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Open letter from your frustrated buyer personas

By Adele Revella, founder, Buyer Persona Institute

Adele Revella

I know you’re trying to communicate with me, but you’ve never asked me what I want to hear. I’m hoping you’ll read on for my ideas about how you could inspire me to consider your company’s solutions.

First, I wish you’d stop explaining my problems to me. It seems like every article or email begins with an overview of another problem you think I should address. Do you honestly think that I read your marketing material to learn about my troubles?

Maybe you think I should add your problem to my already overwhelming list of priorities, but I’m far too busy.

It would be much more helpful if your first sentence would tell me something I don’t already know. For instance, if you could take the time to understand my challenges, you could get right to the point with useful information about how you can address my current issues.

That would get my attention.

Next, I wish you’d help me understand your approach to my situation. Your website has all of the same useless information as your competitors.

For example, every company tells me that their solutions are easy to use and lead the market. This isn’t the least bit useful. If you want to help me make a decision, tell me, or better yet, show me, exactly what aspect of your solution is so easy. Or give me helpful information about how we can easily get this working in a company like ours.  Maybe you could talk about how much time we’ll have to set aside for training before we’ll experience that this new thing is really easy.

And anyway, ease-of-use isn’t my only concern. I’m doing my research and have a list of needs that I know will be critical to my success. If you could just tell me whether you can meet those requirements, I’d be very impressed. I’d know that you really do understand me and that your solution is a good fit. And yes, then I’d be very happy to talk to your sales person.

This brings me to another problem about the way we’re communicating. Whenever I find something that might be really helpful, you want me to answer a bunch of questions before you’ll let me see it. You’re asking for my contact information and sometimes more, questioning the timing for my purchase and my authority to make a decision.

I am not going to give you this information because I know what happens next. A sales person will start bugging me or I’ll have to wade through even more marketing emails from you.

Why don’t you just give me the information I want and then give me the option to register for more? If I see something I really like, I’ll be looking for your future emails.

I wonder if you know how much is at stake for me with this decision. If I make the wrong choice, it will be disastrous for my company and my career. I would rather do nothing than take that risk.

You may have heard that I choose the lowest cost solution, but that’s not true. This is too important. I’ll choose someone I can trust to deliver a solution that matches our needs.

When you send me the answers I’m seeking, I start to trust you. And that’s what I really want.

Adele Revella is a marketing keynote speaker, workshop facilitator and author of The Buyer Persona Manifesto and co-author of For Compelling Content, Let Your Buyers Be Your Guide. A career B2B marketer with decades of experience, Adele has approached the discipline from all sides: marketing executive, consultant, trainer and entrepreneur. The company she founded in 2010, Buyer Persona Institute, delivers workshops and research services for marketers. Download free resources including buyer persona templates and an example buyer persona at

Comments (1)
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Rob Rohena
Posted Nov 29, 2013 at 07:35 AM

Excellent post. Makes a great argument for un-gated downloads.

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