...

❞
❝

Please tell me how
you ...

❞
❝

Please tell me how
you ...

❞
❝Talk me through the
last time you had
this problem.

❞
❝Talk me through the
last time you had
this problem.

❞
❝

What did you try
to do about it?

❞
❝

What did you try
to do about it?

❞
❝

How much would
you pay for this?

❞
❝

How much would
you pay for this?

❞
❝How much money
does this problem
cost you?

❞
❝How much money
does this problem
cost you?

❞
❝How much money
has this problem
cost you?

❞
❝
What’s your
budget?

❞
❝
What’s your
budget?

❞
❝
Can I ask
why?

❞
❝
Can I ask
why?

❞
❝What would need to happen
before you could really start
using it?

❞
❝What would need to happen
before you could really start
using it?

❞
❝Ever had any problems or
delays getting something like
this going?

❞
❝

Who else should I
talk to?

❞
❝

Who else should I
talk to?

❞
Compliments Are
Not Signals.
❝

Sounds great. I
love it!

❞
❝

Sounds great. I
love it!

❞
❝Brilliant -- let me
know when it
launches!

❞
❝Brilliant -- let me
know when it
launches!

❞
Compliment?
Stalling tactic?
They don’t care. :(
❝There are a couple
people I can intro you to,
when you’re ready.

❞
❝There are a couple
people I can intro you to,
when you’re ready.

❞
Partial commitment?
Validate by going for
full commitment.
❝

I would definitely
buy that!

❞
!
R
E
G
N
A
D

❝

I would definitely
buy that!

❞

Your Mom
Rule Of Thumb

Advancement to
the next step is a
signal you are ready
to Confirm.
Advancement

Permission to contact again
Clear next meeting
Introductions
Commitment to run a trial
Pre-purchase
Facts

Commitment
2 stages of learning

Collect

Analyse
2 stages of learning

Learn

Confirm
Thx!
Salim Virani @saintsal
salim@foundercentric.com
How to speak CustDev - Emerge Education
How to speak CustDev - Emerge Education
How to speak CustDev - Emerge Education
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Learning the language of Customer Development conversations that lead to actionable facts.

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How to speak CustDev - Emerge Education

