If you conduct the right kind of B2B quantitative interviews, you don’t need to show customers a prototype to see if they’ll like it. You’ll already know what they want if you use the methods in this 2-minute video: Benchmark Competing Alternatives. However… prototypes can still be helpful to a) further engage customers, b) understand the value your new product delivers, and c) make refinements. But if you’re serving a B2B market, you can stop lobbing prototypes to understand what customers want.
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Without well-executed, qualitative, divergent interviews, you can expect errors of omission… failing to uncover unarticulated customer needs. Are teams criticized for these errors? No, because no one realizes something was omitted at the time of the error. A second problem is the failure to engage customers. You miss the chance to impress them as a supplier that wants to better understand and meet their needs.
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Imagine your doctor entered the exam room, saying, “I’ll ask some routine questions to validate my hunch… so I can start treatment.” Would he be your doctor for long? Wouldn’t you rather have a doctor who listens first and asks intelligent questions? Your customers feel the same way, so leave your hypothesis in the waiting room and start engaging them.
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