Are you afraid to do “busy work”?
You know, things you know you *should* do but sorta quietly never just quite get around to doing.
I am. (or used to be)
There are a couple things I cringe at doing. Not because they are hard but because I am anxious to bring in revenue. Hit our numbers. Grow! Hustle! And kick ass!
So, what the hell am I talking about? A couple things like:
- Customer research/customer interviews
- Revisiting and or redoing ICP’s
- Going back to rethink our niche (aka Nailing a New Niche)
- Trying new methods and platforms like currently, we’re trying Vidyard for personalized videos for our prospects.
Here’s a quick video of my POV if you prefer video
Stuff like that. I guess I just get anxious that maybe something will fail and that we’ve lost time. Perhaps, I am just a crazy person (another story on this later).
But I know I am not alone because we’ve coached nearly 400 students at Predictable University and when we ask students if they’ve done customer interviews, they look at me like I am some kind of green alien from K-pax or something. (Remember K-pax with Kevin Spacey? Pretty good flick)
In our May class, we had an awesome group of ladies from a B2B HVAC company in the Midwest. Of course, they all read Predictable Revenue and figured they had a good handle on things. Actually, they did. Parts of it anyway.
But, what happens to an automotive assembly line if you skip the part where the wheels go on the car? …. Ummmmmmm. Yea. You can have a kick ass “assembly line” but if you’re missing a critical activity, well…. You are in trouble. So, let’s talk about Kim.
Kim was a new prospector and the type of person we love working with. Hard working, open minded, willing to try new things and explore what works and what doesn’t. When we gave the class on Customer Interviews, she said, “So, we’re supposed to ask questions but not try to sell….at all??” We said yes. Exactly. (not yet anyway) She was a tad perplexed as to why we would do this. We explained to her and the group that just because you feel this isn’t directly tied to generating revenue, doesn’t mean it isn’t. As part of their homework, the group all had to go out and do three customer interviews, focusing on asking smart questions, caring, listening, and not selling. Doing this helps them get a pulse on their market. They learn what prospects are actually going through, what are their top pain points, what vernacular they are using, and what they really need.
So, Kim went out and did her interviews. When she came back to class, she explained how much she loved doing it! She said It taught her four things:
- Her prospects are not all mean ugly people waiting for an opportunity to hang up on her.
- Many times, people open up and tell you about their entire world when they aren’t feeling defensive.
- Asking smart questions (examples in the video) and listening is freaking powerful!!
- Sometimes, just sometimes, when we aren’t trying to force a sale, it happens naturally.
One of her interviewees actually started asking her questions and needed help with some things as they were remodeling a hospital. Ding ding ding …winner winner chicken dinner!
The point wasn’t to be slick and act like you aren’t selling – but secretly you are. The point is that you LEARN. You learn what real people are going through, how they express it, and most importantly how you can position yourself as the person who cares. We use this information, sentiment, vernacular when we email, call and reach out to other prospects who might be experiencing some of the same things. When we approach prospects after we’ve done the customer interviews, we are making it about THEM.
And let me tell you, making it about THEM is directly tied to generating revenue.