AIDA (no, not the opera…)

“Maria left her apartment to go to the post-office but came back with a pair of new shoes. What happened?”. When I ask this question during our Value Based Sales trainings, the women and men alike never fail to give the perfect explanation of the AIDA sales principle. Maria left her apartment and on her way to the post-office a shop window, with a big sign “50% Discount”, caught her Attention. When she looked closer and saw that the shop sold mountaineering gear and the discount applied to high altitude climbing boots her Interest was sparked (In Russia I usually give the example of high heeled shoes by Miu Miu or Louboutin but to be gender universal I decided to use another example this time. Also, I know more about mountaineering boots than about Miu Miu’s).

Maria entered the shop and when she saw the Scarpa Phantom 6000 boots she needed for her planned ascent of Mount Aconcagua the Desire to buy the boots settled in her mind. After checking that the boots were available in her size and that she had enough money in her pocket, she decided to Act by trying them on and buying them.    

AIDA (Attention – Interest – Desire – Action), a principle developed by Elias St. Elmo Lewis in the late 19th century is still relevant today. There are many adaptations of the AIDA principle nowadays, but everyone understands most purchasing decisions are the result of Attention – Interest – Desire – Action.   

AIDA seems obvious enough, but practice shows that these same women and men who easily explain how they come to a purchasing decision completely forget about this basic sales principle when they need to sell themselves.

When working with sales teams in Russia there is a lot of “low-hanging fruit” we focus on to start selling more effectively. This “low hanging fruit” can easily be harvested by reminding the sales teams of some basic sales principles and AIDA is one of them. Other easy steps we take include defining a specific target for each sales call, strong focus on that sales target, identifying a clear value proposition for each individual client, following a fixed sales method, taking simple steps to boost your confidence and improving your communication skills. The method is simple as well. Prepare, position, reveal, pitch, close, manage objections and analyze the results.

However, as often in life, things that are easy to say are not always as easy to do. The key to success in sales is discipline. Discipline in sticking to the sales method and not skipping any steps. During the role plays at our Value Based Sales trainings we see that a well-prepared sales pitch closes itself.

It’s simple but you just have to do it.

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