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AIDA; a simple framework to help you sell

Nearly everything you do at work involves some sort of selling.

It may not be obvious; you might not have the job title of “salesman”.

But that doesn’t mean you’re not trying to “sell” others on your point of view.

It could be your boss. Your subordinate. Your client. Your customer.

There’s always someone, somewhere in your working day, whom you need to persuade to take an action that you want them to take.

Whether it’s explicit, such as selling a product, or subtle, such as helping your website visitors find value in their visit, getting people to do what you’d like them to do is key to most business’ success.

So, staying with sales, here is a simple framework that might help you, no matter what you’re “selling”:

AIDA

AIDA has a few different interpretations and variations, but for ease we’ll go with:

  1. Attention (or Awareness)
  2. Interest (or Inform)
  3. Desire (or Decision)
  4. Action

It is by no means the only way to structure the sell, but it can be a very effective framework to use.

Attention

This means getting the person’s attention.

In the home, you might just shout their name.

But in the workplace that probably wouldn’t be acceptable.

And shouting at potential customers is rarely a good idea!

The key is to get the person to focus on what you’re about to tell them next; if they’re not listening in the first place they’re unlikely to do what you want them to.

Furthermore, if you can make the attention-grabbing means congruent with the message and action you want to then “sell” to them, it’ll make for a more effective outcome.

Interest

Once you have their attention, you need to pique their interest; it’s no use getting people to listen to you if they’ve no interest in what you’re saying.

The best way to get people interested is to make your message as personally relevant to them as possible.

Wrapping up your message in a story can also be an effective way to get and maintain interest; us humans are suckers for a good story!

Desire

Once you’ve got their interest, you need to convert it into something more pro-active.

That is where you want to kindle a desire within them, something that will take them from passively consuming your message to actively wanting to do something about it.

Again, relating something personally to them, helping them see, specifically, what benefit they are going to directly get out of your message, is key.

Here is where you move from the informational exchange in the Interest section to an emotional one; you already had their mind, now you need to get their heart.

Action

The final, critical, piece of the puzzle; getting them to take an action!

It’s no good building up all the desire in the world if you don’t direct it into anything tangible.

Often people aren’t specific in what action they want someone to take, and this can lose all the good momentum you’ve built up.

(especially when it comes to asking people to buy something, particularly with people just starting out in business; they don’t feel comfortable telling people the steps they need to take to buy, and then asking them to do, so they just kind of leave it open; “They’ll know what to do if they’re interested…” – don’t do that!)

Assume everyone needs everything spelt out for them.

Walk them through it.

Step by step.

Don’t leave anything to chance.

Tell them what you’d like them to do.

Show them how.

Then ask them to do it.

All your sales efforts are for nothing if there is no action at the end of it!

Take your time

AIDA is one of many frameworks you can use when trying to sell something, whether it is a product, a service or just a new idea.

It gives you a few steps to run through in a logical order, to take a person from prospect to sold.

But those steps don’t all have to be done at the same time.

You could get attention one day and spend weeks, months or even years slowly but surely building interest and desire, before finally moving to action.

So don’t feel like you need to rush it; be cool! 🙂

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