Your ideal buyer persona goes on a specific journey leading up to their purchase with you. This journey includes three clear phases: awareness, consideration and decision.
Awareness: The first stage in the buyers journey begins with the recognition that the buyer has a problem. Your ideal personas will have some problems in common that you will most likely recognize. Perhaps it's outdated software, a chipped tooth, or their cell phone can't get service at their new home. In the awareness stage, the buyer is seeking out information on how best to solve their new problem.
Consideration: The second stage in the buyers journey is decision. They hit this stage once they have identified a set of solutions for their problem. In this stage the prospect is going to weigh the pros and cons of each solution with the intent on choosing the best solution. So they might research dentists who repair chipped teeth, or software vendors that meet their requirements.
Decision: This is the third and final stage of the buyers journey. Vendors will be contacted and interviewed so that the final decision can be made.