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How to recruit and interview potential customers Elizabeth Yin Co-founder of LaunchBit Lean Startup Circle Boston April 28, 2011 Flickr.com ThisParticularGreg
Agenda Introduction Finding customers “Spray and pray” In-person channels “Targeted” channels Requesting interviews Interviewing customers Analyzing interviews Q & A
About Elizabeth and Jennifer
Shiny Orb
DressMob
Finding Customers Flickr.com epSos.de
Talk to a range of customers ?
7 ways to find interviewees “Spray and pray” channels Craigslist Online Groups In-person channels Malls & Coffee Shops Meetups “Targeted” channels LinkedIn Alumni Networks “Google Searches”
Finding Customers:“Spray and Pray” Flickr.com Shaylor
Spray and pray strategy Reach out to large numbers of people Filter through surveys Whittle down to your handful of customer types
Craigslist Cindy Alvarez Great for consumer products/services Post in the volunteer or gigs sections “Looking for beta testers” not “Looking to learn about…” Ask people to email you to take a survey beforehand Be very specific about time & compensation upfront $20 for 30 min works well Post in other locations and use Skype / phone to get more people http://www.slideshare.net/cindyalvarez/user-testing-tactics
Online groups Join Google/Yahoo/Facebook/NING, etc.. Groups for specific interests Read the TOS beforehand Be friendly – respond to other posts before making a request You can reach out to specific people on Facebook
Vetting people Write a quick survey Google forms, Wufoo, Survey Monkey Take no more than 5 minutes Ask questions to find your customer types Clearly message next steps (interview details and compensation, if any)
LaunchBitsample survey Info about the interviews $20 for 25 min Multiple choice questions to learn demographics Email address to follow up
Finding Customers:In-person Channels Flickr.com wili_hybrid
Malls & coffee shops Good for general consumer applications Don’t be sketchy! $5 gift certificates @ Starbucks Be specific about how much time you’ll need
Meetups TONS of in-person groups… Meetup.com Eventbrite events Yelp events
Finding Customers:Targeted Channels Flickr.com wili_hybrid
Targeted strategy Reach out to specific people Find ideal people you want to interview Particularly good for B2B Buyer vs. User Aim high
LinkedIn LinkedIn Groups Reach people you’re not connected to at all Via friends, friends-of-friends Email first before sending LinkedIn request
Alumni networks Alumni online directories Alumni group lists Can search for people by company
Google contact information Find the person you want to speak with Try typing [name] “email” [name] “@domain.com”  firstname@domain.com Firstname_lastname@domain.com Etc.. Find email addresses of others at the company and replicate format
Targeted Channels: Requesting Interviews Flickr.com GenBug
Write a concise email Catchy subject Smart phone readable (3 lines) Strong call to action
Email subject lines Build rapport through mutual friends [ABC] recommended speaking with you Connect through vanity Your article in the WSJ? Your talk at [abc]? Your blog article? Connect through praise Loved your article!
Email body – 1st line Build rapport immediately Praise, thanks, vanity Establish commonalities E.g. I had a blast at your ABC conference on XYZ topic -- thank you. I'm a fellow ABC alum and found you in the ABC directory. 
Email body – 2nd line What you’re doing and why this is interesting This is the hardest line to write E.g. I’m doing some research for a project on [abc] and am trying to learn how [def] works.   E.g. I’m prototyping some ideas around [abc] and think I can increase your sales.
Email body – 3rd line Call to action Who/What/When/Where/Why vs. Yes/No Think about what you want to achieve Reasonable ask E.g. I would like to get your quick thoughts on this – what is the best way to speak by phone for 10 min E.g. I would like to speak with someone at your company about this – who is the best person to speak with about this for 10 min?
Follow ups No response Email again within the week Response Set up a time/date to talk (Skype/phone/in-person) Send mocks/slides the day before explaining that you’ll walk through them on the call PDF all slides No more than 5 slides
Interviewing People Flickr.com Steve Rhodes
Ask behavioral questions first What are the most frustrating aspects of ABC? May I ask you why ABC is frustrating? What is the process you go through today to do ABC? If you had a magic wand to help you with ABC, what would it do? How much would you expect this magic wand to cost?
Ask solution questions later Would you use it? So, you said ZYX of ABC was frustrating, what if the product looked like this? Do you have any friends whom you think could benefit from this? How much would you expect this to cost, if anything? We’d love to learn from your friend, mind making an intro?
Ending the interview Stick to your time Thank them (deal with compensation if any) Ask to follow up Ask for friend referrals
Analyzing Interviews Flickr.com Biking Nikon OGG
Organize your interviews maybe no might not sure
About LaunchBit http://classroom.launchbit.com http://guide.launchbit.com
Questions? More questions?  hello@launchbit.com Feedback index cards LaunchBit mailing list signup sheet Blog: blog.launchbit.com Twitter: @launchbit www.launchbit.com

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Lean startup circle Boston - April 28, 2011

  • 1. How to recruit and interview potential customers Elizabeth Yin Co-founder of LaunchBit Lean Startup Circle Boston April 28, 2011 Flickr.com ThisParticularGreg
  • 2. Agenda Introduction Finding customers “Spray and pray” In-person channels “Targeted” channels Requesting interviews Interviewing customers Analyzing interviews Q & A
  • 7. Talk to a range of customers ?
