Here are two scenarios to help you understand that.
You have two minutes to sell your business to a person you’ve never met, a person you can’t see and one you know nothing about. Now, because you’ve learned a few things about sales, you decide to use your knowledge about the strategic advantage of addressing the benefits of your product or service.
But after about 30 seconds you begin to panic. You’ve realized that you’re assuming this person knows something about your business. But this person doesn’t. So you start over again with the basics, and then you begin telling this unknown person how your business solves this his or her problems better than your competitors.
Suddenly, you realize you only have about 30 seconds before this person loses interest, and you haven’t even mentioned the benefits your business can bring. So you switch gears and try to squeeze in all the advantages you can think of, which come out in a jumbled, random heap while you hope and pray that you’re actually influencing their thinking.
Ding! Two minutes are up! You’re dripping in sweat. Phew! That was frustrating, wasn’t it?
Later that night, you go out to dinner with your oldest friend, whom you haven’t seen in years. Over appetizers and drinks, you have a two-minute window of opportunity to tell your best friend why your business is exactly what she’s been looking for.
What a complete turnaround! You know this person! You know what she likes and doesn’t like. You’re relaxed and you’re more animated in your presentation because you know her language and her hot buttons, her likes and her dislikes, her experiences and her aspirations—all the things that are meaningful to her that you can relate your business to.
Your presentation is very different this time because your focus is on your friend. You’ve altered your language, attitude, approach – your message! – to appeal in the most natural way to someone you know.
Ding! Two minutes are up! And you’re smiling, not sweating—and so is your friend.
Which sales presentation do you think was more successful?
Personas are geared to give you the advantage you had in Scenario 2—pitching your business to your best friend. All the facts, information and core values you will research in this guide to include in the personas specific to your business will allow you to sell to your audience just as you would to your best friend.
We’ll continue to explore this going forward.
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