Finding the perfect respondent by putting your “Boots to the Ground”
The foundation of excellent research is built on finding reliable, true respondents. In a sea of people, where many of them are what Elevated Insights considers to be ‘cheaters’, (read more here) how do you weed through them to find the right ones?
When looking for a very targeted group of respondents that are difficult to find, what do you do? After we have tried some of our typical methods of reaching out to our database, social media, referrals, etc. and still aren’t finding the right respondents – we strap on our boots and hit the pavement.
The first question we must answer is where do we go to find them? We look at our remaining quotas to determine who we still need to find and what that ‘perfect participant’ would look like. Then, we put ourselves in their shoes – where would they go to in the community?
For example, we recently recruited a study for a client where we were looking for participants with a specific medical disease. We were struggling to find the perfect respondents, so we went to where we might find people that deal with this medical disease – the doctor’s office – and handed out flyers.
Another example is when we needed to find people that lived in rural areas who used a specific product. Our panel did not have many rural respondents, so we went to stores in town where we thought we might find them. We went to local farm/tractor stores in these rural towns, such as Big-R, because we knew many of the residents who live in these rural areas are farmers or have large properties and might shop here.
This ‘boots on the ground’ recruiting tactic can also be helpful when we are down to the last few recruits and need a person of a specific demographic, such as gender, age, ethnicity, etc. Sometimes it makes a difference when we can visibly see potential respondents and determine if they will fit our remaining quotas.
However, when we put our boots to the ground, we can’t just hand out flyers and hope people take the screener. So how do we approach them? What do we say to them? The mindset you need to be in is a chatty and pleasant one. You need to approach people knowing that some don’t like talking to strangers and others love to talk a stranger’s ear off. Start by explaining to them who your company is and why you are out handing out flyers. We approach everyone with a genuine smile and try not to give them the impression that we are selling something. We make sure to let them know that their opinions matter and we truly want to hear them.
Finally, make sure they have your contact information, the study information, and ensure they will tell their friends and family about what you talked about. Sometimes going out into the public is not necessarily to find your perfect participant at that moment, but rather it is about making connections with people that will hopefully go home to refer their friends and family to your project.
Building those relationships in person can build your database and increase awareness by word of mouth.
Elevated Insights started our recruiting division because we were frustrated with having ‘cheaters’ participate in our research – so we understand and value the importance of having the right respondents. This is why we take the extra time and effort to make sure we find those true, perfect respondents.
We would love to help you with your next Colorado Springs recruit – give us a call and let us put our “boots on the ground” to work for you!