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Spell It Out

Along with finding the context comes making it clear. Most consumer interviewers are fairly empathetic and intuitive, and can understand what's implied in the responses they get. But the nuances and energy are often difficult to transmit to others, and my clients may miss some important details. For their benefit, I ask the consumers to spell out for me all the implications and correlations in whatever situation we're discussing. I ask them to imagine that I'm from Mars and to explain the situation to me as if I've never seen or done whatever is involved myself.

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What exactly is going on here? If things are spelled out in a very literal and specific way, it's much easier to fully appreciate the information. And when I ask people to spell things out for me, I also find that some of my assumptions weren't exactly on target, either. When your respondents expand their responses beyond a monosyllabic answer, you'll find that you gain a much broader, richer, deeper understanding.


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