Author: James Roche
Copyright (c) 2009 James Roche
If you are ready to start conducting Human Touch Research of you target market, follow these questions as a guide. Begin by over the next few days interviewing 10 people from your target market. They can be past clients, prospects, people in your network, etc. Conduct the interviews over the phone or in person.
If you know the person in your target market very well, I recommend you pick up the phone and set up a time where you can talk for 15 minutes. If you don't know them well, email them and ask for a 15 minute conversation. Give them some specific days and times to choose from that works for them.
TIP #1: When you're setting up the interview tell them, "I'm doing some research to grow my business and I want your advice."
TIP #2: Make your interview relaxed and conversational. The more at ease you are the more relaxed they'll be.
TIP #3: Use the questions I provide for you later in the article as a guide. Feel free to go "off script" and pursue any question deeper.
TIP #4: If possible, record your interviews with them. Be sure to tell them you are recording the call for research purposes only. Basically, you want to note the EXACT words they use to describe their top questions, challenges and complaints around your topic.
If you don't have past or current clients yet, ask people who could be your clients - even if they are friends and family. Just start somewhere. Figure out how to reach them and adapt the questions to fit the context of your conversation.
1. How did you find me?
This is very important because you want to trace how they found you so you can help all those unknown members of your market do the same. This helps you define your future marketing outreach strategy.
2. What would you type into Google to find help solve your problem? Or, if you didn't remember my name, what would you type into Google to find me?
Find out how people perceive you, what they identify as your keyword and the phrases they would use to search your topic online.
3. Why did you decide to do business with me? Or, what was it that made you decide to hire me and not someone else?
4. What do you read?
Get specific answers: magazines, ezines, websites, etc. You're looking for places you can submit articles and ads to promote your business.
5. Where do you like to hang out? (Both online and offline)
6. Where do you network?
This will tell you if you're going to the right networking events and which ones you need to start going to. Also listen for seminars and live events they go to.
7. Who else do you do business with?
This will tell you who to approach later as joint venture partners, JV's, and affiliates.
8. Where can I find a roomful of people just like you?
1. What were the main problems you wanted help with when you first came to me?
2. What keeps you up at night?
3. What are you afraid of?
4. What are you angry about?
5. What are your top frustrations about (your topic)?
6. What do you secretly desire most? Not everything is a "problem." Sometimes the problem your target faces is an unfulfilled desire.
7. What would I need to say right now that would cause you to pull out your credit card this very instant and buy from me?
8. What is the exact language they use to describe their problems and desires?
9. What objections do they have to buying your program?
I use the analogy of a Magic Room when conducting market research. Imagine a room with an entry door on one end and an exit door on the opposite side. Outside of the room, near the entrance, a member of your target market is struggling and suffering. They read a sign above the entry door. It compels them enough to gather enough strength and open the door to go inside. As they journey across your Magic Room, they get noticeably better and better. By the time they reach for the exit door, they are happy, free and smiling. They walk out the door with a song in their heart and a skip in their step.
Now imagine your target walking through the Magic Room. This is where you do your work with them so they transform. Your goal with these questions is to find out what specifically in your process worked best for them. This can be very enlightening. You'll discover ways to improve your products and services and hone in to get the best and fastest results for your clients.
If you're asking people you've never worked with before simply adjust these questions and find out what they want IF they were to work with you.
1. Why did you want a solution for these problems?
2. What part of our work together did you receive the most benefit from?
3. Was there anything I did in our work together that caused the greatest shift for you?
4. How best do you like to consume information? Books, eBooks, teleclasses, audio CDs, downloadable audios, live events, one-on-one coaching, group coaching, etc.?
After they've walked through the room they've transformed. You want to capture the end results they experienced as they walk out the exit door. Hone in on the tangible results as well as the emotions they feel now that they are free and fulfilled.
1. What are the top three benefits you received from our work together?
2. How does it feel now that you have solved your problem?
3. What specific results do you now have because of our work together? You want to get this ideally in the form of a numerical statistic.
In addition to asking your target market directly, ask people who know your market well. This is especially a good exercise if you don't have clients yet.
Contact people who know your target market and ask them the same questions from the last section. They can be business colleagues, associates, etc. Maybe invite them out to lunch to interview them.
At this point you should have a VERY good idea about which of your business and/or product ideas will be a hit based on what the market tells you, not what you THINK will be a hit.
About the Author:
Small business marketing coach, James Roche, shows you how to attract more clients, develop an internet marketing strategy and create your information products and programs. Discover his proven and practical marketing strategies with his free special report, "The Shift: Quit Struggling, Make a Difference and Join the New Rich" http://www.marketingmadeeasyblueprint.com/free