Growth October 30, 2019

"Problems" with potential customer interviews in the mom test?

Aaron B. @GeroviVaper

Hi indiehackers,

I recently read the mom test, and the author says, that the conversations with potential customers should be casual and not "formal", like a meeting.

I find that quite difficult from a time perspective, as you could just hop on a scheduled call with them, because you sent them an email earlier, that they've agreed upon.
Also the quantity of customers, makes it difficult, as you need to find a lot of people and have casual conversation with them.

Also, I feel like I'm lying to the customer about the intentions I have and it's also a little bit fake in my opinion. You basically sit there, and ask them questions. Some of them won't take you serious, and therefore won't answer the questions properly.
It depends on the country, but surely some people would think in my country that I'm crazy, boring or why I'm caring so much about their business.

Do you guys fully rely on the advice given on how to get into customer conversation or did you found better ways?

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    I am working on a metric dashboard tool for growth stage startups. I’ve just recently finished reading The Mom Test and here’s how I am using it:

    • I stopped showing my landing page/MVP to friends, family, VCs. Liars!
    • I connect with Head of Growth / founders on LinkedIn. Once they accept, I send a message saying I am a software engineer that is exploring growth-related roles. I ask for an in-person coffee session to learn about their day to day work.
    • During the coffee session, I ask them about their day to day job, what are their weekly processes, what tools they use, what’s the most boring thing they hate to do every week.
    • I never show/pitch them my product/solution. Even after the session.
    • Respect their time. Know what questions to ask beforehand.

    If they are good at their craft, they love sharing what they do.

    Seems to be working for me.

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      Thank you very much!

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    Be honest to your customer. Tell them you just started out and you value their opinion. Don't overcomplicate things.

    Tell them they can be completely honest. They can say whatever they wan't. The more honst the better. "You cannot (as in: impossible) make me feel bad during this call" :)

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      Thanks Yannick :)

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    I think this depends a bit on what stage of sales you're at.

    Do you already have a product in mind? Or are you talking to people in the hope of discovering a way of creating value for them?

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      The product itself already exists (competitors) and therefore is kind of validated.
      I have a feature which is unique (seen nowhere else yet). That would be the USP.
      So I need to talk to new customers, which use an existing solution from a competitor. And to businesses, who aren't using any solution at all.

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        Sure, but what's the intention of these chats?

        Are you hoping to come out with a paying customer? Or just information?

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          People who already have an existing solution, should tell me if they're ready, to switch to my solution. I don't know if they would like the feature which would be the USP. But I'm highly assuming it, since it automates more stuff and makes them more money.

          People who aren't using any SaaS at all, should tell me, if they're willing to use my SaaS => therefore pay for it.

          Could you maybe give a broader answer on how to talk, if I'm looking for information or if I'm trying to sell something? Is it ok, if they're formal meeting or should they be casual like explained in the mom test?

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            I actually recorded a podcast episode with Rob a few weeks ago, and we talk in some detail about this very question :)

            IMO, Rob's advice on a casual meeting/call is good. Especially if you're asking for feedback/insights.

            If you're ready to actually make a sale, then by all means book in 'more formal' calls with people.

            Will they be as successful as a casual chat in a bar or coffee house? No, probably not. But you can still sell that way just fine.

            As for how to make those first sales, I think Rob's book, the episode I linked to above, and this podcast episode with @Fersh should get you off to a great start...

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