By Ryan Malone
If you've completed your sales and marketing kickoff meeting, the next step in buyer persona development is interviewing customers. In most cases, you'll have at least a few common customer types who typically make purchases. Each of them is different and it's important to understand what makes all of them tick.
1. Identify customers to interview
2. Ask customers to participate
Many customers actually like to give feedback, especially if they feel particularly loyal to your company. However, you are asking them to take time out of their day, so consider compensating them in some way.
3. Prepare your interviewees
Set a realistic expectation for how long the interview will take, explain why you are doing it, and make sure they have everything they need to be comfortable.
4. Conduct the interview
Be prepared with questions, but also allow yourself the freedom to explore new paths as the customers share their stories. It is most important to be open-minded; you might not get the answers you expect. Use open-ended questions so customers have the opportunity to elaborate on their experiences.
After the kickoff meeting and customer interviews, you'll be ready to create persona profiles for use in all of your marketing endeavors.
Buyer persona development may seem overwhelming, but it is worth the effort to truly understand your target audience. If you don't know what prompts them to make a purchase, you won't know how to focus your marketing efforts most effectively.