Common Buyer Personas And How To Sell To Them

BY Jessica Helinski
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Successful selling involves customizing your approach to fit a specific buyer’s preferences and needs. Buyer personas help sellers understand specific types of prospects and how to connect with them.

It’s a best practice to understand which buyer personas fit your offerings. Then, once you’ve crafted each “ideal” persona, you will have a clearer understanding of which prospects to target.

And, as SalesFuel notes, sellers can “tailor their strategies and processes to align with what ideal prospects want and need.”

According to RAIN Group’s Mike Schultz, there are six distinct buyer persons. Smart sellers should know how to effectively sell to each.

Why You Need To Consider Buyer Personas

If you’re not familiar with the concept of a buyer persona, it’s time to get acquainted. This is the term for a profile of a prospect. A buyer persona describes the characteristics of this specific type of buyer.

Descriptions typically include details such as job title, needs, goals, and challenges. The best ones highlight other things like motivations and preferences, as well as buying processes.

Common personas you’ll encounter

Sellers are likely to encounter common types of buyers. The more they familiarize themselves with these typical personas, the more prepared they’ll be to sell to them.

One of the buyer personas that Schultz discusses is who he calls, “Decisive Danielle.” He shares that this buyer type is bold, assertive, blunt, commanding, and direct.

She gets things done, is proactive, and appreciates results. She may come across as controlling, and her authoritative attitude may be challenging at times. But knowing what appeals to her will be key to winning her business.

Schultz recommends:

  • Sellers mirror her personality by also being decisive.
  • Don’t be afraid to take risks to win her attention and business.
  • Keep calm if conflicts arise.

And most importantly, when dealing with a dominant personality, don’t try to outdo them. Your strategy shouldn’t be to match their dominance or prove you’re just as bold.

HubSpot’s Marc Wayshak points out there is a line between “positioning” and “posturing.” Stay on the right side of this line by being mindful about your approach.

He recommends focusing on “establishing yourself as a valuable, consultative resource for your prospects.”

This will position you as a credible authority who is just as capable of working hard and getting results. Demonstrate this, rather than say it, to appeal to this buyer persona.

Analytical Al

Another type Schultz highlights is “Analytical Al,” a buyer who is a conservative purchaser. He is tactical and objective, and he insists on following processes and rules. Sellers must tap into their patience when working with this type. Don’t be pushy or scoff at his need to analyze.

Discovery will be very important. You will need to articulate exactly how your solution fits his needs, budget and goals. Data, case studies and other specifics will appeal to this type.

Additionally, Schultz stresses the importance of:

  • Being prepared with details that are personal and relevant.
  • Being transparent.
  • Explaining processes, as well as potential risks and mitigation strategies.

And according to Indeed, be prepared to answer questions. If you don’t have an immediate answer, always follow up with a response as soon as you can.

These consumers can ultimately appreciate all the data that you've given them and use it to come to a decision.”

These are only two of the buyer personas that you are likely to encounter. Be sure to take the time to learn about other common types and how to best sell to them. Understanding these various types can help you determine which buyers you’re most likely to encounter.

And remember, buyers may not always be only one type. Your ideal prospect may actually be a mix of different types. Because of the homework you’ve done, you’ll be able to understand each persona type that is in play. Therefore you can sell effectively based on their specific preferences.

Photo by Amy Hirschi