Who is going to buy from you?
What are their motivations and needs?
What propels them into action? Are they driven by habit, planning, or urgent needs?
The starting process for identifying who your customer is involves asking a lot of questions.
You need to gather data to build a successful marketing and sales strategy. Data that goes beyond basic demographics. You need to get to the data points that tell you how people take action, when, and why. This way – you can build a blueprint for influencing that action, so your company has a chance to win their business.
Market and Competitor Research
One of the first steps in building a customer persona is to gain some basic insights on your industry and marketplace, and then dive into researching the market and its competitors in greater detail. This helps us to build a foundation for additional discovery.
Once we have some of the details, we get into the interview phase of the discovery process. Interviews of your customers and your internal staff are essential to understanding both your target audience and your marketing operations. We also may interview prospects and customers of your competitors (if they are willing).
Build Customer / Buyer Personas
The final phase is building the customer / buyer personas, and then connecting them to either your existing marketing operations, or, outline strategies that will better communicate your offerings to your audience. The key to this phase is developing a “plan for action.”
A Roadmap For Creating A Customer / Buyer Persona
We start the process through a combination of market and competitor research. Then we conduct a series of detailed interviews. Our interviews often include customers, prospects, and internal staff. We also may have conversations with people who have used competitor solutions.
From there, we examine your company’s offerings and sales results to understand how your business is performing, and gather all metrics you are using to measure success.
We will put together a preliminary set of findings to review before we finalize our analysis. Depending on your business, you could have 2 or 3 personas or you could have 15 or 20.
BACKGROUND ON THE PROCESS OF CREATING A CUSTOMER / BUYER PERSONA
When we build customer / buyer personas – we want to be as thorough as possible in our research and in our interviews.
We are going to look at market data, and a lot of information that is publicly available. However, there is going to be a lot of information that can only come from you – the client. So, it is important you are prepared for the work.
Here are basic things to prepare for when developing personas:
- We are going to ask for data from your sales database. Customer data, notes, buying histories, and more. This is very sensitive information. We recognize that. However, it is essential to understanding the current state of your company, and building out accurate personas.
- We are going to ask for a list of your competitors. This should not be difficult to provide. The more detailed the list – the better.
- Do you know about deals you have lost recently? Or companies that are using competitors? That information also will be helpful, because if we are able to connect with a representative from those companies – we can understand your deficiencies better and build better personas.
- We also will need a list of customers we can talk to – and your permission to contact them. We will review all questions / surveys with you before we present them to your customer. But we need to speak with them.
- Last, but not least, we are going to interview people on your sales, marketing, executive, product, and customer support teams. In some ways, they will all provide some much needed context that will go into your customer profile(s), but also, we will be able to spot inconsistencies in messaging and perception.
Here are some of my favorite Rodney Dangerfield jokes… I will update as I uncover more gems from his old performances, especially those on the Johnny Carson Show. If you have any you remember, post them in the comments or send me an e-mail.
My Favorite Rodney Dangerfield Jokes
I have to tell you. Last week I was in rough shape…
It was birthday, and my wife signed me up for a Bridge Club… I’m supposed to jump off next Tuesday.
I went to the track, and at the opening gun they shot my horse.
I went out to a bar to have a few drinks, and relax. The bartender asked me what I wanted. I said, “Surprise me!” He showed me a naked picture of my wife.
My marriage is on the rocks again. Why, just the other day my wife broke-up with her boyfriend.
It’s tough to stay married. My wife, she kisses the dog on the lips, and she won’t drink out of my glass.
The other day I came home after a long day, and decided to take a nap on the couch. While I was sleeping, the house caught on fire. I could hear my wife whispering to the kids as they ran out the front door, “Be quiet, or you’ll wake-up daddy.”
I was talking with my wife about the house, and I told her I wanted to take out a home improvement loan. She gave me a $1,000 bucks to move out.
With my wife, it is always something…
Her father died. And instead of burying him, or cremating him, she had him frozen. Now, every time I open the refrigerator to get a snack, he falls out on top of me.
Last week, she crashed the car up against a tree. She said it wasn’t her fault. She blew the horn.
My God, is my wife a terrible driver. Under the rear-view mirror she has a pair of shoes hanging. They belong to the last guy she hit.
