Customer Discovery as a Job

Today I caught up with a friend who told me about his job. He talks to his employer’s biggest customers to understand their problems. He puts together events where the company’s biggest customers share the problems they’re encountering and expecting to encounter and how these problems are painful. He then makes these customers aware of solutions offered by his company that can solve their problems and connects them to the appropriate person who can close the deal (sometimes he can).

The interesting part of his job is hearing from various large customers in a single setting where he’s able to see across entire industries. He can identify trends and problems his customers are having early. As I listened, I thought, His job is to do customer discovery.

This got me thinking. Not all companies offer this kind of role. But if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur working at a company that does, it’s a great opportunity. Doing this job is a terrific way to identify problems and quantify how painful they are before you make the full-time leap. It helps you thoroughly understand problems, which should help you build a better solution, and lets you build deep relationships with potential future customers. All while still collecting a salary (and hopefully saving too).