When to contact clients
You’ve heard again and again that you should listen to customers. However, you will learn entirely different things depending on when you contact them. Consider the client’s confidence in your solution over time and align your interviews with their phases from buying to production.
When they start their buying process, their confidence in the project and the vendors is likely to be low. They don’t really know what features they need or which vendors to consider. As they engage with your sales people (and your competitors), their confidence increases to the point they can make a buying decision.
Obviously you don’t want to contact a client during their buying cycle. And that’s one of the sales team’s biggest fears. They’re afraid you’ll contact a buyer during the buying cycle and screw up the deal. But when the deal is done, within a few weeks, you can contact the buyer for a win/loss interview.
What you’ll likely learn in a discussion immediately following a purchase (whether they purchased you or a competitor) will be insights on the buying process itself. Was it easy to get the information they needed from marketing vehicles and sales teams? Were you easy to do business with?
Immediately following their initial implementation is the best time to learn about installation and on-boarding issues.
Only when your client is in production will you start getting deep insights about the product and its use.
It’s never too early to start engaging with a client but when you engage determines the type of information you’ll learn.