Rule # 194: "It's always good business to know your customers before they walk in the door."
You don't have to be a fan of Star Trek to appreciate the business wisdom that can be gleaned from one of the show's more iconic alien races, the Ferengi. The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition were a numbered series of aphorisms, guidelines, and principles that provided the foundation of business philosophy in their culture.
Rule number 194 comes from the Deep Space Nine episode "Whispers." The lesson it imparts is clear. Knowing your customer is the fundamental key to building a Buyer Persona for your target customer demographic.
So what is a Buyer Persona?
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. When creating your buyer persona(s), consider including customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals. The more detailed you are, the better.
So why do you need a Buyer Persona for your customers?
- They describe the characteristics of customers with whom your product’s value proposition resonates most strongly.
- They offer insight into buyers’ goals, priorities, influences, and constraints.
- They help to define parameters for attracting viable leads.
- They provide guidance for creating content that buyers consider highly relevant.
So how do you develop your Buyer Personas?
A good resource for developing your personas is business consultant Harvey Mackay's shark profile worksheet (aka the Mackay 66). You can download your copy of Mackay's 66 here.
Using the Ferengi Rule of Acquisition 194 as a guide, take the time to get to know your customers before they walk in the door. Developing Buyer Personas will provide you with invaluable insight into who buys your product or service and why. It's one way to ensure that your business remains successful for many years to come.
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