Just last night, I was sleeping and I woke up when I heard my wife saying all sorts of sexy things. I looked up, and she was on the phone.
Nothing in my life goes easy…
The other day I bought a water bed, and there were two Cubans swimming in it looking for Florida.
I know I am an ugly guy…
I went to a freak show. They let me in for free.
After I was born the doctor turned to my mother and said, “I did all I could. But I am sorry. He pulled through anyway.”
When I was born, after the doctor cut the umbilical cord, he hung himself.
On Halloween, my wife sends the kids out looking like me.
On Halloween, when I open the door, kids give me candy.
I asked my Dad why he never took me to the zoo. He said, “If they want you, they will come and get you.”
I used to work at a pet shop as a kid. People kept coming in and asking how big I’d get.
I always had a hard time with my mother…
My mother never breastfed me. She said, “I like you as a friend.”
My mother had morning sickness AFTER I was born.
I get no respect from anyone. Least of all my parents…
One summer, I got lost at the beach. I asked a cop to help me find my parents. I said, “Do you think we will find them?” He said, “I don’t know, kid. There are so many places they could hide.”
My father never loved me. One day, I was walking home from school and I got kidnapped. They sent part of my finger back with a ransom note. My father said he wanted more proof.
My own family doesn’t love me…
My uncle’s dying wish was that he wanted me to sit on his lap and to hold me close in his final moments. He was in the electric chair.
I know I’m getting old…
When I was a teenager, I wanted two girls at once. I still want to have to girls at once. But now, it’s so when I fall asleep, they have someone else to talk to.
Times are tough today. People need to watch-out when they have sex…
I was talking to my doctor. He said that just last week he had 6 cases of VD in his office… He’s alright now, of course.
I know I drink too much…
Just the other day, I went in for a check-up at my doctor’s office. I gave him a urine sample. I looked in the cup, and there was an olive in it.
My doctor is quite a character…
I told him, “Hey, doctor. Everyday I wake up, and look in the mirror. And then I want to throw-up. What’s wrong with me?” He says, “I don’t know. But your eye-sight is perfect.”
I asked him, Hey, doc. Is my heart strong enough for sex?” He says, “Not if you join in.”
I get no respect, I tell you…
I was so depressed the other day, I called the Suicide Hotline. They tried to talk me into it.
I was so depressed the other day, I was standing on a ledge of a building. My priest shows up and says, “On your mark…”
The other night I told my kid, “You know, someday you will have children of your own.” He said, “Yeah. So will you.”
My wife and I made an agreement when we got married that we’d only smoke after sex. I just realize I’ve still got the same pack from 1978… Meanwhile, my wife is up to three packs a day.
I’m working all the time. You probably didn’t know this, but my father was a work-a-holic. Every time you mentioned work, he’d start drinking.
I finally solved my drinking problem. I joined Alcoholics Anonymous. I still drink, I just use a different name.
Man, when I drink and get loaded, I don’t know what I’m doing. The other night I got drunk and went to a gay bar. There were 15 guys for every guy.
Nothing is easy for me. Just when I start to look out for number 1, I step in number 2.
My wife and I… We never have sex. We get undressed and we can’t stop laughing.
The one thing about sex with my wife is how loud she screams. Especially when I walk in on her.
I know my wife cheats on me. Every time I come home the parrot says, “Quick. Out the window!”
My kids are no bargain, especially my daughter. They call my daughter Federal Express. Because when she goes to a guy’s apartment she absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.
I always had trouble getting girls. One girl told me, “Hey, come on over. There’s nobody home.” I went over. There was nobody home.
This one girl I met, man was she fat…
She was so fat, when she wore high heels she struck oil.
She was so fat, when I met her at the Macy’s Parade she was wearing ropes.
She was so fat, she was standing alone and a cop told her to break it up.
She was fat and ugly… How ugly? I took her to the beach and people asked me what I used for bait.
She was so ugly, when I took her home my mother put newspapers on the floor.
While ESPN’s quality in reporting has been in decline, one of the ONLY reasons to “read the articles” was to get to the end and comment on the articles – either to offer insight, trash ESPN, or just go crazy with absurd trade suggestions or just have fun…
I had a bunch of comments that would pull in 60+ responses. Sometimes people would come after you / insult you… other times, people totally had your back. Once I summarized a long ESPN article in two sentences, and people loved it. Other times, I wrote really tough, but totally accurate comments trashing the author (a couple of those actually got deleted – bastards! lol!). A few times, I even saw comments from friends…
It was fun.
