Episode 1: The Art of Revealing Customer Needs

Episode 1

Play episode

In our inaugural episode of the season, Karl and Danielle talk to Jennifer Scalf about how to cut through noise to get to the signal. You often get feedback from customers on what they’d like to see done differently in a product, but this raises questions such as do they want it or need it and is this feedback indicative of one person or many different people. With Jennifer’s help, we explore how to start answering these questions. 

Guest Bios 

Jennifer Scalf is a senior manager of technical account managers working with telecommunications customers at Red Hat. She has the unique skill of being able to listen to what a customer says they want and to then ask the right questions and lead the right conversation to understand if that’s what they truly need. 

Connect With Jennifer on LinkedIn!

Key Points

00:00Introduction 00:41Episode Introduction 02:29Ensuring you’ve done your research ahead of time 05:00What to do if you don’t have time to do your research 07:40How to keep the momentum from customer discussions moving forward 08:51Closing the gap between what the product does and what the customer needs 12:29Understanding if a person’s feedback represents their organisation or their own opinion 14:50How best to find out where people are coming from 16:52Determining who in an organisation has the influence that you need 18:29Adapting to changes in how people communicate 19:27Ways to show someone that you care about them and their problem 21:26Tying all these skills together to get somewhere 22:22Why there are so many ways to update Red Hat Enterprise Linux 24:11Convincing the people in your organisation that you understand the customer need 25:39Acknowledging the time that it takes to build products and deploy them 29:11How to deliver news to a customer that doesn’t align with what they want 34:15Sometimes the news you deliver creates new thoughts for a customer 38:12The Final Question 39:17Episode Wrap Up 41:10Outro

Call to Action

Let us know the ways you connect with people you work with to better understand where they are coming from and what they really want to accomplish. 


“People have tells. People have all kinds of different reasons for saying the things that they say. When people have a bug and it’s been driving them nuts for many years, they’ll show that with their words or their actions. When it’s something that affects the rest of the organization, they may say ‘this is what I’ve got to get done.'”

Jennifer Scalf

“As soon as you show a person that you are listening to them and that you care and that you believe them, you are going to learn so much more about whoever it is you’re talking to.”

Jennifer Scalf

Listen, Rate, and Subscribe!

Share this
Join the discussion

Season 1Episode 1