We all know that selling fish to a Vegetarian isn’t going to get you a sale. Well, theoretically, if that person were Pescitarian or throwing a dinner party then maybe you could get a sale, but this would be a rare occasion. See, without having a clear idea of who your buyer is, it is all too easy to start fishing in the wrong pond, reeling in buyers who don’t have a need or desire for what you are offering.
Whether you are selling products or services online or instore every small business needs to have a clear understanding of who your buyer actually is. This is buyer persona profiling, you are looking for the real buyer not who you think the buyer is. We need to know what makes them tick? What are their shopping habits? What are their research habits? Why do they need your product? How do they make their buying decisions? What are their pain points? What are their values? And the list goes on.
Getting the answers to these questions can take some time but in the end will help you nail more sales and have a better understanding of who your buyer is and how you can help them. But where to start? The beauty is, buyer personas can be developed using internal data or information that you already have on hand and through customers interviews and online or instore surveys. In this blog we will outline the necessary steps in properly developing your buyer personas.
How to Profile your Buyer
Firstly, you may actually have more than 1 buyer persona, you might have 2! Or 3! But before we get too excited it’s critical to understand that your persona’s need to reflect your best customers.
1. Reach out to your customers
There’s nothing quite like talking to a real person to glean insight into the outside perception of your services or products. This also allows you to grasp a better understanding into their needs and pain points. By interviewing customers who have had a negative experience and those who have had a positive experience allows you to more accurately pinpoint the buyer persona. Below is an example of questions you can incorporate into your research process.
How do you research products or services you’re interested in?
Do you use social media? Which ones?
What types of devices do you use? tablets, smart phones, laptops, desktops, phablets?
Why did you buy this product or service?
How did you find the buying process (beginning, middle and end)
What did you enjoy about the buying process
What did you not like?
What could be improved?
2. Know the demographics
There is a major advantage in knowing the gender of your buyers. You may have one persona which is male and the other female, or they may even be gender neutral. The buyers age largely affects their decisions, priorities, values and spending habits. Geographic locations and professions are the most basic and easy way to get you started. Check your internal data from your CRM system and other tools to backup your decisions.
3. Identify why buyers need your products
Through the interview process, surveys or focus groups we need to determine the buyers pain point. Why did they feel so compelled to buy your product or service in the first place? What issue or problem was it fixing or consoling or what emotion was it appealing to? These insights will help identify why your product exists and what value it is offering your buyer versus your perceived value.
4. Get their priorities straight
Understanding the priorities of your buyer is going to help create more tailored marketing materials and solutions for the buyer. Is their top priority making their boss look good, projecting a certain image, making money, building their business, do they have budget restraints, are they worried about their children’s health? Get their priorities straight in order for you to get yours in order to.
5. Understand their values
Your buyers values are different to their priorities. Their values relate more closely to their dreams and aspirations, the bigger picture instead of their everyday priorities. Are your products or services helping them build a long term profitable business, are you helping them retire quickly? Understanding the bigger picture will always provide a central point for your to draw upon when faced with challenges or misguided focus.
6. Know their research habits
As per the questions in the interview process you need to know where your customers go when they are looking for information or starting the research process. Your buyer might be incredibly comfortable with online or may be a late adopter. The best place to begin gathering data for this is through your website metrics and analytics programs. This will have a significant impact on how you target your buyer, and how to best provide your buyer with the information they’re looking for.
Profiling your customers and creating buyer personas will not only help you segment your audience it will also assist in the selling tactics, content marketing, paid advertising and messaging you choose to best target the individual personas.
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