How To Create a Sales Avatar
How to Create a Sales Avatar (Save Yourself Some Time)
In this episode, we talk with Roberto Munoz about how to create a sales avatar. We talk about what a sales avatar is, how to create one, why you should create a sales avatar, and how to use it during prospecting. This is an important episode for anyone who says that, “Anyone can be a client.” That is not a phrase you should ever use!
Sales Avatars Help You Know Who Your Client Is
If you say anyone can be an client, you’re doing yourself a disservice and that’s all the more reason you should know how to create a sales avatar. Creating a sales avatar is important because the sales avatar clearly identifies and puts a name to who is your best client. If you don’t have a lot of clients, you’ll need to start to identify certain traits related to who could be your client.
But if you have clients, you should be able to easily identify who are your best clients, who you enjoy working with, and who benefits the most from your services (or products). Just knowing this will make your sales role easier. Let’s get started in creating a sales avatar.
You’ll know when to say, “This is not my client” and move quickly to the next potential buyer. This is a powerful sales tool and a powerful time saver. This is why you should create a sales avatar and we try to explain how to do that.
You can contact Roberto here: https://robertomunoz.focalpointcoaching.com
NOTE: This episode had some sound quality issues in the beginning. At about 2:30 to 3:00 the sound quality improves greatly. We apologize for the sound during the first few minutes.
NOTE: Some links may be affiliate links, which means we get paid a commission when you purchase, but it the cost remains the same for you.
Music: "Clydesdale Funk" by Cast of Characters, written by: Dustin Ransom.
Today we had an episode we just recorded and I learned I learned a few things. Where did you learn?
I actually learned quite a bit. I’ve always had a lot of questions about using avatars in sales and I think we’ve covered a lot of ground today.
Me too and it clarifying exactly who you’re speaking to becomes really, really important particularly in the sales process, but more importantly just running a business if you have any struggle with trying to figure out who you should be speaking with this episode is for you.
Welcome back everybody to The Slow Pitch and today we are having we have another guest and before we get to our guests, let me just say hi to Lane. Lane, how are we doing?
Fantastic, Rob, you?
I’m doing well. So far so good. Anyway, we’re gonna find out why here in a minute. But let’s because I may be doing some things wrong. And what we’re gonna find out if you’re doing some things wrong over there Lane in a minute. We have a special guest, his name is Roberto Munoz. I did I say that right? Is Munoz
You nailed it,
Roberto, you, you do some sales training, you do some different things, and consulting work, give us a real quick high level what you do so that we make sure that we know who we’re talking to.
Ok, I am a business and executive coach. And what I do is I help business owners and leaders to overcome bumps in the road. My specialty is sales, because I’ve been doing that for more than 25 years. So I focus on sales strategy, making sure that you know what to bring to the market, what your client is, how to prepare for a sales meeting and make your process as smooth as possible so that you can bring in that revenue that you’re looking for.
So today we’re going to talk about identifying and describing your sales avatar, your target market your target audience, how are you going to describe that? And what’s the best way to approach creating a sales avatar?
You’re listening to The Slow Pitch Podcast, a podcast about selling less and closing more.
Alright, so today we’re talking about sales avatars and and identifying your target market, target and target audience. So Roberto, talk us through how does somebody do that? Like, what? How would I know if how do you get started on that level? Where do you start?
So you mentioned sales avatars. Another term for this is your ideal clients. Another term is persona. You have a sales avatar, because you want to know exactly who you’re selling to. This is part of your preparation on your sales strategy, you will of course, have a fantastic product or service. And there is an ideal client who is going to benefit the most from your particular product or service, this definition of your ideal client or sales avatar is the one who is your happiest customer, the one who benefits the most from what you do that is different from everybody else. So that would be a quick definition of a sales avatar.
Okay, so your happiest? So let’s let’s maybe do this, let’s kind of talk about kind of a maybe a good sales avatar or persona, that would be a good client for you. So that as an example, for people who are listening who could say, Okay, this is what it means by describing the exact right client who’s going to be happy working with me, because I’m happy working with them. And so where would we start with that, like, you know, with executive coaching, and particularly with a sales focus? How would you identify who that is? What do we need to do first?
