An ability to get inside your customer’s head and understand them is an important part of the sales process. In understanding them, you can anticipate their needs and solve their problems. Don’t worry, I’m not going to suggest signing up for a psychology course because there’s an easier way to read their minds. And that’s to use personas.
A persona is simply creating a fictional customer profile. In Dinkum’s case, we might imagine a small business owner that sells Christmas trees. For many years the owner sold Christmas trees through stores but now, they’ve noticed more people want to order their trees online and they need to build a presence. How would they find Dinkum?
There are three main persona stages. The first is the “browser” who comes to your site to get information. Our fictional Christmas tree seller might put the words “how to sell online”, “how to create a website”, or “what is search engine optimization” into search engines as part of their discovery process.
The second is the “shopper” who knows what they want but not who to buy from. Our Christmas tree seller would now be using very different search terms such as “best Internet marketing company”, “SEO Philadelphia” or “reviews Internet marketing Philadelphia”.
The third persona is the “buyer”. They know what they want and that they want to buy from you. Their search terms would include “Dinkum Interactive”, “contact Dinkum Interactive” or “services Dinkum Interactive”. Again, it’s the same potential client but they are using very different search terms because they are at different stages of the buying process.
Your website and content needs to speak to these personas as they make their way through the buying process. You need to answer the questions of your browser because one day, they could become a buyer. There are several ways to answer their questions including specialist articles, whitepapers, or page content. The point is, once you imagine yourself as the Christmas tree seller, your head goes to a different set of perspectives and insights. It also helps when framing copy and pay-per-click advertisements. The phrase “buy online marketing – exclusive offer” doesn’t speak to a browser because they’re not ready to buy but it will speak to a buyer.
When creating a persona, you can get as creative as you like. You might imagine a whole life story for your fictional character. The important part is being able to pinpoint their needs and solve their problems. As you might know yourself, one of the most exciting things about searching is finding exactly what you were looking for. When you feel someone is addressing your specific needs, it could be the beginning of a beautiful ongoing sales relationship.
Photo Credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1331435