In part one of this topic, you learned generally about creating a buyer persona. In the next part of this topic, I will suggest ways to actually build a buyer persona. It would be helpful if you build a buyer persona for each product or service you offer. Keep this in mind as you read through how to complete an actual buyer persona building exercise.
What To Include In A Buyer Persona
You can include different information in a buyer persona. Your buyers are also decision-makers. What would trigger them to decide to buy your products or services? A simple technique to uncovering this is to pretend that YOU are your ideal buyer. Imagine that you are auditioning for a part in an off-Broadway play where your role is to play the buyer of your own products or service. Imagine your most enthusiastic buyer and think, act and feel as that excited buyer. Be imaginative! That will really get your creative juices flowing.
Or, imagine that you are the executor of a friend’s will. You will have to “sell” off or dispose of his estate. (It’s kind of like being a goods and services seller.) To play this role, you need to intimately know what really mattered to your dead friend. What were his favorite colors, beverages, songs, places he banked, hobbies, interests, where he grew up, his likes, his dislikes, his background information, demographics, challenges, life goals, common life objections, biggest fears, where he was born, how old he was when he died, did he color the grey in his hair, did he dislike liver and onions, etc., etc., etc. The more details you know about your friend, the more you would also know the reasons he bought the things he bought. And, since you are the executor of his estate, you will most likely know whether he did or did not have a boat at a marina somewhere that now has to be disposed of. Get the idea here? The same holds true for creating a buyer persona!
A Sample Buyer Persona Exercise
Let’s create an example buyer persona. Suppose you sell Aunt Bessie’s organic, all natural, non-gmo, non-toxic, safe-for-pets furniture polish. Here’s the part where you want to identify the most likely ways an ideal buyer of this type of furniture polish would think. So, you are going to think and behave like this type of buyer.
Look for the patterns, trends and tendencies in your ideal buyer. Use those patterns for writing your marketing materials. Make sure the patterns you write about include key ideas to which your buyer can deeply relate.
The thoughts you think are ideas that REALLY matter to your ideal natural furniture polish buyer. So, let’s start out with the extreme idea that your ideal buyer is a germophobe. A most famous germophobe is the character from Neil Simon’s play named Felix Unger in The Odd Couple.
Imagine playing the part of Felix Unger. In Neil Simon’s play the Odd Couple about two divorced men living together, the character Felix Unger is a neat freak. He’s very persnickety about his surroundings being unrealistically clean. He’s a germophobe. He wears a gas mask when picking up the dirty socks of his roommate Oscar Madison who is a complete slob! Felix obsesses over everything. See all these details about Felix? Felix’s buyer persona for furniture polish includes all these details and more!
Use The Buyer Persona Research to Create Your Sales Pitch
Remember, yoursales pitch will require just the right type of persuasion. The content must be contextually relevant to your specific buyer. The ideas in your marketing copy must seem very reasonable and believable to your ideal prospect. The way to sound like you think like your ideal buyer is to write copy that sounds like what matters most to your ideal buyer.
Talk about what matters to your buyer and convey what matters to him or her using the same type of dialog heard from a personal friend. Make your marketing message sound like a friend talking to you.
Most likely, you must think about things that are currently rubbing your buyer the wrong way. Your buyer wants those annoyances and inconveniences to stop! This information all needs to appear in your buyer persona profile.
If you are a beginner at creating a buyer persona, here are some basic information categories to include in your buyer profile. First, I’ll leave the categories blank. Then, I’ll create a practice one using what would seem reasonable if your typical buyer were like Felix Unger. The Felix Unger buyer persona is a very exaggerated profile. Keep in mind you would probably never get this much personal information from your buyer. I’ve exaggerated this buyer persona to get you to think outside the box.
The ideas you write down will help you focus on accepting and working WITH what matters most to your ideal buyer:
Hobbies and interests:
The Example, Felix Unger Buyer Persona
Background: Professional news writer Felix Unger has lost his wife and children because his obsessions make his wife so crazy that “he’s impossible to live with.” She’s finally divorced him. He feels so devastated at his marriage breakup, he threatens to commit suicide hoping it will change his wife’s mind. But it doesn’t.
The perfectionist in him sees nothing wrong with being a perfectionist and demanding order in all things so life can be predictable for him. His excessive need for rigid structure and complete lack of spontaneity creates emotional calm in him and his required sense of control for him.
This innate need for predictabilitiness, order and rigidity creates strain in all his relationships. His friends feel annoyed by his excessive need for cleanliness and obsession to cook foods only to perfection. Felix is fussy beyond reasonableness. He’s an uptight killjoy. He knows he is difficult to live with but can’t (or won’t) make any concessions or compromises.
Felix lives in extremes; he has extreme habits, pastimes and relationship expectations. Though well-meaning, he can be overly caring and can express his feelings about life with childlike enthusiasm. He basically has a good heart. His caring, childlike good heart endears people to him. He loves dogs and animals in general.
He has a nervous tic; when he feels upset, he presses his hand to his forehead and “honks” to clear his sinuses.
Felix has very exacting and perfectionistic ideas about how things must be done. He frequently nags others into submitting to his perfect way of doing things.
Felix was raised to display good manners and expects other to act well-mannered. He often serves as a moral compass to others and will outright refuse to do morally questionable activities. He loves opera, ballet and other refined events.
He generally dislikes sports. They are activities to act uncivilized, rude and sometimes violent.
Felix admits he’s a hypochondriac but can’t stop himself from behaving this way. When he sees a doctor, it’s often something allergy-related.
He sometimes throws tantrums when he doesn’t get his way.
He’s friendly, cheerful, innocent, polite, and tries to always do the right thing. He does try to look on the bright side.
Demographics: Lives in New York city. Approximately 55-years-old, white male, dad, ex-husband, sexually straight, average height and weight, dresses only in impeccably pressed suits, polished shoes, irons his underwear and pajamas and all clothes he wears. He displays OCD behaviors, is obsessive, has two elementary-aged children and is an orderly person who relies on structure, and consistent, dependable routine in his life.
Motivations: Thechance that there might someday be the perfect “anything” so he can be truly happy!
Goals: Be as perfect, consistent, predictable and clean in everything he does.
Hobbies and interests: Cleaning, perfect cooking, being exact and predictable, making sure all surface areas in his immediate environment are antiseptically clean.
Life challenges: Dirt, germs, people who act uncivilized and messy, being hypercritical, being hyperjudgmental
Common Objections: People don’t take enough pride in their work. People don’t take good enough care of their things to make them last. People waste a lot of time and money on being impractical and spontaneous.
Biggest Fears: He’ll never be truly happy because the world will always have disorder to deal with, uncleanliness, crime and unpredictabilitiness!
Patterns: When things appear dirty, uncivilized or ill-mannered, Felix is in pain and annoyed. These are his inconveniences that cause him to feel out of control.
Trends: Seasonally, Felix must do spring cleaning. You can always count on him to have cleaning seasons EACH WEEK! Calculate how much furniture polish product he might use in a certain given time to refresh his inventory with more.
Tendencies: He tends to need more furniture polish when special events are coming up. Find out what events matter most to him. Keep a log of the times of the week these might repeat. Keep checking in with him on those events to see when him might need more furniture polish. Remember to offer him package deals on more than one bottle. Think about related items he might need and make him a special deal with those related items to make life the most convenience for him.
Miscellaneous notes: Find out what Felix likes about your furniture polish. Ask him how you could improve it. If you can improve things, he will tell his friends you really do care. That can mean more sales for you!
Now, do this exercise with your client/customer in mind. Then target your marketing to that “persona”. You may need to create multiple personas for each type of client or customer you have.