B2B Sales - Sellers From Mars and Buyers From Venus - II
Persona Mapping with Elements - Buyer and Seller
In the world of business-to-business (B2B) sales, the buyer and seller relationship plays a significant role in winning or losing a transaction. Creating and nurturing these relationships across multiple stakeholders is a challenging, lengthy and time-consuming process.
To assist in the relationship-building process, one of the key activities and constituents of a sales plan is to build the buyer's stakeholder persona. Mapping of these stakeholder personas reveals the type of levers that can be used to build and nurture long-term relationships, with the intent of winning and expanding the sales pipeline. Without the intelligence of the buyer's persona, the sales execution effort will be challenging and profoundly inefficient and ineffective.
Besides, it reduces the risk of losing a sales representative, because by capturing and documenting the buyer's persona you can ensure that gathered intelligence and levers applied in building relationships and influencing negotiations are not lost with a change in guard at the seller's end.
The framework for the creation and destruction of five elements is applied to overcome the challenging task of mapping and building the persona. The inherent attributes of each element are mapped to the personality of the stakeholders at the buyer's and seller's end in different scenarios.
Let us explore how these elemental attributes assist in building persona maps.
Earth Elements Human TraitsCalm, Stable, Tolerant, Peacemaker, Stubborn (don’t like to be pushed), Hardworking, Strategic, Deceptive, Resentful, Secretive, Lazy, Adaptable, Sing, Fear, Relationship Builder, Nurturing, Predictable, Pleasing, Reliable, Caring, Socialised, Hoards, Focused on Family and Friends, Listen to Friends, Finisher, Workaholic, Sweet Tooth
Appearance - Well Built, Square Face
● well-built body, thick calves, large muscles in men and breasts in women
● natural roundness and plumpness to the features
● the face represents, lips, mouth, lower cheeks, upper eyelid, nose bridge
● full lips, thick nose bridge
● round or plump lower cheeks next to mouth
● less prominent chins, angled jaws, protruding cheekbones so the forehead and chin look comparatively narrow
● eyes wide apart, round nose tip
● roundness in stomach
● deep voice
o stomach, spleen, pancreas
● Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Dolly Patron, Rene Zellweger, Ed Sheeran, Mister Rogers, Princess Diana
● Narendra Modi (PM of India)
Earth means Nurture, Calmness, and Stability
● Key Traits – calm, strategic, hardworking, speak with gravitas, ready to serve
● Upside - determined, patience, practical, relationship builder
● Downside - lazy, deceptive, fixated, don’t forgive, indecision
● Risk Appetite (Low, Moderate, Considered, High, Extreme) – moderate
● Win Desire (Low, Moderate, Considered, High, Extreme) - high
● Deal Loss - protect people, worries for future, confusion
● Engagement Style (Top-Down, Bottom-up, Hybrid) – bottom-up
● Sales Territory Approach (Hunting, Farming, Hybrid) - farming
●. Communications Style - slow in communication and action, slow response, good listeners, structured, semantically driven, speak with gravitas and purpose, deep voice
Earth is the most stable element among the five elements. Like a mother, it is providing resources to all living beings to live and grow since the inception and evolution of humankind. Similarly, earthly natives are like a mother who provides resources to her children to live and grow. They provide unflinching and unconditional support to others like how a mother provides for her children. Their inherent ability to guide and nurture makes them a good mentor and a trusted advisor.
The bond between mother and a child is everlasting, similarly, these natives are regarded as a bondsman for their friends and family members. People can count on them for their support during challenging times. In sales, these people protect their team members when a deal is lost.
The Earth remains mostly calm, except when rare volcanoes erupt or earthquakes or cyclones occur, causing grief to those affected. Similarly, earthly natives remain calm and stable in their day to day life. They lose their cool and calmness rarely, like earthquakes or volcanic eruptions.
A mother raises her children with patience, and determination, and works hard to ensure they get a good life. Similarly, earthly natives are determined, hardworking, and patient to achieve better outcomes. They are relentless in their effort.
Earth represents the late summer season when fruits are ripe, days are longer with higher temperatures, forcing people to stay indoors, take rest, and life appears to move lazily. Furthermore, earth signifies the afternoon, when people tend to be sluggish after having their lunch. Similarly, earthly natives are less active and cherish sitting in one place like a couch or an armrest chair. Besides this, the earth is the heaviest and slowest mover among the five elements. Thus, earthly natives move at turtle's pace, speak slowly with gravitas, and have a deep voice. These natives communicate and respond at their own pace, so if you send an email to them, then don’t expect an immediate response. Their ability to listen calmly like the slow-moving earth makes them good listeners.
The Spleen's main function is to filter our blood, by removing old, malformed or damaged red blood cells. This means, earthly natives can transform slowly with time, they can discard old habits and adapt to new ways of life. In sales, selling half-hearted ideas or window dressed old ideas to an earthly buyer will be caught and discarded. These buyers keep their ‘crap’ filter active and switched on.
Like a mother, the earth generally represents relationships, harmony and patience. This allows these natives to be good in building and maintaining relationships with friends and family members. Furthermore, the constant churning underneath the earth is carried out slowly and calmly by the amalgamation of many layers and items. This implies that earthly natives are collaborative and gel with others easily.
In sales, these sellers prefer bottom-up engagement, underpinned by their ability to build and maintain relationships. In terms of approaching a sales territory, they prefer farming because their risk appetite is low, and slow churning or status quo is their mantra. The rapid and cutthroat environment is overwhelming for them.
Earth represents fear, fixation, and relentless effort because any imbalance in the stomach and spleen causes the mind to be unstable and makes it wander from one thought to another, leading to obsessional thinking and constant worry. Besides that, any imbalance in these organs disrupts their continuous effort to supply energy and nutrients to other organs. In sales, fear of failing haunts, earthly sellers. So, to overcome that, they put relentless effort into winning a deal. Their fixation on not failing at any cost gives them a higher desire to succeed. When a deal is lost after putting in enormous effort, they start worrying about the future and drive them to a state where they get overwhelmed by it and become indecisive. Earthly buyers prefer long-term instead of short-term contracts because they are sluggish, and the status quo gives them comfort and accomplishment of security. Moreover, they don’t cherish rapid changes in their environment like an airy or a fiery buyer. Positioning a short-term deal to an earthly buyer is futile.
Earthly natives are deceptive because the earth represents the stomach and that needs a constant supply of food. To gather resources like money or food, often these natives will employ deception and cheating. This trait is primarily prominent in earthly natives and to a lesser extent in metal and airy natives.
Earthly natives have a well-built bodies with thick calves and large muscles in men and breasts in women. They have a thick nose bridge, eyes are wide apart, the nose tip is round and the stomach is round. In general, they have roundness and plumpness to their facial features.