Do you hear the words that are coming out of my mouth?

Hello? Why aren’t you listening to what I’m saying?

A week ago, on a beautiful Saturday in Boston I volunteered at ProductCamp Boston – I know you’re thinking ‘wow this guy needs to get a life‘. But I had a lot of fun meeting people, learning and even leading a networking session of Product Marketers. This event was great and it had a lot of great content and topics from people that go through the same experiences that I have, but my favorite session was on Customer Fluency (recording of the40-minute session) with Steve Rankel.

Besides Steve being a really engaging storyteller, he touched on a point that’s always been a point of interest to me, which is how do you effectively communicate with your customers/prospects without falling into the all too common trap of marketing gobbledeygook, in other words things like ‘industry leading‘ and ‘revolutionary/game-changing solutions.’ While these are way too easy to fall back on when talking about your solutions (because everyone uses these terms) they aren’t effective because:


Instead of using terms like that, it’s much more engaging to use the words use to establish a ‘Click point” or a commonality to engage buyers and it doesn’t have to be a large undertaking. What we learned was the ‘10-7-3 rule‘ where if you talk to 10 customers, more than likely 7 will provide useful feedback and if the same thing comes up at least 3 times you’ve struck gold! You now have a good insights in why customers buy.

The 3 questions Steve laid out were (it’s at the 28:55 mark in the recording):

  1. What surprised you in a positive sense about working with our company?
    • (Because surprises usually imply negative things, and when you have a surprise it’s unbelievably quotable)
  2. Tell me what are the top 3 reasons you bought from us instead another vendor (including doing nothing)?
  3. Forget about us, if you were talking to one of your peers and give them advice on buying this type of solution to avoid all of the pain you went through, what are the 3 things you tell them?
    • (By asking for 3 specific things it does something called ‘rapid framing’ which makes the person you’re asking questions filter out all of the excess information out of the answer.)

Hopefully you’ll listen to to the session and enjoy it as much as I did, and also there’s a new episode of Biznecdote coming soon where I sit down with Ryan Sorley, Founder of DouibleCheck Research to explore how he got into Market Research.

As always please share your thoughts, comments, and observations in the comments.

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