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Foreword David Meerman Scott xiii Acknowledgments xvii Introduction: Listen First, Then Speak xix Why Is Everyone Talking about Buyer Personas? xx Will This Approach Work for You? xxii PART I Understanding the Art and Science of Buyer Personas 1 Chapter 1 Understand Buying Decisions and the People Who Make Them 3 Why the "Know Your Customer" Rule Has Been Redefined 5 A Clothes Dryer's Extra Setting Made All the Difference 6 Will You Understand Your Buyers' Decisions? 7 Relying on Buyer Demographics and Psychographics 10 How Marketers Benefit from Buyer Profiles 11 Buying Insights Complete Your Persona 12 High-Consideration Decisions Reveal the Best Insights 13 Buying Insights from a Quick Trip to London 15 Chapter 2 Focus on the Insights That Guide Marketing Decisions 19 Listening to Kathy 20 Frustrated, A Newly Minted Consultant Invents Personas 22 Buyers Have Distinct Expectations 23 The 5 Rings of Buying Insight 25 Give Your Buyer a Seat at the Table 27 Buying Insight Opens Doors to C-Level Executives 31 Chapter 3 Decide How You Will Discover Buyer Persona Insights 35 The Most Important Nine Months of My Career 36 How Interviews Reveal Insight 38 Is This Another Kind of Qualitative Research? 39 Crafting The Low-Consideration Buyer's Story 41 Using B2B Salespeople to Build Buyer Personas 42 The Pros and Cons of Buyer Surveys 43 When to Use Focus Groups 44 Will Big Data Deliver Insights? 45 How Social Media Contributes to Buyer Personas 48 SAP Gains High-Value Insights through Web Analytics 49 PART II Interviewing for Buying Insights 51 Chapter 4 Gain Permission and Schedule Buyer Interviews 55 Persuade Stakeholders That You Need Buying Insights 56 Overcome the "We Know Our Buyers" Objection 57 When You Don't Have Time for Buyer Persona Interviews 59 Use Your Sales Database to Find Buyers to Interview 60 Sometimes You Want to Avoid Your Internal Database 61 Using Professional Recruiters to Set Interview Appointments 62 Which Buyer Should You Interview? 64 Interview Buyers Who Chose You as Well as Those Who Did Not 66 Contacting Buyers to Request an Interview 68 Chapter 5 Conduct Probing Buyer Interviews 73 Who Should Conduct the Interview? 74 Prepare for Your Buyer Interview 75 Getting It on the Record 77 "Take Me Back to the Day . . ." 78 Use Your Buyer's Words to Probe for Insight 80 Go Slowly to Capture the Whole Story 81 Questions That Keep the Conversation Flowing 82 An Example Interview with Tim 84 Look for Insight When Buyers Use Jargon 86 Make Your Questions about Your Impact Count 88 Probing on Who Influences This Decision 90 Asking about the Perceived Value of Your Differentiators 91 When Features Affect Decisions, Look for Insight 92 First and Foremost, Be a Respectful Listener 94 Chapter 6 Mine Your Interviews for Buying Insights 97 You Need Fewer Interviews Than You Expect 98 Step 1: Mark Up Your Interview Transcript 99 Step 2: Organize the Story Based on Buying Insights 103 Step 3: Write a Headline for Each Key Insight 106 Chapter 7 Determine How Many Buyer Personas You Need 111 Segment Buyers Based on Insights, Not Profiles 112 Conduct More Interviews to Test Segmentation Options 114 Analyze Insights to Decide How Many Personas 117 Will Two Buyer Personas Help You Win More Business? 118 Presenting Your Buyer Persona 123 Copywriting Your Buying Insights 127 Building the Buyer Profile 128 How to Find Buyer Profile Information 129 PART III Aligning Your Strategies to Win More Business 131 Chapter 8 Decide What to Say to Buyers 135 Will Your Current Approach Work? 136 Set the Agenda, and Invite the Right People 138 Ask for Premeeting Contributions 139 Develop a Complete List of Capabilities That Matter 140 The Moderator Is a Proxy for the Buyer 142 Apply Two Filters for Short Messaging 143 Evaluate Your Competitive Ranking 144 Assess Relative Value to Buyers 145 Bring in the Copywriters and Creative Teams 150 Chapter 9 Design Marketing Activities to Enable Your Buyer's Journey 151 Understand the Buyer's Journey 153 Patrick's Journey for an Employee Benefits Decision 154 Prioritize Assets That Align with the Buyer's Journey 156 Prepare to Be Surprised 157 How Buyer Personas Affect Industry or Solution Marketing 158 A Global Perspective on Buyer Personas and Campaigns 160 Can You Be Useful to People Who Aren't Buying? 162 Educate Buyers That Success Is within Reach 163 Autodesk Helps Buyers Achieve Their Top Priorities 164 Chapter 10 Align Sales and Marketing to Help Buyers Decide 171 Changing the Conversation with Salespeople 173 Share Insights, Not Buyer Personas 174 Deliver Buying Insights through Sales Playbooks 175 Enabling the Challenger Sale 176 Helping Salespeople Break into the C-Suite 177 Insight into the Nurse's Emotions Halts Sales Losses 179 Sales and Marketing: Vive La Difference! 183 Chapter 11 Start Small, with an Eye to the Future 185 Where to Begin Your Buyer Persona Initiative 186 How to Earn Your Stripes as a Strategic Resource 188 How Buyer Personas Benefit Product Strategy 190 Building Buyer Personas for New Products 192 Communicating Insights That Affect Other Teams 193 Using Buyer Personas to Guide Strategic Planning 194 Start Small and Make a Big Difference 198 Bibliography 199 Index 203
ADELE REVELLA is the CEO and Founder of Buyer Persona Institute and a leading authority on buyer personas. Through her company's research and workshops, Adele's buyer persona methodology has become the gold standard for thousands of marketers in hundreds of global companies. She is widely recognized as a marketing and business leadership speaker, consultant, blogger, and workshop facilitator. In her decades-long marketing career, Adele has seen the discipline from all sides: executive, consultant, trainer, and entrepreneur.