Unfortunately, a few days ago, ESPN decided to shut-off ALL Facebook commenting. There is no commenting allowed on ANY ESPN article.
Way to take the fun out of being a reader, ESPN!
More to the point… What makes sports an entertaining topic, and why sports talk radio is so popular, is because anyone can watch a game, follow a team, etc, and chime in. You get to talk about plays you saw, players you like, trades you want, complain about team management, and more. You can celebrate with people you don’t know, and share your frustration and pain when teams lose.
So… Why would a sports media website remove fan engagement?
It’s called: Brain-dead business! It is like talk radio without callers or.. talk… So… Way to go, ESPN. Way to find a new way to suck!
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If this article from ESPN’s Adam Schefter (Redskins consider tagging Kirk Cousins to trade him) is true, it only proves (as if we needed more proof) that the Redskins front office does not make good business decisions.
Let’s think about this.
If this article is true, then the Redskins, on the heels of trading for Kansas City’s QB Alex Smith, are considering using the NFL’s “Franchise Tag” on Kirk Cousins.
The team will not use the “Transition Tag” on Cousins, which would cost about $28 million. This is because that tag would allow another team to front-load a contract, use bonuses, cap, etc to out-bid the Redskins, and get Cousins without having to compensate them.
The Redskins instead would use the “Franchise Tag” on Cousins, which would cost them $34.5 million, and mean that the team NEEDS to trade him to recoup anything of value.
Keep in mind, if they do nothing and let Kirk go to another team in free agency, the Redskins get a 3rd round compensatory pick next year.
Once they decide to put the Franchise Tag on Cousins, they will have 2 QBs on their roster – one for $23 million and another for $34.5 million (3 if you consider Colt a legitimate QB).
Teams are going to rush into a bidding war for Kirk Cousins?
They know the Redskins have an absurd situation, and cannot keep Cousins. To make matters worse, Cousins does not need to sign the contract right away. He can wait several weeks, sign, and bank $34.5 million – GUARANTEED. All the while, the Redskins don’t have that $34.5 million in cap space to sign free agents AND they cannot move Cousins until he signs, which effectively grinds their business operations to a halt.
Is that smart business?
Now, we know the Redskins front office has not handled the Kirk Cousins contract situation well. The reports are that a few years ago they could have signed Cousins for roughly $19, $21, and possibly $23 million, respectively, over the last few years, but refused. They then proceeded to OVERPAY him by tagging him. And now they are considering using this tag, which would bring the total over-payment to… what? $15 million+ over 3 years!
I ask again… Is that smart business?
And let’s not forget, to FIX the problem the Redskins created for themselves, they had to GIVE UP a rising slot corner and important part of their defense plus draft picks this year. A deal that most people say the Redskins OVERPAID to make happen.
So, do they REALLY think they are going to succeed by taking this risk?
When time and again you have a history of overpaying and under-performing, do you REALLY want to risk going into the season with 2 QBs at over $50 million on your payroll?
Let’s assume, for a moment, that Arizona, Buffalo, Denver, and the NY Jets are the only REAL suitors for Cousins.
I’ve seen some people write that Kirk is going to command $30+ million and get Matt Stafford money or more as a free agent. Now, that MAY happen if Kirk were a free agent. I doubt it. I think the tagging, which Kirk has maximized brilliantly for big-time cash, has inflated his value somewhat. But it could happen. Is it a chance you want to take? What if Kirk’s REAL market ceiling is $26 million? Or $28 million. The aforementioned teams have good draft picks. Some have decent QBs. And there other QBs are on the market (Let’s not forget that Minnesota has 2 free agent QBs that could become available).
What happens if all these other teams decide to pass and say that $34.5 million is too high of a price to pay?
The Redskins go into the season with 2 QBs. They would have their highest paid and starting QB a free agent at the end of the year, and the guy they just signed to a multi-year contract on the bench. Or… Do you bench the guy you signed for $34.5 million for one year, and start the guy you signed to the lower, multi-year contract?
I ask yet again… Is that smart business?