  1. 1. How To Speak CustDev A Founder Centric Module
  2. 2. One day... One day... A customer wakes up, turns on their computer, logs in to their email using a new program they use and love. Their free trial is over. The site asks them to pay. They say no. Why? www.foundercentric.com
  3. 3. Image by wstryder
  4. 4. Image by wstryder
  5. 5. 2 stages of learning Learn Confirm
  6. 6. 2 stages of learning Observe Experiment
  7. 7. 2 stages of learning Collect Analyse
  8. 8. Do we understand them? Does anyone care at all?
  9. 9. Do we understand them? Are we building the right product? Does anyone care at all? Will anyone pay for it?
  10. 10. “The best designers carefully move from exploration to refinement, making sure they spend enough time exploring before locking themselves into a design approach.” Jared Spool
  11. 11. Question How much of what you believe about your customers is wrong?
  12. 12. C ER EX aka. How To Be Wrong aka. How To Bring Yourself The Bad News Sooner E IS Cust Dev Compass
  13. 13. Always Know Your Big 3.
  14. 14. Tweetable Text How do authors pre-build their customer list? How do authors test copy and learn about their readers? How do authors prioritise their time when writing?
  15. 15. Leancamp What awareness channels can we partner with? What do people learn at Leancamp that they apply? What do famous thought-leaders get out of conferences?
  16. 16. Establishing Credibility
  17. 17. Credibility Setup “I’m researching how teachers deal with...”
  18. 18. Lying bastards. Everyone will tell you what you want to hear, especially if you want to hear it.
  19. 19. Dear son, You are the best and your idea is awesome. You should do it - I will buy one. Your Mom
  20. 20. Getting actionable facts.
  21. 21. Pricing, tricks, advisors, politics, introductions Only available in pre-product conversations!
  22. 22. Rule Of Thumb Talk about their life, not your idea.
  23. 23. Softball Questions Get them comfortable talking.
  24. 24. Softball Questions How’s it going with... ?
  25. 25. Signals ? Job Obstacle Goal Current Solution :( :| :) Person Excited Remiss Upset Decision Trigger # Measurement Interest Trigger
  26. 26. Recording The Right Stuff. Their words - not yours! One phrase per card. Pair up. One interviewer, one notetaker.
  27. 27. Anchor Questions To explore a signal.
  28. 28. Anchor Question Interesting. Tell me more about that.
  29. 29. Anchor Question Can you help me understand... ?
  30. 30. Rule Of Thumb Direct the conversation to specific, past events, not general, current or future.
  31. 31. Deflection Questions To bring the conversation back to actionable information.
  32. 32. Question I’d love to tell you more, but it’ll help if I can understand you better first. What where you saying about... ?
  33. 33. The Mom Test Past, Facts, Specifics
  34. 34. Question Arsenal Softball, Anchor, Deflection
  35. 35. Good or bad questions?
  36. 36. ❝Would you buy a product which solved this problem? ❞
  37. 37. ❝Would you buy a product which solved this problem? ❞
  38. 38. ❝How do you currently deal with this problem? ❞
  39. 39. ❝How do you currently deal with this problem? ❞
  40. 40. ❝How have you dealt with this problem? ❞
  41. 41. ❝ When does this problem pop up? ❞
  42. 42. ❝ When does this problem pop up? ❞
  43. 43. ❝When’s the last time that happened? ❞
  44. 44. ❝What makes this time-consuming or go off-track? ❞
  45. 45. ❝What makes this time-consuming or go off-track? ❞
  46. 46. ❝Has this ever been more time-consuming than normal or gone off-track? ❞
  47. 47. ❝ Please show me how you... ❞
  48. 48. ❝ Please show me how you... ❞
  49. 49. ❝ Please tell me how you ... ❞
  50. 50. ❝ Please tell me how you ... ❞
  51. 51. ❝Talk me through the last time you had this problem. ❞
  52. 52. ❝Talk me through the last time you had this problem. ❞
  53. 53. ❝ What did you try to do about it? ❞
  54. 54. ❝ What did you try to do about it? ❞
  55. 55. ❝ How much would you pay for this? ❞
  56. 56. ❝ How much would you pay for this? ❞
  57. 57. ❝How much money does this problem cost you? ❞
  58. 58. ❝How much money does this problem cost you? ❞
  59. 59. ❝How much money has this problem cost you? ❞
  60. 60. ❝ What’s your budget? ❞
  61. 61. ❝ What’s your budget? ❞
  62. 62. ❝ Can I ask why? ❞
  63. 63. ❝ Can I ask why? ❞
  64. 64. ❝What would need to happen before you could really start using it? ❞
  65. 65. ❝What would need to happen before you could really start using it? ❞
  66. 66. ❝Ever had any problems or delays getting something like this going? ❞
  67. 67. ❝ Who else should I talk to? ❞
  68. 68. ❝ Who else should I talk to? ❞
  69. 69. Compliments Are Not Signals.
  70. 70. ❝ Sounds great. I love it! ❞
  71. 71. ❝ Sounds great. I love it! ❞
  72. 72. ❝Brilliant -- let me know when it launches! ❞
  73. 73. ❝Brilliant -- let me know when it launches! ❞
  74. 74. Compliment? Stalling tactic? They don’t care. :(
  75. 75. ❝There are a couple people I can intro you to, when you’re ready. ❞
  76. 76. ❝There are a couple people I can intro you to, when you’re ready. ❞
  77. 77. Partial commitment?
  78. 78. Validate by going for full commitment.
  79. 79. ❝ I would definitely buy that! ❞
  80. 80. ! R E G N A D ❝ I would definitely buy that! ❞ Your Mom
  81. 81. Rule Of Thumb Advancement to the next step is a signal you are ready to Confirm.
  82. 82. Advancement Permission to contact again Clear next meeting Introductions Commitment to run a trial Pre-purchase
  83. 83. Facts Commitment
  84. 84. 2 stages of learning Collect Analyse
  85. 85. 2 stages of learning Learn Confirm
  86. 86. Thx! Salim Virani @saintsal salim@foundercentric.com
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