September 3, 2022

5 Questions to Help You Craft Buyer Personas, Understand Your Customers, and Sell Better

Most buyer personas are useless.

Customer avatar, dream customer profile, buyer personas — though it has many names, its core purpose is to represent our target customer, so we can sell our products and serve them better.

But most buyer personas are filled with imagined demographics and make-believe lifestyle descriptions. Plus, this document is usually shelved after creation, never to be updated — let alone consulted — again.

In her book Buyer Personas, Adele Revella suggests a better way to craft buyer personas. First, she recommends confirming assumptions in several ways: research, interviews, big data, analytics, and surveys. And she introduces the five rings of buyer insights, which unlocks a deeper understanding of customer motivation, mindset, and journey.

Here’s a rundown of these 5 rings of buyer insights:

  1. Priority Initiative

You can’t offer customers a compelling solution (AKA your service/product) if you don’t know what’s troubling them.

These “pain points” indicate why consumers look for products like yours in the first place. This insight helps you craft marketing messages that emphatize with your customers and position your offer as the “pain killer,” the panacea to their problem. Have you ever asked your customers why they decided to allot their time, budget, or resources to find a product like yours or hire someone for your service?

2. Success Factors

Experts recommend highlighting benefits over features.

But which benefits should you put front and center? While it’s easy to guess and throw copy out there until something sticks, it’s easier to just ask. Schedule a virtual coffee chat with your best clients or set up an onboarding survey for your new customers and pose this question: What results are you expecting from working with us/buying our product? This insight helps you paint a clearer picture of your customer’s desired state and manage expectations to ensure customer satisfaction.

3. Perceived Barriers

Where’s the resistance coming from?

We all have our reservations about brands. By understanding customers’ usual doubts about your brand or your industry in general, you can reassure them at strategic points in their customer journey.

4. Decisions Criteria

Identify the clinchers.

When comparing your product to your competitor’s, what factors matter most to your customers? Price, convenience, prestige? Knowing which attributes impact their buying decision the most, you can cut the clutter from your messaging and hone in on the benefits that can make or break the sale.

5. Buyer’s Journey

This is your customers’ path to purchase.

By having a roadmap of how your customers usually search for solutions, evaluate options, and make buying decisions, you’ll be able to create more effective funnels.

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