Sales & Marketing Strategies

Stepping into Your Customer's Shoes Is Key to Building Effective Personas

Posted by Mark Montonara on Oct 23, 2015 9:40:56 AM

Building buying personas by stepping into your customer's shoesAs a ‘consumer’ yourself, you understand that the companies that help you navigate the buying journey and ultimately, help you make the correct buying decision, earn your trust and loyalty. This is especially true of ‘high-price/high-risk’ decisions -- think autos, technology, insurance, etc.

Now, take your ‘consumer cap’ off, and put on your ‘business cap’. As a business that ‘sells’ products and/or services, you want to be able to gain the same level of trust and loyalty from your audience as you have given to your favorite sellers. But, how can you do that?

Here is the first of three steps to guide your thinking on creating effective lead generation strategies and earning their loyalty and trust.

Step 1 - Step in the customer’s shoes

The process of gaining audience trust and loyalty begins when you ‘put yourself into your buyer’s shoes’. It is important to understand some of the following aspects about your audience/buyer:

  1. Who is your typical buyer?
  2. What that buyer needs to accomplish? (What does ‘success’ look like?)
  3. How that buyer needs to make a buying decision (Who are all of the ‘stakeholders’?)
  4. Where the buyer typically/historically goes for buying information? (What are their behaviors and preferences)?

Did you notice that I didn’t mention ‘Price’ in this set of questions? It is not that the price is not important to the final buying decision. But, price is ultimately compared to the value of a product/service. The price is virtually meaningless until the value is established and the impact (ROI) of the decision is determined. Those companies that have to lead with price are unfortunately commoditized and have very little chance of earning loyalty and trust. (You don't want to be one of them.)

The key takeaway from this step: Understand your buyer’s needs, timeframe, and buying process, in order to have the best chance of gaining their trust and loyalty. And remember that the buying process is not driven by your sales goals timeline, but by the buyer’s timeframe. But the good news is that the more aligned you are with the buying journey, the better the chance that you have of being that customer’s ‘companion’ through the journey... and winning their trust AND business.

How to accomplish this step: The quickest way to step into your customer’s shoes is to ask your current customers. You might be able to speak one-on-one with them. Or you can use online survey tools, like SurveyMonkey.com to gather the intel. If you are a new business, you might be able to connect with purchasers of competitive products/services in order to gain insights.

Ultimately, you want to gain as much insight into the wants, needs and challenges of your ideal customer. When you can 'walk in their shoes' and understand their perspective, you will be better equipped to support them. It is at that point - when the customer feels that you are 'on their side' that they will give you their trust and loyalty.

You can download our FREE template - Create Buyer Personas for Your Business - which will help guide you through the process of helping you to identify (and understand) the one or more client types that represent your business lead audience.

Topics: sales, lead generation, buying personas