How to Get the Results You Want from Interview Research  

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Barry Horwitz shares an article with a few key pointers on communication best practices that gain better results from research.

If you hope to develop an effective strategy, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of the external forces that impact your organization. Much of this, of course, can be learned through the inevitable Google searches — finding news items in mainstream press, public reports from organizations, or trade journals.

But to really gain a clear perspective, you’ll want to speak with people who are (or were) working in the field. Frequently, the best insights come from folks who are not part of your internal team or even your customer base. Rather, they are industry players or experts who are familiar with the space in which you operate… or, sometimes, “adjacent” or even different spaces.

But how do you get their attention? And, once you do, how do you get them to share the information and insights you seek? For the most part, it comes down to effective interviewing.

Some suggestions for doing this well…

What’s in it for me?

You’ve no doubt heard the catchphrase, WIIFM: “What’s in it for me?” Well, when reaching out to people who will not benefit directly from your work and asking for their time (whether in person, phone, or video), you need to consider WIIFM and incorporate that into your request for a meeting.

Fortunately, many people are naturally inclined to be helpful — but that alone is not usually enough. One thing that can tip the balance is an offer to share a generalized summary of what you learn in your research. People are often interested in discovering how others in their field answer certain questions, so they benefit by participating.

 

Key points include:

  • Drafting a discussion guide
  • The benefit of honesty
  • Respect as a tactic

 

Read the full article, Research through Interviewing, on Horwitzandco.com.