My sales avatar in the business that I’m in is a company with more than 30 employees, 30 to 100 employees, they are in technology. So they develop some type of technical product, they’re in b2b sales, they have been in business for a few years, more than three years, they sell at a minimum, a million and a half per year. And north, the north end of that could be 20 million, whatever that is.
So that’s a description of my client, they also need to be in a situation where their sales process is not satisfactory, either. They’re using the one from a few years ago, which is not giving them results. Or they’re planning to introduce a new product and need to approach the market differently. They have some situation that they need to solve on how to better promote their products to the right market.
Okay, let’s stop right there for a second, if you’re listening, and you can’t describe your potential client, your prospect, your persona, your sales avatar, however you want to call it in that level of detail, your you should pay attention because this is going to be critical to making sure that you’re speaking to the right person. Right, Roberto, if you go back to you what you describe, you said, tech industry is good for you. Now, that means if somebody came from outside of tech, does that mean you wouldn’t talk to them?
No, they just wouldn’t be in the sweet spot of my target. I can still talk to them and I could provide some value. But the one that I go to specifically is the one I mentioned.
Again, this is going to help you as a person that’s listening to this you’re gonna this is going to help you target who you should be speaking with, who you work with the best that you You can provide the best value for the dollar year that they’re going to be working on spending with you. And if you hear what Roberto said, it’s tech, it’s b2b, there have been more than three years, there must be reason you say more than three years. Why is that?
If you catch them very early as a startup, they are figuring out way too many things in how they’re going to build their business, their company, their structure, when they’re already ramping up, they’ve provided answers to many of those initial questions. And now they’re focusing on selling their product, they’re zeroing in on being more successful in growing and selling not just in establishing the company and defining a product. That’s where I want to catch up because my specialty is on bringing a better strategy into how they’re going to go to that market.
Yeah, and I would guess if they’re two years in typically, maybe not everybody, right, but two years, they may not quite have that figured out yet. Right. So is that why that must be part of the reason obviously, too early is too soon, right? But but if it’s two and a half years, you might find and they’re just not quite ready to be there. Right. So they need to have the right things happening at the right time. Does that mean if they’re seven years into their business, would you not talk to them?
I would, I would, they would need to be at least at three years into their business.
So notice the difference. It’s not a matter of I won’t talk to these people. But the people that are three years and greater, that’s the group I want to talk to doesn’t mean four years is bad doesn’t mean two years is bad. It just means that three years plus is a good sweet spot, right? You also talked about sales that are one and a half million and up to about 20 million. Let’s start with a one and a half. Why one and a half and no less? What if I’m a million dollar company? Would you not talk to me?
I would still talk to you. The thing is, if I’m targeting my marketing efforts to bring in my ideal client, that’s the one I’m going after, yeah, I will have a conversation. If you are selling a million, I’ll look at the entire perspective of your business. And I’ll find that out by talking to you and asking questions to see if we’re a fit for each other. But I do want to be very specific on which ones I’m going to because I know, which are the clients that will be the happiest with what I do. And I know that that definition that I gave you is where I have a bigger chance of being very successful with that.
And then the 20 million line, why over 20 million, would you be less likely to speak with somebody like that,
Because of that size, they may be looking at internal resources to find their optimization. So I come in as an external party, as a business coach, when you have a company that is very, very big, they already have those resources internally, so they don’t need to go outside to find a business coach, they already have one inside.
Yep. Okay, so those are demographics style. Now, you said something else, which was, hey, they’re gonna say they’re struggling in sales, that now is a totally different level of items that you want to see and hear about. And so I’m sure there’s more to that piece. That sounds like another portion of a sales avatar. So what else from an internal side do you see and look for? And how do you just define that?
On the internal side, I look for a company that is small enough where I can be talking to the decision maker, the way that I structure my business, I would prefer to talk to the head person rather than be sent from one office to another. And speaking about the solution with one person and about the budget with a second person and about the timing with a third. I’d rather just go to one person and get it all done with in it with just them. Right not going from office to office.
