I will confess, I am a big fan of Judge Judy. I love how she cuts to the chase and doesn’t let folks ramble on with their “feelings,” just goes for the facts. What a concept! But most of all, she tells plaintiffs and defendants alike: “I don’t want to hear that, I don’t care what he/she said, that’s hearsay!”


Salespeople and Hearsay – So many companies will make big business decisions based on hearsay. Usually that hearsay comes from salespeople, but not always. Hearsay is not relevant. One client heard from a salesperson that their customers wanted two of their services bundled. The company was about to make an expensive resource allocation to deliver this bundled option. Just in time, they invested in double-blind research for them to learn, only 13% of the customers valued that bundling. What a waste it would have been to proceed based on one salesman’s information. This is not uncommon.


Business decisions should not be made on hearsay – what we call a survey of one. When a salesperson relies on input from one or two customers, it is simply not a statistically valid representation of most customers. Hearsay is anecdotal and not reliable. Don’t get burned by spending money where you don’t have t; while on the other hand, please spend it where it is justified. One company was about to cut staff in their documentation department, only to learn it was the most important deliverable to their customers.
How do you get from hearsay to facts? Ask your customers directly. If you want the most unbiased feedback, they can’t know it’s you who is asking. The truth comes out when they don’t know who is asking about their buying values. That is the benefit of double-blind research.


Today businesses must be more disciplined in how they make business decisions. Make Judge Judy proud. Make business decisions only on the facts—facts gleaned from the customers.

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