AIDA's Selling Techniques
By Mario Reyna, Dean of Business, Public Safety and Technology at South Texas College
If you are a small, large, young, or old business entity, you know that to survive in your business environment you need to sell. Some businesses have perfected the art of the sale, and some are in the graveyard of dead companies wishing they had learned how to sell. Selling is an art that requires you to understand the psychology of selling. The sales process that I am about to describe has four steps: attention, interest, desire and action (AIDA), and I know other systems have been spun off this concept; however, we will keep it simple because if you know this method, you too can become a silver tongued devil.
I am sure you have seen the blimps flying above someone’s business, the statue of liberty walking along a street and pointing towards to a tax preparer’s office or a mechanical device that wants you to notice a particular service that is being provided by an entrepreneur. You cannot sell anything until you get someone’s attention. Products or services will not be consumed until someone notices that you have something to offer. Therefore, this is where it gets tricky because you will have to focus all your energy on creating attention-getting steps before you move to the next step. What about you as an individual? You must be original and speak the language of your clients; also, you need to know their business. You need to play your role by being a professional and always greet someone with a firm handshake. If you are someone that prospects for new clients, this is a must.
So now that you have someone’s attention, what do you do? You need to build their interest in your product or service by answering all their questions or asking your customers all the right questions to provide them with the product or service that fits their needs. If the customers do not know what they want, you need to ask profound probing questions, several of them, to understand what they need. As a salesperson, you must know your product or services to reassure your client that you will satisfy what they are looking for. A customer will leave your premises if you do not have an understanding of your products or services. Customers want information, so you have to give it to them in writing through your website or by your sales presentation. People buy things for two reasons, to solve a problem or for pleasure, and you as a sales professional must recognize which one it is.
In the desire stage, you must understand your customer’s emotions and demonstrate how your product or service will help them solve their problem or provide the pleasure that they seek. In the interest phase, you discovered much about their needs, now is the time to make them realize that what you have will improve their lives. You can do this by ensuring your client understands what you are through continuous agreements. For example, if you are selling a loan, you can say something like ‘Now that I demonstrated how our loan provides you with significant savings, you can see how this will improve your bottom-line’. If this is true, the client should respond with a “yes” that will indicate there is an agreement to your statement. The key is to get at least three continuous agreements before you close the deal. It works, but you must understand this process.
Once you have arrived at this point with your client, you need to seal the deal. It is yes or no time! If you have done everything right, it will be just a formality to sign the contract. However, you must propose the close by saying something like this ‘You and I have discussed how this loan will improve your bottom-line. When can we start the application process – today or tomorrow?’ You need to get a firm commitment to solidify the closing process. Sales make things happen for all companies, so understanding this final step is extremely important to your bottom-line.
Learning AIDA will help you understand the dynamics involved in the psychology of selling. Successful individuals will master the attention, interest, desire and action steps to understand what their clients need to solve their problems or to provide them with a great experience. It takes time and practice to master this fine art, and I am sure if you learn more about AIDA you too will become a silver tongued devil.