Every industry has to come up with something new, or seemingly new to keep itself going and maintain it’s viability. For example, in fashion it is color or cut of a garment. One of these things in the marketing, sales and sales training industry is buyer personas.
What is a buying persona? According to Hubspot, a company I use and admire A buyer persona is:
“Buyer personas are fictional representations of your ideal customers. They are based on real data about customer demographics and online behavior, along with educated speculation about their personal histories, motivations, and concerns.”
This breakdown of a potential buyer and his or her “persona” along the way of a sales process or decision is good for marketing since the right message can try to be sent at the right time.
BUT I SAY ENOUGH WITH BUYING PERSONAS FOR SALESPEOPLE!
- they can be highly inaccurate
- they pigeon hole people/prospects and thus pigeon hole salespeople
- they restrict what prospect might want or a salesperson might ask
- it is difficult and awkward to be mindful of smoothly integrate them into a sales approach
- they are difficult to use for a salesperson who has multiple assignments, accounts and/or sell to many different people and industries (this is less so for people have a much more finite focus or responsibility)
- salespeople can become dependent on or falsely led to believe that these personas are sacrosanct and all they have to do is what they are told and the sale will happen. HOGWASH I SAY!
Here is what I think is more important:
- relating to people and being more empathetic and intelligent about their world
- understanding a prospect’s or buyers UNIQUE responsibilities, priorities and needs which a persona does address to some degree
- salespeople having the skill set to interact with an individual/S to see exactly what these are for them and their organization
- giving salespeople an intelligent and flexible structure (such as the S.PRI.N.G. Dialogue) that they can use in multiple scenarios with much greater impact
That’s all I have to say on the subject for now. What do you think?