All for the love of Aida

08 Jun 2016

For businesses that want to punch above their weight

Today we have so many ‘must do’ and ‘must have’ marketing and sales avenues, many of us are not sure which way to turn. Social media, email, canvassing, internet advertising, banner ads, publications, networking and referrals are a few options. So what should you do?

Whatever your message, AIDA comes to the rescue: Attention> Interest> Desire> Action
AIDA is the original sales training acronym from the 1950s, when sales training began. AIDA is perhaps more relevant today than when it was first devised because people have lost appreciation for the basic features and requirements of a successful sale. So, for those new to selling or communicating with prospects, if you remember one sales model, remember AIDA.

AIDA describes the basic process by which people become motivated to act, including how successful selling happens and sales are made. Simply, we buy according to the AIDA process. So when we sell we must go through the AIDA stages:

  • Something first gets our attention if it's relevant to us and we are interested to learn more about it.
  • If it appears to closely match our needs and resources, we begin to desire it.
  • If we are prompted to overcome our natural caution we might become motivated to taking action to buy.

How many times have you bought more than fuel at the petrol station? Something’s on the counter (did you want chocolate before you went in?) you think “that looks nice” (A), it’s on offer (I), it’s not expensive (D), I’ll try one (A).


Getting the other person's attention sets the tone: first impressions count, so smile - even on the phone. If you're not in the mood to smile do some paperwork instead! If you rarely smile then get out of your business and do something else. Getting attention is becoming difficult because people are less accessible, with lots of competing distractions. Think about how it's best to contact - email, message or phone.


Something begins to look interesting if it is relevant and advantageous. The prospect should have a need for your product or service (that fits your target customer profile). Look for relevant triggers: regulations, change of management, ownership, industry news, existing suppliers difficulties, poor/good financial results. Try to empathise with and understand the other person's situation and issues, and be able to express yourself in their terms.


The sales person needs to be able to identify and agree with the prospect's situation, needs, priorities and constraints through questioning and interpretation. Know the questions you need answers to, note them down, have a script. Write down the answers - no-one will mind and it is normally a relief to the prospect that they can see you are actually paying attention. Build rapport and trust and a readiness in the prospect's mind to do business with you personally - testimonials and referrals are great for this.

The key is being able to demonstrate how you and your product will suitably, reliably and sustainably match the prospect's needs identified and agreed, within all constraints.


Simply the conversion of potential into actuality to achieve or move closer to whatever is the aim. The better the preceding three stages are, the less emphasis is required for the action stage. The primary purpose of the first meeting is to create sufficient interest for another meeting.

Follow these simple proven rules to successful low cost marketing, good luck!