How AIDA Can Increase Sales

AIDA – Attention, Interest, Desire and Action

Those who are new to marketing are often at a loss on how to best go about selling their product or service. There are so many options to consider, but without a correct strategy it is like shooting an arrow into the air. With no system in place, your selling tactic is as likely to succeed as that randomly shot arrow.
One of the best ways to start your learning is knowing one of the oldest—but still one of the most helpful—tools in selling. This is AIDA, an acronym for “Attention, Interest, Desire and Action.”
Some writers have modified AIDA by adding additional steps, like “S” for customer satisfaction and retention, saying that selling is not the end of the process if you are to maximize future sales. Other marketing authorities have even made more radical changes to the model. These developments are inevitable as improvements will always occur sooner or later. It is up to you to study what is best for your needs. For now, let us discuss the basic AIDA model.
Catching Your Market’s Attention
The “A” in AIDA, which is grabbing the “attention” of potential customers, is one of its most crucial points. Although seemingly obvious, many new entrepreneurs ignore this principle. One of the most glaring blunders on attention-grabbing is the use of non-descriptive business names. Since your business name is one of the first things people see about your company, it is highly advantageous if it is instantly clear what your company is about.
This point also includes your decision in terms of advertising and promotion. Often, a lot of cash is wasted on reaching people who are not good prospects for your product. Being visible to a hundred thousand people may be less desirable than being noticed by a thousand highly qualified prospects.
In writing your advertisement, special care must be taken so that your headline catches attention. Many copywriters believe that the headline is more critical than the rest of the copy. So important is the headline, that in the copywriting trade jargon, they often call it the “hook”—an analogy to fishing. While it is possible to overdo it and make your heading too loud, devaluing your brand image, usually the error is on the side of being too bland.
Before we get to the next letter in AIDA, another common violation I have observed is that small business owners have a tendency to create signage that is either too small or unattractive. This is understandable because of the limited funds. However, I believe that if the entrepreneur knows how much sales are lost because of this, they would invest in this more. Remember that your product must be noticed before anything else.
Next Steps
The letter “I” is developing “interest” in your offering. Creating interest means making content that is relevant to your market’s needs and desires. There is some confusion as to the difference between the “interest” stage and the “desire” stage. The truth is, in some cases, there is no clear demarcation. Nevertheless, there is a difference; and it is important you be aware, as each stage requires a different approach. The interest stage is where you present information that is interesting to a potential consumer of your product. You are laying the groundwork for the desire stage.
“D” for “desire” is where you convince your audience that they should purchase the product or service. You have to show that your particular product is the answer to the problems or needs you have previously mentioned. The mindset of the customer at this stage should be that of possessing your product.
The last is “A”—getting action for the purchase—which is the icing on the cake. If you have done the preliminary steps, then this should be less difficult. In the case of personal selling, however, there are some people who falter in this final step. For other types of sales, it is simply a matter of making clear and easy what the buyer has to do to obtain the product. Since the sale is highly probable at this point, it would be easier to justify more costly measures to close the sale.
There are many situations that do not follow the usual pattern. You do not need to be bound strictly by the sequence of AIDA. If the customer already desires the product, then you can already focus at once on the action stage.
Generating sales requires investment of both money and effort. Having no sales model to guide you is a surefire formula for disaster.

*Originally published by the Manila Bulletin. D-4, Sunday, February 16, 2014. Written by Ruben Anlacan, Jr. (President, BusinessCoach, Inc.) All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or copied without express written permission of the copyright holders.