And the struggling sales piece is a component that’s important. And to me when When Lane and I talk about things on this show we talk about it’s a pain point, right? It’s something where they’re struggling with they’re frustrated about it, it’s an emotional issue that’s causing them some damage, so to speak, right? So describe what a struggling sales situation is, that would make sense for them to talk to you.
With a struggling sales could be you have your sales process that you have been using for five years. And in the past, this produced X many number of dollars for X number of clients. You’re using the same process today and you don’t have as many clients as many dollars coming in. The clients are changing the market is changing everywhere, especially that I come from a tech background that changes even quicker.
So you need to adapt to the new market trends to your to your product to the client, maybe your clients in my case, they were immersed and acquired by others. So you’re talking to different people that had different priorities and what they were looking for. So you need to be aware of all the components that are changing over time. I’m, and making those slight adaptations to your process so that you’re still effective in following the steps towards the sale.
So there’s multiple layers to the sales, they’re struggling and sales component, right? It’s, it’s not just, I’m not hitting my numbers, but it’s like my, my system, my process is not working anymore, something’s changed, the clients have changed, their demands have changed, their needs have changed, my staff has changed my, whatever that might be has changed. And I’m needing to figure out how to get back on track. Right?
Exactly. Great example of this is the adaptation we’ll went through in 2020, with COVID, how everybody went to work from home, and a lot more of people’s lives was solved by the internet. So we started ordering food from our phone from our computer, and either somebody brought it to your doorstep, or you drove over and parked somewhere, and they brought it to your to your car. So that’s a very dramatic and very evident situation where we all had to adapt to a new model. But now that COVID is not such a big threat. We’re still shopping in that manner. So that that broad changes are still existing today. So that’s what I mean by adaptations.
Yeah. And quite honestly, like, you know, from from Lane’s perspective, he just doesn’t want to talk to people anymore. So he just wants to, like, order it and have it show up in front of them. He’s like, hey, there it is, you know, are his groceries, whatever, it doesn’t matter. It’s makes it really simple. Listen, I think that change, what’s funny is that change was happening, right? And COVID just accelerated it so fast.
And now all sudden, it’s widespread, everybody gets it knows it, and can do it any day of the week. So I think that’s one of those that those that adapted very quickly took advantage very quickly, were able to do things very quickly, and get the benefit of that right away those that did not, that was a struggle, right. So and having somebody like you makes a difference, right? When you see that you go, hold on now, you guys, this is the change, you know, COVID dramatic, you can see it right in front of you. But I gotta imagine there’s changes that happen in the marketplace that you see that maybe they don’t, why is that?
Because I bring a fresh set of eyes, I don’t have that personal investment in the previous process of somebody who created it five years ago, and is still proud that they did this, I’m not coming in to tell them what they’re doing wrong, I’m just coming in to help them, see it from a different perspective, take two steps back, have a wider range of vision, look at where you’re trying to go look at where the market is going.
So I push my clients to think of the vision that they have as one of the first steps in our engagement. And they’re probably pointing their targets in a different direction than they did five years ago. So we just take those two together and define okay, if so. And if you’re going slightly further to the right, how do you need to adjust so that you get the results you want with your new vision that’s different from five years ago. And by the way, your sales process also needs to adapt to that and the changes that your market went through?
So, I’m thinking back to your avatar that you you spoke about at the towards the beginning, is it possible to have your avatar be too specific. And as
Yes, it is. The danger of that is that you might be talking to someone, let’s say a networking event, or at a cocktail party or whatever you’re talking to someone that could be your client. But if you’re only thinking of your ideal client, and they don’t hit all the all the checkmark all the checkboxes, you’re going to dismiss them very quickly. But they could have a situation where you can help them.
And if you’re only focused on the demographics that I described to you, you could miss an opportunity, because you’re filtering them out too quickly. And that’s, that’s a mistake I made early on in my business. In my mind, I’d be talking to people and I’d be thinking No, no, this, this could not be my client. No, not this one either. At the end, I ended up finding out that they maybe had a need that I didn’t try to uncover because I had all these preconditions of who I would filter out.
