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Be Brave and Do Information Interviews

Information interviews are one of the true secrets of successfully entering a new market.

And fortunately for you, your contemporaries are just too darn afraid to ask for them.

Someone who's experienced in the field you want to get into will know things. They'll have an idea of what the pain points are.

Not every time—occasionally you'll run into a member of that target market who simply doesn't know how to articulate the common problems of the niche...

...but you'll still have a friendly conversation, and I'll bet they introduce you to one or two other people who do know.

What you're looking for are the key words and phrases that declare, "Yes! I am a member here! I know what you're struggling with."

For me, they stand out immediately. As soon as I've heard them, I recognize them.

And after 20+ years in the professional working world, even I have to go back to the drawing board and do some information interviews every few years or so.

I'm not exempt.

information interviews two women chatting discussion

Photo by mentatdgt from Pexels

Information Interviews Help You Learn FAST

All that learning I did to this point means little in the context of the new target market.

I am not my customer.

What I believe is important is not what they believe is important.

You'll see people try to jumpstart this step by using an online survey.

I don't believe that's anywhere near as valuable as a one-on-one conversation. In person if you can, by video or a phone call if you can't. I've used Zoom, Whatsapp and the old fashioned phone.

If you can, record the conversation. Make sure you get the interviewee's permission first.

Now the key thing here is having the guts to ask.

It really does not take much.

Just ask if they'll meet with you for 20 minutes. You want to hear from them about their experience in the field.

I've had people offer to do this without me asking them.

Why?

Because some people enjoy sharing. Others like to show off what they know. Sometimes it's a combination.

Sure, you'll get an individual who's "too busy." I still get that today. But it's one person in a hundred I ask (no kidding.) It's a little shocking for a moment, but then I laugh and look at the 25 other people who've already agreed to meet with me.

You don't need 25.

Four or five would be a great start.

But imagine if you did meet 25 members of that target market. Imagine if you met with them over a week or two. How much would you pick up about that market?

And really, really fast.

So be brave. Have the guts to ask. You only need to be brave for a minute.

The payoff is amazing.

>> Jason Kanigan is a business strategist. To book a consultation with Jason, click here. <<

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Productizing Your Business

Is coaching a service...or a product?

In my opinion, if you want to learn anything, build up institutional knowledge, get better at serving people and get them to their desired result at a faster speed, the answer is to productize your coaching business.

But what does this mean?

Recently I appeared on William Winterton's new Coaching Success Radio podcast to share some tips on this topic.

Coaching Success Radio Jason Kanigan William Winterton Productizing Your Coaching Business

We're talking about the necessity of serving a narrow niche, offering killer content, and why you should offer your coaching as a product.

Interview On Productizing Your Business

Watch the Jason Kanigan interview hosted by William Winterton on productizing your business here:

 

>> Jason Kanigan is a business strategist and conversion expert. Book your consultation with Jason by clicking here. <<

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Perverse Incentives And Your Business

Perverse incentives are everywhere. I guarantee you've got at least one in your business right now.

ARE YOUR BUSINESS PROCESSES AS CRAZY AS THIS?

cambodia a book for people who find television too slow perverse incentives

I was talking about Cambodia: A Book for People Who Find Television Too Slow (NOT an affiliate link) and it triggered another memory.

This was another little European colonial adventure into darkest Africa. The name of the game was “Take The Rubber” so that natural resource could be used back in the civilized world. The Congo was divvied up between some corporate concessions and here’s where things start to get weird.

Perverse Incentives In The Belgian Congo

Some soldiers were required to account for every single bullet they’d been issued.

They either had to have the shell...or the hand of a native they’d presumably dispatched with said ammunition.

Humans being occasionally awful, you can see where this is headed.

Emil decides he wants rabbit for a late afternoon snack. Not being the greatest shot, he pops off three shells before hitting his target.

Let’s say The High Command is all right with the rabbit accounting for one of the shells. But the first two shots? Them bullets have to be accounted for somehow.

A lot of Congolese ended up walking around as amputees.

Logical. Right? The ultimate in Lawful Evil mentality, for you gamers.

Your Business And Perverse Incentives

My question for you today is: Are there processes in your business that are as nuts as some of those of the Belgian Congo? Are you measuring and creating results because of a robotic “If This Then That” conformity with loony premises? Is it time to make a change towards sanity?

Additional examples of perverse incentives are the:

  • Soviet era glass plant, first making too-thick and then too-thin glass, neither of which was useful to anyone but still satisfying the incentive structure
  • System that at first rewarded private firms transporting prisoners to Australia by the number of convicts loaded at departure, rather than those who arrived at the destination...leading to overcrowding and unnecessary deaths
  • time IBM attempted to produce more robust code by rewarding programmers by the line, which instead lead to bloated programs.

I describe a factory that produced a production scam with its piecework reward structure from my own experience in this podcast.

Government organizations such as the US Department of Veterans Affairs are not exempt from claims of perverse incentives.

Perverse incentives are particularly common in sales compensation programs.

Frankly, if you think your system is "too good for" or somehow exempt from perverse incentives, you probably aren't looking hard enough.

>> Jason Kanigan is a business strategist trained in operations improvement methodologies. To book a time to discuss your situation with Jason, click here. <<