Think for a moment about your best supplier – the one your bioscience company wouldn’t leave, even for a cheaper price, because your loyalty is so strong.

If you are like most, the reason you started talking to them is different than the reason you eventually chose them, and that is different than the reason you are staying with them. Originally, you had a need that sent you searching for a solution. They had a solution, AND they gave you reason to stay, for example, they exceeded your expectations in some way – hence, your loyalty.

Let’s put the shoe on the other foot; think about your prospects, and why they choose firms like yours. The reason they start talking to you is often different than the reason they choose you, which is different than the reason they stay.

Figure out those three sets of reasons: where they overlap and where they diverge, and you’ll have key insights into the behaviors and preferences of your audience. Insights like this are a strong foundation for market success. These insights are tough to discern from inside your firm, because there is a huge gap between your (insider) world view and their (outsider) world view.

To make it easier to understand the outsider world view, you can start by asking every prospect: “Why did you take this phone call?” or “Why do you agree to see us?” Right after closing, ask: “Why did you choose to do business with us?” And ask your best customers: “Why do you continue to do business with us?” Write down the answers. This will give you the best chance of spotting trends early.

You’ll be amazed what you learn.