Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Empathy Map, a tool for Customer Profiling

An important element for successful Sales people is the process of understanding their customer profile. Who is buying from you and why? What makes this customer want to buy from you, and not from competitors? When does this customer buy from you?
To answer all these questions is very important, in a way that it helps you to think, and rethink your sales strategies.
Therefore, it is often times useful to define the character profile of your customer; be it a CEO, CMO, or any executive. A proper description of your buyer persona (your customer) includes everything from their needs, motivations, concerns and goals; anything that influences how they think about you or your product.

When you have described one or more buyer personas for your company, it really helps you with:
  • Sharpening your strategy
  • Changing the state of play accordingly
  • Addressing in a beter way your customer
  • Understanding your customer thinking
  • Defining the right strategy during the commercial negociations
  • Building attractive value propositions
A good way to gain insight into the mind of your customer can be attained by using the “Empathy Map”.
This tool is developed by visual thinking company XPLANE.
The map below helps you understand why your customer would like to do business with you.

Walk through the following six elements for your own customer to understand how you can best fulfill his or her needs.

  • What is important to the customer? What is he/she sensitive for?
  • What are his/her hopes, dreams, fears?
2. SEE
  • What does the customer’s environment look like?
  • What opinions influence the customer?
4. SAY and DO
  • What are your customer beliefs? Where they spend their time?
  • Who are her/his friends?
  • What obstacles or challenges does your customer face?
  • What does he/she hope to achieve, and how might he/she measure success?
The Empathy Map is both a framework and a technique, and it’s typically developed collaboratively by a diverse team by placing sticky notes on a wall and sketching out the different aspects of a buyer persona profile.

Finally, The Empathy Map is a simple and easy way to gain deeper insight into your customers.

See also Alex Osterwalder blog The Power of Immersion and Visual Thinking.

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