Have User Personas replaced Buyer Personas?


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Expanding your reach to as many people in an organization can be more important than finding and concentrating on the decision maker. You have to move away from the structure of selling to the traditional hierarchy that is demonstrated in a command and control environment. This is difficult at times because you have predefined outcomes generated based on transactional thinking. (Ref Blog Post: Moving Sales Compensation away from Transactional Thinking)

In Goods Dominant Logic thinking it is the transaction, the Buyer Persona, we are trying to reach. In the Buyer Persona Mindset, doing more means price cutting or some masquerade of it. We are trying to progress towards a sale versus a change in behavior. We are only looking from a transactional view.

If your mindset moves to Service Dominant Logic thinking and that value is co-created through use. It becomes the User Persona that is our basis for interaction.  In Service Dominant Logic, we view value from three points; Functional, Social, Emotional.

  1. Functional (Know): This is the practical side where we help solve problems, resolve issues, get projects done and accomplish tasks.
  2. Emotional (Feel): We make people feel better and find ways to support, energize and empower
  3. Social (Do): We help people find new meaning, new information and re frame their situation (See The Challenger Sale)

Every situation may not require each of these values to be addressed. However, from the sale’s perspective, we must be willing to address these issues while inspiring people to take action. As we move away from the center of use to other influencers, these three types of values may change in context. Depending on the people/organizations that participate in the use of the product/service the different behaviors will need to be addressed.  To do this, we have to be able to exert influence.

We all want to have influence but how do we do it? Stephen Covey says that there are three basic ways:

  1.  Mentor by Instruction (Allow others to Know)
  2. Build Caring Relationships (Allow others to Feel)
  3. Model by Example (Allow others to Do)

Transactional sales (Buyer Persona) cannot be used in a world that is shifting to Service Dominant Thinking (User Persona). Our sales processes must change accordingly.  I am thinking the value that an organization places on a product/service is best demonstrated in the ways that would influence them the most. Stephen Covey breaks these three areas of influence into 30 different methods and three big mistakes in the book, Principle-Centered Leadership.

Know, Feel, Do: Improve Sales try a Simplicity Persona

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Joseph Dager
Business901 is a firm specializing in bringing the continuous improvement process to the sales and marketing arena. He has authored the books the Lean Marketing House, Marketing with A3 and Marketing with PDCA. The Business901 Blog and Podcast includes many leading edge thinkers and has been featured numerous times for its contributions to the Bloomberg's Business Week Exchange.


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