If you need something, whatever it is, you'll typically Google it first, right? People looking for the services that your firm offers are no different. Whether you're selling electrical contracting services, corporate training, financial consulting or heavy engineering, your prospects are checking you out now and you’re not going to get a chance at cracking them as a client unless you’ve got something that helps them build trust in you.
The best and easiest way to make sure you connect and build trust with your prospects is through sharing valuable content. For most of us now, that’s a no brainer. But how do you create content, blogs, e-newsletters, tip sheets, how-to white papers, videos, or podcasts that will deliver value to the particular prospect...that will scratch them where they itch?
Know your buyer as an individual
You have to understand prospects as individual people, not just ‘market segments’. You need to know their individual needs, motivations and aspirations if you're going to stand any chance of nurturing them through website or email content to the point where they’re comfortable making a call. The more people feel you (your website) are right for them the more likely they are to stay, and the more likely you are to capture their interest and ultimately their business.That’s where creating buyer profiles is now a critical first step in any successful marketing campaign.
Buyer profiles not market profiles - it’s that granular now
Most companies don't give much thought to the profiles of the individual persons they'll be dealing with in the target market. They may only have the faintest idea about who the actual person making the purchase decision really is, how they think and what lies behind their buying decision. Creating buyer profiles is a tool that can help you see deeper into the buyer’s thinking.
A buyer profile works like an identikit sketch that helps you picture each different type of buyer and helps you understand their individual motivations, desires and drivers for buying what you’ve got to offer. When you define your buyer's profile you can begin to create content for them that meets their needs and desires.
Who's the person that buys from you
If you're selling training services into the offshore oil & gas industry, the buying drivers of the training manager at an offshore rig are probably very different to the needs and wants of the actual worker you're training. And within the trainee group buying drivers are different between those entering the industry fresh and those updating their training for compliance reasons. One message isn’t going to work for everyone anymore.
I recently helped a leading training provider undertake this very process of defining their buyer profiles. What they uncovered was pretty remarkable, from CEOs to HR Managers to individuals looking to develop their own skills, there were no fewer than 7 distinct buyer profiles, each of which had widely different needs and pain points.
We live in the age of self education and by 'self' I’m talking about customers as individuals - and if you think about it your clients and customers (your buyers) are in positions that are many and varied. Marketing today is about building a relationship with individuals and nurturing them toward choosing you. If you don’t cater for the needs of your different buyers, surely someone else will.