You're getting ready to make your cold calls for the day.
As you look through your list of leads, you mentally prepare yourself for the many conversations and opportunities ahead.
But there’s a chance it can all go to waste.
That is, if you don’t know what type of person you’re speaking to, and don’t understand their deep desires and needs, you’ll have a hard time selling anything.
To be successful, you have to be able to draw a mental picture of your prospect in your head. Doing so, ensures that your messaging resonates.
You need a buyer persona - a fictional character or construct created to represent the different user types within a targeted demographic, attitude, and behavior set that might use a site, brand, or product in a similar way.
And when it comes to buyer personas, the more detailed, the better.
Elements of a Buyer Persona
Demographics - Who are they?
- Marital status
- Do they have children?
- Level of education
- Job title
Psychographics - How do they think?
- Are they price sensitive?
- How do they want to be seen by others (smart? cool? trend-setter?)?
- How do they feel about the environment?
- Do they favor quality or convenience?
Behavioral - What do they do?
- Where do they shop?
- How often do they eat out?
- Are they impulsive? Or research-oriented?
- Do they use social media?
- Do they work out?
What do they want to accomplish by buying your product or doing business with you?
What is, or might be, standing in the way of those goals?
Let’s say you’re a mobile app development company, and one of your target markets are Fortune 500 Companies. Here’s how the buyer persona might look:
Title: Fortune 500 Company Executive
Demographics: Fred is male, aged 45, and a director or project manager level employee.
Psychographics: He's concerned with quality and efficiency, and is uncertain whether it's better to build the app in house or hire an external team. Job security is important, and he's worried about previous bad experiences with developers. He's somewhat price sensitive, but he has a large budget and wants to get the the job done right.
Behavioral: Fred doesn't spend much time on social media. He's probably Googled a few options but doesn't have time to do exhaustive research. He likes to be very involved in a project so he needs to connect on a personal level as well as a professional one before hiring.
Goals in relation to doing business with you: He wants to successfully execute project, and produce an app that looks good, and that works smoothly. He wants the app to earn recognition both for the company and himself.
Challenges: He can't exceed the project budget. He needs to have the app ready on time in accordance with other company initiatives. He's conflicted about the time required to build an in-house team versus finding an external one he trusts.
How to use the persona
Once you have your persona, it's easier to pretend you're sitting across the table from someone. This is what you use to improve your pitch. Having this information helps you figure out the right things to say (How you can help, what's in it for them), and how to say it.
How We Help:
- We have a proven track record, including apps successfully employed for several other Fortune 500 companies - Fred can feel confident and secure
- With our agile methodologies, communication with Fred is transparent. It ensures accuracy and understanding throughout each step of the process.
- We build his product quickly-- he doesn’t need any set-up time and has a specialized team on his side.
- To help Fred gather data faster and build a better product, we run an iterative approach to development which shortens the “Build - Measure - Learn” cycle.
The Right Tone
- Knowledgeable and experienced
- Personable and even fun - easy to get along with
Notice how the buyer persona is crafted for the specific individual in the company who you’ll need to sell to.
With this basic format, you can do some research and create a detailed buyer persona.
Companies often create a buyer persona before developing a tagline or creating an ad or commercial to ensure the result speaks to, and sells to, the right audience. For the same reason, you should reference your buyer persona before making calls, or crafting your pitch. Think about who they are, the challenges they face, their goals, behavior, and the tone that they best respond to.
And if you want to get REALLY specific, you can reference this article by HubSpot, which references 100 questions to ask yourself when creating a buyer persona.
Are you ready to create your own buyer persona? Have any questions about the process? Tweet us or let us know in the comments below!