14 things you must know to target your ideal buyer

9th, Mar 2015

Target your buyer personaWhat do you know about the people and companies you are targeting for business? You may think you know enough since you have a fair amount of business already. However, if you want to bring in more new clients and build stronger relationships with the ones you have, you may want to look at how you can understand them better. The best way to do that is to create a buyer persona – that is, a profile of your ideal buyer or client. Your goal is to develop a detailed profile so you can identify what content your audience will find helpful and deliver it to them when and where they need it. In that way, you can showcase your expertise and build the trust and connections that will grow your business.

If you are looking to attract business clients, the first step is to think carefully about who you are targeting within a company. You should build a buyer persona around a specific person (or persons) within the organization. Then gather information on the following:

1. Company size and revenue. Potential for growth in the business, number of employees, and other factors may also be relevant.

2. Industry. You should understand your prospect’s industry as well as what is happening in that industry – news, developments, economic issues, key players, etc.

3. Competitive position. Who are your prospect’s main competitors and how do they compare?

4. Location. Where are your prospects and their customers?

5. Job title, responsibilities, and key demographics. Remember there may be differences among companies in how they title a position and the scope of the responsibilities so focus on the key attributes that define your buyer. The same is true with respect to demographic information. Consider the ones that are most important.

6. Role in the decision-making process. Within a company, are you targeting an influencer, the actual decision-maker or the person researching and gathering information? The point is that if there are multiple people involved, you want to make sure your content is appropriate to each one.

7. Buyer’s journey. How are buying decisions made? What are the steps and who controls and influences each one? What factors are most/least important at each stage? How are potential vendors identified and researched?

8. Behavior patterns/motivations/objections. What causes your prospects to seek outside resources? What are the arguments or objections you anticipate hearing during the decision-making process? What do they value and trust? What are their communication preferences?

9. Budget and priorities. How much money do they have to spend and what are their competing concerns?

10. Interests, concerns, goals and pain points. What do your prospects care about? What are they looking to achieve and what are their problems and stressors?

11. Information sources. Where do your prospects turn to for information about their industry or to solve their problems? How often and in what format do they prefer to receive information (email, print, webinars, live events, etc.)?

12. Other service providers. Are your prospects using several service providers in your area to handle their needs? If yes, who are they and how and why is the work being distributed among the firms?

13. Up-selling/cross-selling. Could they have need of other services you could provide?

14. Level of knowledge about your services. Are you dealing with experienced buyers? Have you worked with them before?

In creating your buyer persona, you can turn to free basic templates offered by HubSpot and Buyer Persona Institute to help get you started or work with an experienced marketer. However, the important thing to remember is to not gloss over creating these profiles. Know your buyers so you can tailor the substance of your message as well as how you promote it to them.

Now that you know what you need to know about your buyer, how do you find this information? That’s the subject of my next post.

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