Of the other teams mentioned above as potential Kirk Cousins suitors, only the Jets have a ton of cap room ($74 million). Buffalo ($31 million), Denver ($28 million), and Arizona ($27 million) have space and can work some magic. But none of those teams are going to give up a first rounder for Kirk Cousins (Seriously, would they?).
NY and Denver are projected to draft QBs when the NFL Draft takes place in April, which means they have options. They could be fine with not over-paying for Cousins.
Buffalo and Arizona have QBs on their roster. Do they need an upgrade? Yes. At $34.5 million… Eh… Are they getting Tom Brady? Nope… Then probably not…
So, what does all of this mean?
Well, if we can think through all of this in a few minutes – WHY would this EVER be considered a legitimate / viable business option for the Redskins?
When you consider the risk vs reward – where is the reward? To get back a 3rd rounder that you LOST because you overpaid to make-up for the mistakes you made each of the last three years?
Are you REALLY willing to risk going into the season with 2 QBs, hamstring your entire off-season with no cap space to improve your roster – for the possibility of getting a 3rd round pick this year instead of one next year?
In my view, the Redskins need to learn that until they improve their front office, they are not going to out-smart other teams. They are liable to only out-smart themselves. They need to stop thinking they are great at negotiations and making deals, because they are not.
Let Kirk go in free agency, Washington. Get your 3rd round compensatory pick next year – and use your cap space to improve your team.
If you have ever looked for really good inspirational and motivational quotes, there is a bounty of websites with long lists of quotes from classical and modern sources.
In my opinion, I think quite a few of them have quotes that really miss the mark, and lack the right kind of inspirational or motivational quality.
Below I have put together 20 quotes that I think really help set a tone.
They address the importance of determination, forming positive habits, and the belief that you can shape your attitude and dictate your level of positive energy, or alternatively, be defeatist and negative.
There are quotes that address the need for individual achievement, and taking the responsibility for doing into one’s own hands.
And there are quotes that also recognize we never succeed alone – and that helping others achieve their goals is part of our own path to success.
Overall, so much of life is what we make of it.
We have control of our destiny, no matter how difficult our environment, or the obstacles in our path.
Too many people don’t believe in themselves, or find ways to sabotage their personal and professional success by succumbing to limiting or defeatist thoughts.
These quotes are one way we can start to change that attitude and habit.
20 Inspirational and Motivational Quotes For Entrepreneurs And Business Leaders
“If you want to make your dreams come true, the first thing you have to do is wake up.” – J.M. Power
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.” – Aristotle
“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford
“You must be the change you want to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi
“You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” – Zig Ziglar
“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” – Mark Twain
“Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything.” – Napoleon Hill
“Vision without action is daydream. Action without vision is nightmare.” – Japanese Proverb
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you’re in control of your life. If you don’t, life controls you.” – Tony Robbins
“People become really quite remarkable when they start thinking that they can do things. When they believe in themselves they have the first secret of success.” – Norman Vincent Peale
“We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate. The world is all gates, all opportunities.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” – Lou Holtz
“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing — that’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar
“Watch, listen, and learn. You can’t know it all yourself. Anyone who thinks they do is destined for mediocrity.” – Donald Trump
“Eighty percent of success is showing up.” – Woody Allen
“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” – Albert Einstein
“I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.” – Stephen Covey
“You see, it’s never the environment; it’s never the events of our lives, but the meaning we attach to the events – how we interpret them – that shapes who we are today and who we’ll become tomorrow.” – Tony Robbins
It is hard to believe it was 32 years ago today that I (a fifth grader) turned on the news, and saw that the space shuttle Challenger explosion.
The impact of that moment is still strong – 32 years later.
That period of national mourning so many of us experienced was unlike any other.
And though it has been 32 years since the Challenger explosion, the words of President Ronald Reagan still hold true when it comes to space exploration, and indeed, discovery across all aspects of our universe, whether it’s beyond the stars, or right here, on earth: We have only just begun.
We truly must remember that we are all pioneers, on a quest to explore what lies in front of us – and what is out there in the world around us.
Everyday we must be brave and resolute and relentless, as there are no guarantees on tomorrow.
And we must meet every challenge, no matter how simple or how daunting, with joy and enthusiasm; to work hard and live a life as inspirational as the dawn of each day, and the heroes we admire, who leave the world behind.