Writers have sayings. And one of them is, “The reader is always right when they say something isn’t working. And they’re always wrong when they say how to fix it.”
And, I’ve got to say it, the same is true for marketing and product and service design.
If people aren’t buying, that’s a sign there’s something to fix.
But asking them how to fix it probably won’t help. They have no idea. If they knew exactly what they wanted they probably wouldn’t need our help.
No, it’s our job as entrepreneurs to discover, define, and deliver value. And it’s our customers’ job to tell us how, when, and where they experience that value.
We each hold part of the key, but nobody has the whole thing. Our customers tell us what’s working and what isn’t based on what they know to be true, and we improve, adjust, and grow based on what we know to be true.
So don’t ask your customers or prospects what they want from you.
Ask them what they do now when they can’t get what they need.
Why they aren’t already buying what they need.
When and where they last realized they have a need.
Or why they stopped buying what they used to need.
If you know all that, you can do so much better than give your customers what they need.
You can give them what they want.