Once you’ve identified your target market, defined the attributes of your ideal client, and thought through your whole product, it’s time to put messaging together that speaks not just to your prospects—that amalgamation of your ideal customer—but to the relevant individuals who will be part of making a decision around choosing a product/service like yours.
No matter your product, industry, or niche, there are three core buyer types you’ll encounter:
- The Economic Buyer. These are your buyers in operational roles. They have a high degree of accountability and responsibility within their organization and are very focused on efficiency, productivity, provable results, and customer satisfaction. You need to be able to tell them how they’ll work better (and how their teams will work more efficiently) and how they can prove it.
- The Financial Buyer. These are your buyers in financial roles. They want to know the risk of purchasing your solution (what are the upfront and ongoing costs? Where is there risk for scope/cost creep?) as well as the financial and business risk of not purchasing your solution You need to be able to give them a solid ROI analysis, not a whiz-bang demo of every feature.
- The Technical Buyer. These are your buyers in implementation and support roles. They want to know that you will deliver on time, on budget, and fit in their existing infrastructure (i.e., not cause more headaches). You need to be able to show them a solid implementation framework so they can see that it complements their setup and won’t cause them more work (or work them out of a job).
I can’t stress enough that you must be prepared to speak to all three types of buyers. Time and again, I see salespeople only prepared to speak to one of these buyers and it’s typically the economic buyer. Why? Because the economic buyer likely owns the problem and is leading the charge to find a solution. While it’s smart to make the economic buyer your ally, you can’t talk to all your buyers the way you do to your economic buyer. Sure the CFO cares that your accounting solution complements the existing software setup, but he’s not going to be measured on users’ uptime the way your head of information systems will.
As you prepare to do sales battle, ask yourself:
- What are the goals and objectives of each of the buyers I’ll encounter at Opportunity X?
- How is each buyer measured in her job? How can I help her exceed these measurements? Where is she feeling pressure to perform better?
- What does each buyer do all day? Where are his frustrations and opportunities?
- How are competitors’ solutions lacking? Why is maintaining the status quo not an option?
Like anyone, your decision makers want to succeed. They want to be successful and, perhaps more importantly, seen by their peers as successful. Figure out what that definition of success is for each of them and build your messaging out from there.