Sales Safari (by Amy Hoy): What is it and why you should do it

    Sales Safari is an audience research method developed by the Designer and Entrepreneur Amy Hoy. Amy is the Co-Founder of the 30×500 training program with Alex Hillmann, where they teach creators to build products that sell.

    She also bootstrapped several software businesses such as Noko (formerly „Freckle“), the least painful way to track time, pep and Everytimezone.com. All her products are based on this research process – and she has taught or helped many other successful founders such as Brennan Dunn of Doubleyourfreelancing.com or Nathan Barry of Convertkit fame.

    Sales Safari consists of finding the „watering holes“ of your chosen audience and observing their behavior and discussions. It’s a systematic method of raw data collection to get the unfiltered pains, dreams and purchase decisions of your audience of choice.

    Below you’ll find a collection of the best resources available.

    Because if you don’t build a product that people buy – you will fail. Sales Safari allows you to avoid this by finding and understanding the pains that they already spend money on or that would allow them to save or earn money money.

    But first let’s talk about why „talking to your customers“ and „getting out of the building“ is not the solution to this problem.

    Customer Interviews are crazy popular, but have many flaws, as described in this Article on why validation is backwards:

    You rely on your interviewees being experts at research & development — you trust them to identify their own pains with unflinching honesty and accuracy. To remember, in essence, exactly what they do, all day, every day.

    And to be willing to tell you about it.

    And to be able to imagine a world unlike the world they inhabit, with a different workflow, different tools, different outlook, different life.

    You rely on them to accurately identify the causes of the pains they do identify.

    You rely on them to be wholly rational.

    They must not care about your feelings at all — to not be, in fact, the kindly people they must be to accept your interview request — because they will be too friendly, too supportive, too optimistic, too nice…which of course results in worthless data.

    You need them to be people who always do exactly what they say they will.”

    With those odds stacked against you, can Validating your idea really increase your chances of success? Nope.

    And as described in this Article – most people are numb to the pain that they experience daily:

    Almost all productive people are far too busy to remember everything they do each day because they’re Getting Shit Done. Almost all people are numb to their own pain. Their most dangerous problems aren’t the minor irritations that sting, but the dark shadows that lurk below the surface, unsaid, unnoticed, unmanaged. And while many people will say, “Sure, I’d pay for that” — few will do it. Even if you ask for money right then [a popular revision to the Customer Interview approach], they may cut you a small check out of awkwardness and — this is key — because you’re in the room with them, they actually believe in it.

    But when you’re gone… the subtle web of social obligation and self-deception is gone, too.

    So: People are locked into their existing reality, they can’t accurately identify their pains, or their cause — or when they do, they identify minor irritations and not bigger problems… AND you can’t trust what they say.

    This, my friends, is why the smartest business minds have said:

    “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” — Henry Ford

    “It’s not the consumers’ job to figure out what they want.” — Steve Jobs

    “A public-opinion poll is no substitute for thought.” — Warren Buffett

    And it’s also why, when research psychologists design an experiment, they almost always hide the note-taker, the measuring equipment, and sometimes just leave a person in a room, alone:

    If you want to know what a person really values, what they really suffer, what they really do, what they really pay for… don’t listen to their words, observe their actions.

    But what if you could read your audience’s mind?

    Watch Amy’s talk to find out how to do it: