The other day, I received an email from a fellow entrepreneur to a group of close friends asking for advice on his business startup idea. It came with two questions:
My reply likely shocked him a bit, probably because I made the case that he was asking the right questions, just not to the right people.
Entrepreneurs can easily fall into the trap of getting biased advice from those who, in fact, lack true customer empathy. Avoid this trap with this simple piece of advice: Don’t ask your friends, ask your customers.
We hear this all the time with clients: “I am not sure I like the color, or the design, or the tone (or insert any other aspect here).” Here’s the thing — your opinion doesn’t really matter. And, believe it or not, neither does mine. At the end of the day, only the customer’s reaction truly matters.
Anyone who tells you they know better is usually overestimating their understanding, lying, or puffing their chest trying to impersonate Gary Vaynerchuk.
It’s kind of like this story currently floating around LinkedIn:
Here’s a key parallel: you might be getting good advice from the wrong people. Sure, they are giving you the best insights they have, but it’s not from the perspective of your customers, and their reasons for buying are what you need.
As a result, you could be reinforcing unnecessary parts of the plane, wasting money, and spinning your wheels waiting for the traction you actually need to scale.
I’ll close by noting that there is a slight paradox here. What I’m saying is true, but consequently, you shouldn't just listen to me…get out there and go talk to some customers!
We chatted with the founder of Zeemee: a social, community based app focused on helping students transition from high school to college.