Define The User Persona – What Kind Of Fish Are You Trying To Catch?

When you go fishing, you don’t simply pick up a bucket of worms and a pole, you carefully select the proper bait, tackle, and boat to optimise your chances of catching the big one. When you are looking to build both a digital sales platform and a strategy, you need to carefully define who your big fish is.

There are plenty of questions for you to consider, in order to get a better idea about that ideal customer. But to help you out, our sales maestros have distilled the most poignant pointers down to the five most crucial sales tips.

Five Essential Questions To Create A Useful User Persona


1. What is their age?

Young fish bite at flashy bait, but oftentimes get thrown back because they are too small. Maybe you’re fishing for young start-up executives – the kind that are early adopters of new technology. They care less about the overall return and more about the cool factor.

However you might be fishing for the older, more established big fish. Therefore, your bait better be able to stand up to close scrutiny. The sales cycle could be longer and more involved; it might even require more personal interaction.

Here’s an illustration of this point: the average CEO is 54 years old, which means that they have only had digital experience for approximately 18 years (more about that on the Guardian, here). Their formative education would have had almost 0% access to, or dependency on, any kind of digital technology. This also means that the way they research, purchase, and make decisions will be rooted in more traditional avenues, i.e. those offline.

That doesn’t mean to say ALL CEOs will follow a more traditional sales cycle, but it does mean that adapting to accommodate their UX preferences could be beneficial.

2. What is their current job level and responsibility?

What is your fish’s main function? Defining specifically where your customer sits in the organisational chart helps determine if the sales cycle is a single line, or a pronged one. A single line would imply that the customer in question has the ability to action and finalise the sale.

However, oftentimes the main customer or user is somewhere in the middle: once they find the product or service, they must get final approval from a senior member of the team.

On the one hand, this may complicate the conversion, but on the other it provides clarity, putting additional “closer” tools in the hands of the sales team – once the customer is ready to convert.

3. What is their level of education?

Answering this question helps to determine how you speak to your customer. Do you use local dialects, slang or social hashtags? Are they able to digest large quantities of intellectual documentation? What kind of imagery would they be accustomed to seeing? How tech savvy might they be? You want to speak in a language that is natural and understandable for your target audience.

Having a comfortable readability score will optimise your chances for conversion.

4. Which regular activity do they find stressful?

What makes your fish freak out, or get scared? Knowing this helps you identify the main pain points they encounter each day. Moreover, this insight also helps you create a strategy that “sells” the solution to that unpopular activity.

Or at the very least, it helps you create a sales strategy that avoids scaring customers away, before you are able to help them.

5. Why would they choose your product over the competition?

Sales tip number one! Do market research before you launch any strategy. See what other people are doing well, and what could be done better. However, if you struggle to answer these points, it’s unlikely that your digital strategy will succeed.

No matter the stunning visuals, the fancy keywords, or the amazing user experience you have in your digital strategy; no-one will convert if there is not a compelling reason for them to do so. You must define this one thing for your customers – and keep reminding them throughout their experience.

That way, when they reach your amazing call to action, you’ve already made a sale, before they even click that button.

When getting started with putting together the perfect sales or customer persona, there are literally thousands of questions you can ask. The most important part is to start asking those questions early on!

Defining who you want to talk to will make your messaging more targeted, more equipped and ultimately more successful in reeling in those big fish.

Stay tuned!

The next blog post in this series, which will discuss common digital sales mistakes and myths.