Convincing customers to be interviewed
  2. Discovery Interviews (Step 2)
  3. Convincing customers to be interviewed

3. Overcoming customer objections to a Discovery interview

Have Blueprinter Tool 2.2 ready... to handle these common customer objections.

The customers you want to interview are likely buried in work, and may have had prior bad experiences being interviewed: Imagine someone comes to you in the middle of a busy day and starts going through a long list of their questions. You’d try to avoid another such experience at all costs.

We have a lot of data showing that customers enjoy a “proper” Discovery interview—with notes projected on a screen, and interested suppliers asking good questions. But to get to this point, you may have to overcome their objections to attending the interview. To prepare for these objections, open up Blueprinter Tool 2.2: Schedule Discovery Interview (at > Blueprinter software).

On the right side, you’ll be able to record details of your upcoming interview (date, time, attendees, etc.) in the interview Prep Sheet. On the left side, you’ll see some suggested text for requesting an interview.

Note the suggested text for handling objections:

  • What's in it for us? Many companies seek "open innovation"... new technology from the outside. A good source is your own supplier base, with technologists ready to work for you. But we just need to know what you want first. This is your chance to get our technical people working for you.
  • Can you work just for us? In some past cases, we have developed products for single customers. But in this case, we're planning a major R&D investment that can only be justified by developing a product for the entire market.
  • Should we have an NDA (non-disclosure agreement)? No. At this meeting we'll only talk about what you want to have happen, not how to make it happen. In other words, we’ll discuss your desired end-results or outcomes... but no solutions. Just tell us whatever you're comfortable telling us. Perhaps later, though, an NDA might make sense if we both want to "go deeper."
  • We're too busy for supplier surveys. This will be unlike other supplier meetings... no sales pitch, no boring survey, no problem-solving. We will facilitate the conversation, focusing on what's important to you, not us. We'd even like to use a digital projector to display our notes... so you can make sure we're getting it right.
  • I don't have time to prepare. No need for you to prepare... just show up. Seriously, we will do all the work facilitating the session. Just bring your brain and be ready for some fun. We'll use special "trigger maps" and "outcome statements" many companies find interesting.
  • Can I think about this first? Sure, let me send you an agenda to look over. Also, I'll send a link to a website called that may answer questions you have. When should I check back?

Also, be sure you're familiar with the many BlueTools available to you for requesting Discovery interviews. These are downloadable at > BlueTools... and are discussed in the BlueHelp article, Tools for setting up Discovery interviews.

One last tip: During your Blueprinting training, we frequently refer to Discovery interviews and Preference interviews. But when you're setting these up with customers, it can help to drop the term "interview" and simply say you'd like to have a "Discovery session" or a "Discovery meeting." Unfortunately, other suppliers have given a bad name to "interviews" in some cases.


Keywords: customer objections, overcoming objections, Discovery interview, Blueprinter Tool 2.2, what's in it for us?, NDA, non-disclosure agreement, work just for us, I don't have time