What is your customer really waiting for? Find out the question behind the question
  • Market Readiness

What is your customer really waiting for? Find out the question behind the question

You have a great product or fantastic service. And are convinced it will sell well. Until you put it on the market: it doesn't sell as well as you had hoped after all. And now what? Drop the price? Adjust the product? Do something else anyway?


Could be because this is one of the biggest pitfalls of entrepreneurs: not finding out what the customer needs. In other words: what is the problem behind the problem? Do you know what is really bothering your customer? What are problems? Drives? Motives?

Example: washing machines from Coolblue

Coolblue, of course, is mentioned in many marketing examples, but for good reason. They are rock solid at it. Coolblue sells a lot, including washing machines. And Coolblue has researched very well how best to sell washing machines. Spoiler: this has little to do with price or model. But with what, then?

First, Cooblue has looked closely at its target audience. Suppose a family's washing machine breaks down. Who usually finds out first? Exactly, the wife. Who then thinks this is a problem? Also the woman. So that's their primary target audience. But why is a broken washing machine a big problem? This is the question behind the question. And that is what Coolblue has researched.

Is buying a new washing machine a problem? No, is a snap. Having it delivered? Neither because almost all online and physical stores do that. Price? Mwoah, if you search well you will probably find one that is not very expensive. No, the real problem is that you need to get a new one up and running very quickly, because your family is spinning and laundry is piling up. Besides, you're busy and don't have the time and inclination to deal with this at all.

The solution: Coolblue comes at your convenience. Takes your old washing machine with you. Installs your new washing machine in the place you specify. And even runs a test program to check whether it really works. And that is why you buy from Coolblue, even if they are a bit more expensive than other stores.

How do you find out what your customer really wants?

We'll show you a practical step-by-step plan for finding out what your customer's real need is. You do this for every new product or service.

  1. Define your customer group
    Who are your early adaptors? These are the people who have already encountered a problem several times. Indeed, they have already looked for solutions. But are not satisfied with those solutions for certain reasons. Early adaptors can be either your existing customers or potential customers. Try to speak to as many of these early adaptors as possible (at least 25) and find out the question behind the question. Similar to the example of Coolblue. This is your "job to be done.
  2. The best solution
    You already had a solution to the problem; your new product or service. You are going to fine-tune this one. Does it match the real problem? Finetuning is done by testing your solution: present it to the early adaptors through conversations or various LinkedIn ads. To test, you need an elevator pitch in which you mention the customer, the pain point and your solution. Note: with testing you only test whether your customer is interested in your solution. Not yet whether they will actually purchase it.
  3. Customer Commitment
    What makes potential customers proceed to purchase? That's your next step. Here you look at market form (what kind of market are you in?): this says a lot about how you should offer something. And your revenue model. For example, does your product or service consist of a subscription? A one-time transaction? Or 'hourly billing'?

Need help?

In this article it all sounds quite simple. But we understand that in practice it is still quite difficult to identify your early adaptors, the question behind the question and the way you should market your product or service. But it is crucial for success. Or to convince investors, for example. Do not hesitate to contact us, we would love to help you!


Contact Leonie Ebbes at 06 557 100 20, or Reno Minnema, 06 154 416 88.