Interviewing for market research #1: the ultimate guide on how to get in

March 5, 2020

Looking to conduct market research by phone, but not sure on how to approach potential interviewees? We have the ultimate guide for you on how to get in.

Next to your desk research, primary research through interviewing buyers and experts in the market is a must to get valuable input for market intelligence reports and marketing strategies. In business, the importance of this intel should not be underestimated. Going for the best result possible? Be sure to keep these tips in mind for your future calls:

1. Be prepared

The first step to any successful phone interview is defining what you need to know, and who could provide you with that information. After you have identified the questions corresponding to the ‘what’ and made a list of people that match the ‘who’, you are ready to start calling.

2. Call at the right time

Generally speaking, the best time to make a cold call is between 10 am and 3 pm. Before 10 am, most people are still starting up their workday and after 3 pm they are rounding off tasks in order to leave.

3. Personalization

Knowing the name of the person you want to talk to comes in handy. This helps you get passed the first person answering the phone. Plus, your prospects will definitely appreciate the extra effort made with personalization, this opens up good conversations. Once you are speaking to the person you want to interview, verify their name and position. Ask them: ‘am I talking with Mrs Jenny Miller’? and ‘Are you the marketing manager of …?’.

4. Name dropping and flattering

When you get to speak to the person you aim for, try to get their full attention by dropping names that impress or provide you credibility. These could be names of individuals that he or she knows or colleagues. For example: “I was referred to you by your colleague Ms Gina Common, whom I met at the trade show in Frankfurt last week. She mentioned that you are the one who knows all about the latest market trends”. In such case, you combine the referral with a flattering. Guaranteed, few people will turn down a conversation with you if you throw in a little flattering.

5. Choose your words wisely

Note your choice of words. Make a good impression by saying ‘talk with’, instead of ‘speak to’. These words imply you and your prospect are going to engage in conversation, as opposed to ‘speak to’, which implies a one-way action.

6. Show that you know

Researching your prospects is very important. Show that you have done research prior to the conversation by mentioning matters that might interest them. This will make you a valuable partner and keep their attention. Show your investment in the person on the other end of the phone.

7. Small talk? Benefits!

Small talk can be good to create a bond between you, and the person you want to interview. However, this is only recommended when you have some kind of connection and/or have a specific topic you are able to have small talk about. In any case, it is important to emphasize how your research benefits the company or the sector of the interviewee. Try to find a problem your contact may face in his or her work that can be solved by the results of your research.

Read more on preparing the right script for your interview in part 2 of this series on how to interview for market research by phone. Curious about what we have to offer in terms of marketing intelligence? Contact us!

By:
Mariët Saakstra

Experienced in market intelligence studies

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