If you’re doing B2B Problem Interviews, I’ve got some tweaks to our traditional interview script that I’ve been using to great effect in the enterprise space. I wanted to pass them along.
Step 1: Define the Role
I now start off my B2B interviews with, “How do you describe your role?” I dig this question for 2 reasons:
- It gives you both a common foundation to build on during the interview.
- It gets the customer describing her world, using her words.
If you already know your customer’s role (e.g. job responsibilities) is, asking them to describe it gives you an easy way into the conversation while providing a shared context to work from for the rest of your interview.
If you don’t fully understand your customer’s role, asking her to use “her own words” gives you clearance to ask what might otherwise be an intimidating question.
It’s her words you’ll use throughout the interview to establish an relationship. It’s her words you’ll use to demonstrate trust when asking for interviews with other B2B customers. And it’s her words you’ll use when it’s time to start pitching her a solution.
Step 2: Define Success
You’ve just asked about her role, now you want to know how to help her kill it in that role, so you ask, “What does success look like for you?”
You’re on the lookout for metrics used to evaluate her performance – both the measures her manager uses, and she uses. The success criteria she calls out is what we’re going to help her achieve!
Again pay attention to the words she uses – you’ll play these back again, verbatim, when it’s time for your solution interview.
Step 3: Define the Problems
Now that you’ve established what success looks like to your customer, we want to find out the hardest part in achieving it. These “hard parts” are the problems we’re going to solve!
This is essentially the beginning of our traditional interview script, but now that you understand her role intimately, and what she’s striving for, you’ll have a fantastic context to ask in-depth questions from throughout the interview.
The key here is to tie any problems they mention to a specific success criteria so during your solution interview, you can draw a direct line from their problem, to your solution, and that results in their success criteria.
Using these three questions, in conjunction with the traditional interview script will provide the context, and the customer’s words, to set you up for success in your B2B solution interviews.
What are solution interviews and how do you knock them out of the park? We’ll answer that in our next blog post. Subscribe here to get it! :)