Three ways to create a buyer persona

Building a persona helps you turn your thinking towards what your customers want to buy, and away from what you’d like to sell them. They’re the single most important element of a successful commercial strategy.

This insight explains what a buyer persona is and provides you with three ways to creating your perfect buyer persona.

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What is a 'buyer persona'?

A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal target customer or someone who is most likely to buy from you. Using the term ‘buyer’ reminds you and your team that it is ultimately their decision whether to buy from you or not. Whereas the term ‘customer’ places emphasis on you selling them something. By understanding what motivates your buyers, you can focus on meeting their needs rather than just pushing your product or service. This is important because traditional sales tactics that only highlight the features of a product might not resonate with what customers actually want. Creating buyer personas is a key part of any successful sales and marketing strategy.

Buyer Persona Institute

Format one – from the Buyer Persona Institute

  • Name your persona – make it memorable through alliteration or rhyming
  • Write a persona summary – describe why your organisation or product could be relevant to their needs. Describe the benefits for them… which of their problems does your product or service solve?
  • Identify triggers – what situation, circumstance or event could cause a potential to need your help or want your information?
  • Establish their goal – what result or outcome might they expect from visiting your website, engaging with your content or purchasing from you?
  • Determine any perceived barriers – what attitudes or concerns could prevent them from contacting you or going ahead with purchasing your product or service?
  • Make use of trusted people and resources – who else (e.g. a social worker) or what else (e.g. a page on the council’s website) could play a part in their decision?
Buyer Persona Institute
Helen Pritchard

Format two – by Helen Pritchard

Delve into a deeper understanding of your potential buyers by asking yourself these questions:

  • What problems do they have that you can help them solve?
  • Why is the way you deliver your products/services important to them (e.g online, in person, one-to-one, or in a group)?
  • Why are you the person for them (your background, skills and experience)?
  • What’s the emotional connection between you and your persona (your shared values)?
  • What are the three things that keep them awake at night?
  • What is the one big outcome that you can deliver to solve those things that keep them awake at night?
  • Why is now the time for them to make the decision?
Helen's LinkedIn training programme
Rob Da Costa Coaching

Format three – by Rob Da Costa

If you want to go into even more detail about the potential customers’ ‘pain points’ that you’re trying to help them with, then consider the following:

  • What might be making their life difficult? How does your product or service address this ‘pain’?
  • Where might they be going to find out more about your product/service? A simple Google search could help you see through your customer’s eyes, and will show you what you look like and who you’ll be compared to.
  • What are their most common reasons for not buying your product or service?

For even more depth, you may also want to ask yourself:

  • What are the key pains that they have that they want to move away from?
  • What are their big issues, concerns, and worries?
  • What are customers looking for most? Are they searching for good design, guarantees, specific or more features?
  • What do customers dream about? What do they aspire to achieve, or what would be a big relief to them?
  • When it comes to their problems that you can solve, how do they measure success and failure? How do they gauge performance or cost?
  • What would increase your customers’ likelihood of choosing your organisation? Do they want lower cost, lower risk, or better quality?
Rob Da Costa
Ned Wells/Cicada

Hopefully this insight encourages you and your team to take a step back and look at the world through your customers’ eyes. The information and guidance in this article was provided to us by Ned Wells, Director of Cicada Consulting. Please follow the link below for his full article and to get into contact with Ned.

Ned Wells