And I didn’t let the conversation flow towards the need at the towards the pain point. And I do have a number of episodes back there that talk about this. So the fact that I’m looking for an ideal client should not be an obstacle for me to try to find out if I can solve their pain point. What about making your avatar too general? You want to be specific because you’re an expert at something, you do something with excellence. I don’t know what that is, but everyone is excellent at doing something and you need to find that client that is going to take the most benefit from that area of excellence that are you and only you
You will have, if you find that client and that client sees how well you do that thing that they need the most, that’s going to be your happiest client, they’re going to bring in referrals, they’re going to be a repeat client, they’re gonna give you great reviews on Google and LinkedIn everywhere. So that’s what you need to be more specific. If you’re too generic of I’ll just sell to whoever walks in with $1 bill in their hand, you’re not going to be able to differentiate from the from your competition, either but
But, but hold on the dollars, they spend the same whether they’re the right client or not, no?
Yes, yes, in the end, but but the dollars are the result of your work. So is the your clients satisfaction, your customer satisfaction, so is your ease of finding new clients, they can bring the dollar, but if they’re not going to refer you and they’re going to give you a bad review, I would rather not have that dollar than have a bad review that you cannot erase ever.
Yeah. And that’s that’s the risk of taking on the wrong one. Right. That’s one of those risks. Yes, yeah. So and one of the one of the things you mentioned earlier about, you know, not having the right question, maybe not asking enough questions, if you dismiss them too early, right. I just heard something from the author. The author’s name is Daniel Pink, and I can’t read the name of his book.
But he talks about he’s got several books, but one of the one of the things he talks about is asking the five why’s, and by asking five why’s, you’re asking enough questions and getting to the real real problem, right? And so that’s one of those things, it’s hard to remember when you’re in a networking event. And you shouldn’t be doing that in a networking event, necessarily. I mean, unless you’re getting into a really good discussion.
But if you’re in a sales meeting, asking enough questions as to why they fit, why is that the problem? Why is this the problem? Why, why, why, why why act like a little kid, and all of a sudden, next thing, you know, you’re finding out the real issue that’s going on. So I just bring that up, because that’s something that’s it ties into what you’re saying in terms of an avatar. And it also ties into just if you if you dismiss somebody too soon, you may not be asking enough questions.
But you also by asking all these questions, you’re saving yourself time later on, don’t spend too much time going down a road without asking those questions. Because if you don’t, you’re going to continue on the sales process when you shouldn’t be because you’ll get to You’ll find out later, nope, that was not the right person. And you want to wait till the end, you want to do that earlier. Right. Lane, you had another question that sounded like. Sorry.
You want your avatar to be specific, but not too specific. But also not too general? How long does it how long? Does it really? Or how long? Should it take a business or someone to figure out what their ideal client isn’t? And how do you make that determination?
Boy, it’s hard to give an answer to a specific answer, like in terms of months, or revenue or a number of clients, you’re going to find out that after you have a few clients and you’re starting to get that review in, you will tweak your definition of that avatar, because you may find that the market is truly needing something slightly different from what you proposed originally. And you want to adjust to that.
So you don’t want to be rejecting prospects just because they don’t fit your description. But if it’s within your range, and you’re willing to make that adaptation, that slight adjustment, and you go after a bigger market, go ahead, you’re gonna have to make that decision. It’s already on the fly. By the way, you won’t know this until you find it. It’s a bridge that you cross when you get to it. It’s hard to predict it’s I do
it, it’s kind of like you’re looking at a bridge going, is it safe enough to cross? You know, you’re like, do I need a water crosses? Or do I not? It looks good enough? Let’s go look, you know, you mean to figure it out then Right?
One of the truths about being an entrepreneur or launching your own business is that you need to learn to be uncomfortable to be comfortable with discomfort with uncertainty. You need to be able to make decisions with 80 85% certainty of what’s going to happen and the rest you’re going to figure out along the way, and you will adapt. But it’s right.
It’s better to get moving and make adaptations and not moving because you don’t know how it’s going to end. So we’re all driven by action, if that’s more important than having the perfect plan and the perfect answer from the zero. I do want to bring up an example because as I hear myself speak, how many people listening to your podcast are in tech sell to b2b and look for these accounts like the one I’m describing. So maybe some people are saying, hey, this doesn’t really relate to me.
