When it comes to saving for my retirement, I’m not much of a risk taker. Before I invest in mutual funds or shares in a company, I do my homework. I look at trends, see how much they grew and calculate the rate of return over the next several years. In other words, I want to make sure what I’m investing will work.

This type of calculated, risk-averse persona also represents the most popular executive persona out there—the Follower. Followers make up 36 percent of executive buyers in today’s business world, and they have one criteria before making a decision: They want to make sure what you’re selling has worked before.

The Top Four Characteristics of Follower Executives Are:

  1. They fear choices. Keep it simple and limit their options.
  2. They are not early adopters. If you have something brand new, this is not the buyer for you. They want something that’s proven, not new.
  3. They are responsible. They will make safe choices.
  4. They are brand-driven and value prone. They are there to protect the brand and will do nothing to diminish it.

This is a difficult buyer persona to deal with if you stray away from facts and proof points. However, if you can show them that it works, they’re more apt to buy.

Here Are Four Keys to Success when Dealing with Followers:

When you’re selling to Followers, there are four things you must remember:

  1. Give them proof. Then give them some more.
  2. Keep it safe. Don’t make any statement or assertion you can’t back up.
  3. Always be credible and relevant when you’re presenting information. Provide them with case studies and tell them how it has worked in the past.
  4. Link the new to the old.

More often than not, Followers make decisions based on how they’ve done it in the past or in the same way someone else has successfully done it in the past. They want people to believe they are innovative, but they most always settle for the safe choice.

Make sure you check out next week’s blog when I discuss the final buyer persona, the Controller.

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