June 12, 2006

Crying Versus Bitching (Part 1)

There are two types of customer personas, those who are logically responsive and those who are emotionally responsive. To confuse an apparently simple issue, most of us have some of each type and can be more of one some days and more of the other on other days.

The moral is that it is important to identify which type of customer you are having a conversation with right from the beginning. Knowing your audience is perhaps the most overlooked and underdeveloped skill in marketing. Copywriters try to do it, consultants preach it, and analysts gather data about it, but most of what those people use to draw their conclusions is information, not intelligence - and customer intelligence is what you need to close deals.

Intelligence can only be gathered by interacting with customers. Sincerely and tactfully massaging a conversation to discover the needs and wants of each individual is the only way to finalize a sale. Of course, marketing materials, websites, and commercials have to hit a mass audience, but this segment is about closing a sale with a person, not a mass market.

Once you discover an individual's needs and wants, the type of conversation comes along organically. Of course, finding true needs and wants may or may not be as easy as you think. You should have two conversations in your pocket right now - one for the logical and one for the emotional. Alas, most folks have only one sales conversation and it usually falls into one of two categories - experienced and well-honed (yeah!) or dated and tired (boo!).

Stay tuned to discuss the logical conversation in Part 2 and the emotional conversation in Part 3.