Sweat For A Cause
Class: 2013 Winter Accelerator
Sweat For A Cause is a web startup that is taking the concept of fitness-driven fundraisers online
10 things I learned from Surveys, Interview, Phone Calls and Rejections!
The last month has been all about doing surveys and getting answers, opinions and feedback and dealing with a little bit of rejection in the process! My surveys have come in all shapes and sizes. From in-person meetings to conference calls to email feedback to written surveys. While it's difficult to summarize all my surveying, I thought of blogging about the things I've learnt along the way -
- In-person meetings are the best!: They allow people to better express themselves. They also give the opporunity for follow-up questions which means being able to dive deeper into their thoughts.
- Asking for help, advice or guidance is the best way to get people interested in helping out
- It's important to keep your mouth shut and listen: It's easy to get defensive, but resist the urge and you will benefit immensely (I learnt this the hard way!)
- People are more likely to respond if they feel like they're a part of the solution you are offering
- Written surveys are hard to create: Everything from the tone of questioning to initial description to number of questions and answer choices in the survey is crucial. Feedback on your survey from trusted individuals/professionals is important before sending out a survey. And even after all that, you may not suceed in getting too many responses.
- Get used to talking before a phone call: Especially before early morning phone conversations. It's a funny feeling when your mouth isn't in sync with your thoughts. More so in a phone conversation when your voice is all you have.
- If someone doesn't respond that doesn't mean they don't want to help: Put yourself in their shoes and their rejection will seem justified.
- Negative feedback is better than positive reinforcement: Negative feedback or constructive critisism forces you to think long and hard and dig deep to come up with solutions to the problem you're trying to solve. I went out of my way to push people to tell me how SFAC can improve rather than simply listening how great the concept is.
- It's ok to ask for references but only towards the end of a meeting: 50% of my meetings ended with the other person willing to make introductions. Ask politely and you will get!
- Follow-up is important (I feel like this is the key to any successful business interaction. Just need to figure out new ways to follow-up with each individual that I've spoken to besides a thank-you email)
I'm really glad the accelerator and my mentors have pushed us to prioritize getting feedback directly from customers/partners (both current and potential). I feel like our decision are well informed and making them has been easier as well. Next up - Going through the process of collecting all the information gathered, parsing it and taking action to move forward!