That’s not my line of business. Let me bring something that is more easy to understand. So let me mention Boston Proper. They’re a company here in Boca Raton, and their CEO is Cheryl Clark, Boston Proper designs, fashion and and clothing for women over 40. And I once had the opportunity of listening to Cheryl speak at a conference. And Cheryl doesn’t say my clients, she doesn’t say my target audience. She doesn’t say my customers, she says Lucy, Lucy is the definition of the avatar of the persona for all of Boston Proper.
Everyone who works at Boston Proper knows who Lucy is. Lucy wears the clothes that are being designed by Boston Proper. She buys products from them. The way she likes buying is the way that Boston Proper has adapted their marketing strategy to go to whatever Lucy wants to do. Everything that has to do with how they go to market, the highs, how they go to Lucy. And that is, in my opinion, one of the best definitions of what it means to have your ideal target your ideal client super well defined, like like Boston Proper does with Lucy.
That’s a great example I’ve seen you know, I think I was at the same event you were at. And it’s it’s, it was a little fascinating to see here how much she could define that person. But then giving her a name was like eye opening, right? So you go Oh, yeah. Because I could just imagine, sitting in those board meetings, executive meetings, marketing meetings, whatever.
And one person looking at the other person go, Yeah, but what does Lucy want in this product? And Lucy wants that, right. That’s the whole concept of this all a long time ago, I was I was in retail myself, there was a buyer, who used to have all kinds of different things that were under his category, but one of them was dog food. And they had the storebrand dog food, and they had all the other dog foods. And he did the same thing, exact same thing that you just described.
At one point, the store brand dog food was just stopped selling, it wasn’t selling very well. And they could not figure out why. And so they said, well, let’s bring in our brand. And some of the other brands, everybody on this day, bring your dog, let’s feed it to the dogs. And so they fed it to them. And the dogs love this product. Love that, right? They know, the dogs would not I don’t care how hungry they were, they just did not want to eat the storebrand. And he goes, Well, there’s our problem. Hello, why are we feeding this garbage to dogs? Because they don’t want it? Why are we even making it? Let’s get rid of it.
And so they changed them formula, change the manufacturer, these are all that stuff, and selling and sales were back. And then from that day forward, he learned this a long time ago before this story even came out. But to this day, he still will say the phrase, have we asked the dogs now that’s a rude crude way of saying Lucy, right. But have you asked the dogs, everybody was around him knows what he means when he says, Let’s go ask the dogs because the dogs can tell us that we shouldn’t be doing that not what we think is right, right. And that’s the difference. So Lucy dogs doesn’t matter.
Whatever it is describing it is one thing. But giving it a clear face is what makes a difference. And when you start to clarify that in your brain as a salesperson, look out, because you’ll know very quickly this person is a client, this person will never be a client. I’ve had calls where people have called me up. And they say, I want this, I want this, I want this and I go, I just started asking some questions. And then I would say, maybe, maybe, maybe now’s not a good time, because it just doesn’t fit like I.
And if they insist on getting into numbers, I can give them rough numbers and knowing that we’re never gonna work together, and then rough numbers are gonna be way too high for them, I just know they are. And so that kind of weeds them out automatically for themselves. And I do it in such a way that allows them to save face. And that’s the key is if knowing your your target audience, knowing who your avatar is, whether it be by name, or by description, whichever it is, you need to be able to speak to them in the way that they want to be spoken. But then more importantly, if you can’t help them, and they’re really not a client, then make them allow them to save face when they leave.
Because at some point, they could be a client. It doesn’t mean you’re shutting the door forever. But if they stay at their same position, or they moved with different we’ve had it where people are in one position that one company moved to another company and call us and go okay, I’m working for this company now. And they’re much deeper pockets. And they don’t tell you that but you know it right. So it’s critical to know who your target audience is. Lane, did you have any other questions?
Yeah, if you have multiple products or multiple services, should you should you or can you have multiple avatars?