  • 8. 7 ways to find interviewees “Spray and pray” channels Craigslist Online Groups In-person channels Malls & Coffee Shops Meetups “Targeted” channels LinkedIn Alumni Networks “Google Searches”
  • 9. Finding Customers:“Spray and Pray” Flickr.com Shaylor
  • 10. Spray and pray strategy Reach out to large numbers of people Filter through surveys Whittle down to your handful of customer types
  • 11. Craigslist Cindy Alvarez Great for consumer products/services Post in the volunteer or gigs sections “Looking for beta testers” not “Looking to learn about…” Ask people to email you to take a survey beforehand Be very specific about time & compensation upfront $20 for 30 min works well Post in other locations and use Skype / phone to get more people http://www.slideshare.net/cindyalvarez/user-testing-tactics
  • 12. Online groups Join Google/Yahoo/Facebook/NING, etc.. Groups for specific interests Read the TOS beforehand Be friendly – respond to other posts before making a request You can reach out to specific people on Facebook
  • 13. Vetting people Write a quick survey Google forms, Wufoo, Survey Monkey Take no more than 5 minutes Ask questions to find your customer types Clearly message next steps (interview details and compensation, if any)
  • 14. LaunchBitsample survey Info about the interviews $20 for 25 min Multiple choice questions to learn demographics Email address to follow up
  • 15. Finding Customers:In-person Channels Flickr.com wili_hybrid
  • 16. Malls & coffee shops Good for general consumer applications Don’t be sketchy! $5 gift certificates @ Starbucks Be specific about how much time you’ll need
  • 17. Meetups TONS of in-person groups… Meetup.com Eventbrite events Yelp events
  • 18. Finding Customers:Targeted Channels Flickr.com wili_hybrid
  • 19. Targeted strategy Reach out to specific people Find ideal people you want to interview Particularly good for B2B Buyer vs. User Aim high
  • 20. LinkedIn LinkedIn Groups Reach people you’re not connected to at all Via friends, friends-of-friends Email first before sending LinkedIn request
  • 21. Alumni networks Alumni online directories Alumni group lists Can search for people by company
  • 22. Google contact information Find the person you want to speak with Try typing [name] “email” [name] “@domain.com” firstname@domain.com Firstname_lastname@domain.com Etc.. Find email addresses of others at the company and replicate format
  • 23. Targeted Channels: Requesting Interviews Flickr.com GenBug
  • 24. Write a concise email Catchy subject Smart phone readable (3 lines) Strong call to action
  • 25. Email subject lines Build rapport through mutual friends [ABC] recommended speaking with you Connect through vanity Your article in the WSJ? Your talk at [abc]? Your blog article? Connect through praise Loved your article!
  • 26. Email body – 1st line Build rapport immediately Praise, thanks, vanity Establish commonalities E.g. I had a blast at your ABC conference on XYZ topic -- thank you. I'm a fellow ABC alum and found you in the ABC directory. 
  • 27. Email body – 2nd line What you’re doing and why this is interesting This is the hardest line to write E.g. I’m doing some research for a project on [abc] and am trying to learn how [def] works. E.g. I’m prototyping some ideas around [abc] and think I can increase your sales.
  • 28. Email body – 3rd line Call to action Who/What/When/Where/Why vs. Yes/No Think about what you want to achieve Reasonable ask E.g. I would like to get your quick thoughts on this – what is the best way to speak by phone for 10 min E.g. I would like to speak with someone at your company about this – who is the best person to speak with about this for 10 min?
  • 29. Follow ups No response Email again within the week Response Set up a time/date to talk (Skype/phone/in-person) Send mocks/slides the day before explaining that you’ll walk through them on the call PDF all slides No more than 5 slides
  • 31. Ask behavioral questions first What are the most frustrating aspects of ABC? May I ask you why ABC is frustrating? What is the process you go through today to do ABC? If you had a magic wand to help you with ABC, what would it do? How much would you expect this magic wand to cost?
  • 32. Ask solution questions later Would you use it? So, you said ZYX of ABC was frustrating, what if the product looked like this? Do you have any friends whom you think could benefit from this? How much would you expect this to cost, if anything? We’d love to learn from your friend, mind making an intro?
  • 33. Ending the interview Stick to your time Thank them (deal with compensation if any) Ask to follow up Ask for friend referrals
  • 35. Organize your interviews maybe no might not sure
  • 37. Questions? More questions? hello@launchbit.com Feedback index cards LaunchBit mailing list signup sheet Blog: blog.launchbit.com Twitter: @launchbit www.launchbit.com