Many software company will involve the end-user early in the development process. A beta version will be tested and adjusted according to the feedback – and so it goes until the new product is ready to launch.

Unfortunately, many micro coaching and consulting businesses use the reverse process: instead of getting that vital feedback early on, they will “perfect” their offer by themselves and THEN launch. The feedback is often indirect and comes in the form of successful or not so successful sales.

Does this sound familiar? Then you might agree that there are 3 common reasons for NOT getting early feedback:

  1. A perceived lack of time. You want that big launch done NOW, so obviously, there’s no time for asking questions!
  2. Fear of criticism. What if people won’t like your thoughts? What if you’re on the wrong track? Better stay in the bubble than get bad news upfront!
  3. Thinking you already know. You feel sure that you already know your target audience and what they need – so why waste everybody’s time asking and answering questions?

But there are many benefits of involving your audience early on!

  • It’ll SAVE you time in the long run. No need for major changes post-launch, and no need to adapt your marketing, sales and customer material accordingly!
  • Getting constructive feedback early on helps you feel happier and more confident about your offer – and secure its success once you take it to the market.
  • You might be the best coach there is – but that still doesn’t make you a mind-reader. Listening to your audience will give you invaluable insights that will help YOU help THEM even more!

Regardless of the format you choose, here are 4 points to help you get that helpful feedback:

  1. Make sure to include different personalities with different capacities and perspectives. You want to ask members of your target audience for sure. But if can also be very helpful to get the input of someone with a completely fresh perspective.
  1. Find a good sample size. You want to get enough input to draw conclusions without turning your feedback process into a full-time job. ; ) Perhaps 5 people is enough; perhaps you’ll need 20. Think about what makes sense to you and your specific offer.
  1. Get feedback on all the relevant aspects, like the content, structure, price or delivery… Anything you feel could be adjusted and improved: ask about that! And include an open question to see if they want to add something that you haven’t asked about.
  1. Communicate clearly. Ask and accept honest feedback – you don’t want your respondents to feel like they must sugar-coat it for you. Ask open-ended questions where they can give their feedback freely. And don’t be afraid to digress into new aspects that pop up during the conversation.

To get your customers on-board, you need to make sure that they’re ready to make the leap. Asking for their feedback is the perfect way to do that!

Sanna Koritz Outside Cafe

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