Have you ever wondered whether your buyer persona was correct and giving you information you can trust?
Buyer personas can only do their job of providing insight into your buyers’ decisions and what influences them, if they reveal how buyers think about the buying decision you want to influence.
According to Adele Revella, founder and CEO of Buyer Persona Institute, most buyer persona interviews conducted by a company’s own salespersons or customers are self-serving and heavily biased, as they only describe ideal buyers that only make up a fraction of the market.
Revella’s advice is to rather invest in a correct representation of the whole market by interviewing people who have recently purchased a product or service similar to yours.
But it doesn’t stop there. To receive more accurate buying insights from your interviews, it is not only who you ask, but how and what you ask. Revella reveals 7 tips that can guide the evaluation of your buyer insights.
Guide to Creating Buyer Personas
- Only focus on what your buyers say is important. Do not work with opinions or base research on guesswork.
- You should only have a few buyer personas that separate the differences in your buyers’ thinking about a buying decision. These differences will be based on how and why people buy a product or service. Like-minded buyers will respond positively to the same marketing strategies.
- You will receive real insights when you interview people who were recently buyers and have a true story to tell. These people may have gone against the status quo or decided it was time for a change.
- Ensure your interview includes asking the person about when they decided to solve their problem with a product or service, and what made them act and buy that said product. When you spend time on this, you will discover why and when buyers are willing to hear from you.
- Let the buyer tell you what they did and thought as they made a buyer decision. This information is important and the most insightful, as the buyer is not likely to remember unimportant details. When you are interested and engaged in a buyer’s story, they will reciprocate the engagement and reveal valuable details. In other words, don’t work from a script
- Another objective of your interviews is to record actual quotes and comments from your buyers. These words will help reveal your different buyer personas and aid in discovering patterns across the interviews.
- Revella says ten interviews, which follow the above principles, is enough to discover the differences between your segments of buyers. For more clarity and certainty, after the interviews, you can create a quantitative study to validate your findings.