You always sell to a person. Not a persona.
Too much is being made out of technology and AI and the rest of the buzz.
While there’s no doubt that technology can help us organize our information and data and help us remember things to do at the right time, relying too much on it leads us to believe that every person we talk to is actually a persona. We stop listening and start “checking boxes” and “force fitting” every potential prospect into a box to make our lives easier and to let our nifty little apps take care of the rest.
The moment you look at the other person as a human being, the equation changes.
Our ability to connect and build a relationship comes into play. But that is hard, right? There is no magic formula to get a person to trust you.
The first step is to listen. This connects to both the previous point and the next.
Labels like “prospect” and “buyer persona” may get in the way of selling!
Marketing or Inside sales gave you a lead to a prospect based on certain criteria. Potentially there was a call to “qualify” the prospect. This is mostly a vague match of intent based on a mail id submitted in a chatbot or some canned questions answered by the “prospect”.
The call – which took a lot of time and energy – followed a script to ask quick questions to qualify and push the name out to the field – you. Most qualification models – MQLs, SQLs, PQLs are either many steps away from identifying the actual needs or too late into the process. The buyer knows if she is ready to buy or are just in an exploratory stage. All the current lead qualification methods including intent data is just that – intent. It is not readiness for making a purchase.
The way to get to a real prospect – one who is getting ready to buy – is to connect with the person and start a conversation with her about her and her needs (and not your product or world view).
Everything else follows.