Categories: Latest Thinking

by Marylou Kneale


Categories: Latest Thinking

About the Author: Marylou Kneale

Getting the best out of respondents

There is much discussion around accessing respondents and the quality of data in the research world. There are concerns around how you get to the right person, the quality of responses and ensuring a representative sample.

These considerations are even more important in B2B research, where the number of people in your target population is often smaller and even more difficult to access.

So how do we get the best out of our B2B respondents:

  • Respect their time – as we know time is a scarce commodity and even more so in a working day. Asking for an hour of a business person’s time is unrealistic. Our recommendation 20 – 25 minutes max!
  • What’s in it for them – Give the business respondent a reason to participate. Explain how they or their company benefits from the research, how it could make business easier or improve their engagement with the company.
  • Frequency – don’t over survey especially if you haven’t done anything with the insights of a previous study, they participated in. There is usually a small pool of respondents, and you want to limit survey fatigue among the base.
  • Focus on what is really important, rather than what is nice to know – Stick to the most important issues and avoid repetitive questions.
  • Make it interesting – vary the type of questions, ask their opinions, use both open and closed responses.
  • Be the participant – do the interview yourself and see how you experience it.
  • Thank them for their time – this does not necessarily mean money.

Getting to B2B respondents and asking them to participate in your research requires understanding and persistence. An understanding of their business lives, their time constraints and what they can and cannot share with you. It also requires interviewers with grit who are “determined” and “gently persuasive” in getting respondents to participate.

Methodology, sample and questionnaire design are also important but that is for another time.

At Livingfacts we have 21 years’ worth of experience in understanding what companies, customers, stakeholders, and suppliers need. We collaborate with you to provide current research and insights on how to remain relevant in changing times.


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