Important to leadership yesterday, today, and in the future is the ability to answer important “Why” questions. A significant trait that is necessary to lead organizations. Be they B2B or B2C entities.
Perhaps no “Why” question is more important to B2B or B2C leadership than this:
Why do our buyers and customers buy?
In my 20 years since founding the concept of buyer personas, I have seen leaders struggle to answer what seems to be, on the surface, a simple basic question.
Simple it is not. It is a profound question loaded with assumptions, ambiguities, debate, and a lack of real insights. The struggle is real. Leaders who ask 50 colleagues in their own internal organizations are bound to get 50 different answers. I know. I have done this many times.
Yet, leaders often under-invest in doing the hard spadework to get the answers to this question. Spadework involves conducting buyer research, attaining deep buyer insights, assessing what the insights mean, and mapping their strategies to critical guiding insights. Using buyer personas as a leadership skill to develop a common language on why their buyers and customers buy.
Leaders who invest in the spadework needed know that by digging below the surface layers, they will find the answers to this critical question. Under-investing will result in many holes and wasted dollars littering their field of marketing and selling efforts.
As we enter a new era of business and commerce impacted by a world turned upside down by the pandemic, leaders will need to return to this most important question. And return to it often.
For if you cannot answer this important why question, you cannot lead.