Customer discovery and validation in B2B


I have a very immature idea of a B2B startup, and I want to gather some feedback on it.

Assuming, that "future customers" are business people, what is the best way to communicate with them on early stages? Is it reasonable to appoint meetings without having any prototype? Or it would be better to write emails and make calls not to waste their time?

Customers B2B Customer Feedback

asked Dec 11 '12 at 15:46
Filipovskii Off
21 points
  • I would walk in an office building and start talking to people to get the contact information of the right person to talk to. People usually love giving their advice and opinion; just say you're an entrepreneur looking to talk to people with experience in the particular field you're targeting. – Frenchie 10 years ago

2 Answers


There are an increasing number of great resources that have been developed for exactly this purpose (amongst others). A few things that I think would get you off to a great start:

  • Meetup Groups I don't know where you are from, but chances are you could find an applicable group and attend events focused on networking, entrepreneurship, B2B strategies, and everything in between. Some groups are more formal, but many are held at happy hours and offer a relaxed environment for meeting dozens of potential clients, referral sources, or even feedback about your marketing plan/ideas, etc. Options are virtually limitless, and I have met some incredible people by attending various events. To give you an example, I'm from Washington, DC, and these are the current trending events based on your interest: Business Networking Meetups-DC
  • LinkedIn Groups

    LinkedIn is an extremely powerful B2B networking tool in and of itself, but one of the great features are their Groups (organized by topic and interest). You will be able to get as much feedback as you wish to receive, and Groups can be a perfect place to run ideas by others in similar situations before you execute them. Here's just one example of a Group that seems to be a great fit: B2B Sales, Marketing, Social Media & Lead Generation

I also strongly agree with the comment made by Frenchie--people do love to be asked for their advice and opinion--find some industry experts in your field and ask if you can take him/her out to lunch in exchange for picking their brain. Best of luck!
answered Oct 4 '13 at 06:11
Sara Abc1
31 points


You wouldn't want someone wasting your time, so you need to offer something in return. Share something truly of value to them - reports, research, etc. - related to your target markets "pain point". Ask to chat with them 5 minutes to gather further information - be clear that its not a sales call. Be prepared to ask some good questions that validates the need, and if appropriate, ask for permission to follow up with them to share additional information that you gather from other conversations.

Take such information, create a MVP, then ask if they would be interested in validating the concept. At this juncture, many would ask for payment to participate if the validation process yields significant savings / value generation for the participant.

answered Feb 5 '13 at 06:45
Jim Galley
9,952 points

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