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The 4-Step Process To Building The Right Personas For Your Guided Selling Strategy Pt. II

In Part 1, I explained why Personas are a crucial part of your sales and marketing strategy. In an ‘always-on’ World demographics are no longer enough to base your entire strategy upon.

You need the whole picture. You need to understand what’s influences people’s decision-making, rather than just their job title, gender, age and other demographic facts.

In this second part, I’ll show you how you  take the insight you got from the workshop and turn it into effective Personas to increase your profits.


Step 2: Creating the Perfect Persona

The User Temperament Chart

We humans have been trying to fathom the realms of personality and motivation. Through the pioneers such as Freud, Maslow and Kiersey, we’ve learned that each of the millions of people fall into one of four main temperament types:

  1. Competitive: Fast-paced decision making, logically orientated
  2. Spontaneous: Fast-paced decision making, emotionally orientated
  3. Methodical: Slow-paced decision making, logically orientated
  4. Humanist: Slow-paced decision making, emotionally orientated

This is crucial as it tells you how people make decisions in terms of the information they require and the way that they take this information on board.

Temperament types
What you can learn about how to sell to your Personas based on their Temperament Type

Now you’re going to put each of your Personas into one of these groups.

For each Persona, compile a list of their questions, motivations and considerations and organize them in a 2×2 grid (see the chart below). The key is to consider each Persona in terms of how they buy your products or services – not how you want to sell to them.

For each question consider:

  1. Whether it is a logical or emotional decision
  2. How quickly a question can be answered (for example: do you have 24/7 service is a quick thing – you either do or don’t; whereas the cancellation policy of a credit card may require reading through the small print and is therefore a slower answer)

Plot each point on the chart in the appropriate area. By the time you have finished, each of your customer types should have their own UT chart and it should be obvious which of the four major temperaments they fall into.

For more on the 4 user temperament types download the free ebook on

The User Temperament Chart
The User Temperament Chart – plot your customers questions and considerations on here to discover which temperament each of your Personas is.

Once you have that done, you need to bring your Personas to life. Give them names, background narratives and “real lives” with all the worries, triumphs, ambitions, fears and stresses that being a human-being brings.

We don’t do this at the beginning as this would influence everyone’s thoughts too much. Naturally, as people, we want to conform to what we know – the debates at the Workshop stage, which give us the depth of information, only happen because everyone attending has a slightly different picture in their head.

There is no right or wrong answer to the question of how many Personas you should have. However, having too few is as bad as having too many. Even the most complex businesses should only ever see a need for 3-9 personas per business line (you may well have multiple business lines though).

Ultimately, the number of Personas you have should reflect the number of motivations to purchase your product/ service that exist within your customer base. This can be done by job function in a B2B environment quite effectively, whereas B2C can often be broken down by ‘life stage’.

Example of a B2C Persona
This is an example of a B2C Persona that I worked on recently – the information is detailed enough to create a ‘real person’ for us to target. Complete with the User Temperament Chart, we have built a rich picture of this part of the target audience.

Sometimes, Personas will have identical motivations but dramatically different needs based on these job titles or ‘life stages’. That’s fine – Personas need to be complex creatures, just like us humans. Don’t get fooled into wrapping them up into a single “average” user (unless, of course, you’re the only company in the world with ‘average customers’).


Step 3: Using Your Personas To Re-Evaluate Your Guided Selling Strategy

So, with your Personas in hand, you can review your customer decision journey.

For each Persona, you have to step into their shoes and make sure you address their individual questions, needs and requirements. If you have access to focus or user-groups, use them to tell you rather than guessing yourself.

WIIFM – What’s In It For ME?

Remember, any person(a) will always have the same, key question: “What’s in it for me?”. Put another way, “How does this address my needs right now based on what I’m looking for?”

Ask yourself (be honest!), your team or your user-group:

  1. How is this ad, landing page or blog post relevant to this Persona? What does this mean for them?
  1. How are you pitching why they should buy from you – and what value do you bring to solve their specific needs?
  1. How are you helping this Persona decide what action they need to take? Have you given them the confidence to take that action?

Write down what you think your content should really say to reach the representatives of your Personas. Think about all the considerations you mapped out for that Persona. Have you answered all of their questions and then given them a final persuasive hook to get them to convert? Are you helping them make a decision?


Step 4: Using Personas To Increase Your Profitability

Now you have all the tools to create a Persona-driven strategy, you can plan your marketing and sales around them. You need to think about things like:

  • How will this Persona start to look for your products and services? What’s the first thing they need to see? What’s the one benefit that will make their lives better, easier and more fulfilled? How does that translate into content or ads?
  • You know their motivations, questions and how they want to consume your information – but what does that look like in terms of a content flow?
  • What CTA’s will help people through all the micro-conversions to go deeper into the journey (and therefore the sales funnel)?
  • What does the brand engagement need to be doing alongside the core content journey?
  • What are the final “killer points” that will push the Persona over the line and let you close the deal?
  • How do you treat each persona after the sale to make sure they keep coming back?


You should now have your set of Personas and some insight into how to best use them. The key is to keep them front of mind in everything that your sales and marketing efforts are trying to achieve.

The more you market direct to these ‘people’ and stop trying to please everyone all the time, the more targeted your communications and processes to the needs of individuals.

And that’s when your results will skyrocket.

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Phil Cave is the founder of People Shaped Marketing. He helps companies like Samsung, BBC, Ricoh, RBS, Virgin, Lloyds, Stagecoach and Ferrari grow their profits through his unique methodologies. He has been repeatedly labelled as one of the "Top Digital Experts in Europe" and "One of the World's leading minds in Persona-driven Marketing". He has worked at some of the biggest agencies in London before owning, running and eventually selling his own successful digital marketing consultancy.