Building a client persona helps you to better understand your clients. Armed with knowledge of your client, their environment and the hurdles they have to jump, you’ll be able to target specific groups with customized content and improve your sales process to better suit your clients. Whilst it sounds like extra work, targeted marketing can be a lot more cost effective than a shotgun marketing method. Here’s a quick one page template that you can use:
It’s much easier to market to a customer when you understand them & their environment, but identifying a customer isn’t always as easy as it sounds. There can be many different people in the decision making process, and ensuring that you’re targeting the right person (with the right information) is important.
Identify the players & their roles
Think about a child that wants candy, the child (Influencer) doesn’t have money to buy the candy, but can influence a parent (Decision Maker) who can make the decision to buy – but the purchase is actually completed by an older sibling (Buyer) that’s at the store. I’d recommend analyzing several of your previous sales, and understand who played what role – and at which point you’re making an impact. Once you’ve identified a few of the key players, you’ll be ready to start creating personas (or profiles) for the key individuals that you want to sell to.
Getting the information
Most people in similar roles have similar problems, but don’t base your persona on just one individual. Try to speak to as many people as you can and understand their commonalities. It’s important to speak to them and not to hypothesize in a closed room – even if it is based on your past real experiences. If you can’t conduct actual interviews, organize casual meetings and tactfully elicit as much information as you can.
What you need to know
Try to a build a well rounded profile of the customer (Who), the more complete your profile, the more human you can make your approach & the better you’ll be able to sell. Here are a few high level categories you’ll want to cover:
- Where; do they go? Which clubs, societies & events do they attend? Which magazines do they read, and what websites do they frequent or trust? This will help you understand where you need to promote your brand & reach your audience.
- What; problems & challenges do your clients face on a daily basis? Who do they report to and what are their KPI’s? Help them fix their problems, make their lives easier and they’ll want to work with you.
- Why; does your customer want your solution? What problem does it actually solve? This might be different from the one you intended it for, so listen carefully. People buy things because it helps them in some way, not because of specific features.
- How; do they actually buy your solution? What internal hurdles are they going to face, what business cases or justifications will they have to present? Prepare materials that will help your buyer deal with their internal issues quickly. This will make it easier (and faster) for your product to actually get sold.
Once you have all this information for one your clients, you’ll be able to leverage this information to create more relevant buying stages, and to improve objection handling. You’ll probably have to make 3 or 4 of these profiles so that you can address each player specifically.