I would but it depends on how well prepared you are to serve them all. Like I came from a huge corporate background that worked with Motorola. Then we went through three more acquisitions and mergers. And as you can imagine, the variety of products that we had was super super wide. And there was a ideal client definition for each segment each product line each market as long as you can have a All that support for what they’re going to need after they buy your product so that they can be happy with it? Yes, you can, you can diversify in that in that respect, but you need to be able to support all of them.
Yeah. And it has to be very clear, or you have to look at it, I think my opinion, you have to almost have to what’s your overarching one that fits with all and then diversify it only by by slight segmentation meaning, you know, Lucy does this, but you know, what, quite honestly, Lucy’s daughter is going to do this and, and shops this way, but very similar to Lucy, right. It’s not not going to be a far separation.
And, you know, there might be a segment but I, you’re gonna, if you’re gonna be good, you got to be good at what you’re known for. And stay in your lane. Don’t Don’t, don’t get out of your lane. Right? If Apple? Yeah, if Apple decided to make stoves, I’m not sure I would buy one. Like, what does that make sense? On the other hand, they make phones and they make computers, right.
And now they make goggles, or goggles? Vision glass, what do they call it? Vision? VR headsets? VR. So VR headsets, so but you know, it’s all in that tech industry. And they’re very, very related, right. And it’s the same type of client. So and sometimes it’s a matter of defining that, that avatar, as I think Apple had described it, and just correct me if I’m wrong, but Apple has described their best clients customers are the ones that like to be a little different. They like to be the new new ideas, new concepts that are a little bit ahead of the curve.
They think it’s the forward thinkers, the ones that are the early adopters, that’s who their real target audience is, the rest of us follow them. And so they’ve not clarified, or, you know, it’s it’s Joe or whatever, because Joe is the average guy, right? It’s no, no, no, this is this is Ricky who’s like, who’s very specific, targeted, likes this thing. And he’s way ahead of everybody else. And he’s already looking for the next cool thing.
And that that’s the person that they want. So, exactly. Cool. Good questions. Roberto, I really appreciate you coming on. This was helpful. And if if you’re listening, you found this helpful. And you would like to reach out Roberta, how would they do that?
Multiple ways. So I have a website, it’s Roberto Munoz.FocalPointCoaching.com.
We’ll put it on TheSlowPitch.com website to make it easier. We’ll put it in the show notes.
My email is our RMunoz@FocalPointCoaching dot com.
And I really appreciate you coming on and helping us clarify what an avatar is. But then kind of starting to make us think a little bit about how would we create our own and some of the steps that we would do. And so you kind of described, this is the problems we’re running into? That’s one component. And then the other is like, just the basic nuts and bolts of who the demographics are and what they look like and feel like and sound like. And, you know, and we didn’t really get into where do they where do they read articles? Where do they read information, gather information.
That’s another whole other level, right? You know, if you know that they read the Wall Street Journal versus Ink Magazine, whatever, whatever the thing is, or they’re only online stuff digital, knowing that is going to be a big difference, right? I’m I’m imagining that the tech world for you isn’t going to be the ones that are always going to be in the Wall Street Journal, but they’re going to be looking at Google News, or they’re going to be right, so yes, knowing exactly where that is, makes a huge difference in sales.
And so knowing that using that information, and then getting in front of them, and then having the understanding of how to speak to them is really, really critical. So I think you’ve really helped a lot of people with this. Roberto, I appreciate you coming on.
And thank you so much for inviting me. It’s been great being here.
My pleasure. And so everybody don’t forget if you if you’re in the sales process, and you’re finding yourself not closing as much, keep in mind, slow down and close more.
Thank you for listening to The Slow Pitch. Do you have a question about sales? Call or text your question at (608) 708-SLOW. That’s (608) 708-7569. Or you can email them to Questions@TheSlowPitch.com. Slow Down and Close More.
Thanks as always for listening today. If you’d like this podcast, please subscribe and leave us a review. We really appreciate it. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at The Slow Pitch. We were mixed today as always by Johnny Polakis. And we were produced by High Gravity Studios. Music credits and other notes are in the show notes section at TheSlowPitch.com. And we’ll be back with another episode soon.