Sales is a simple process which has been made difficult through years of well-meaning advice and overthinking. At its core, the process of making a sale has never changed. First, you need to have a product that someone may want to buy from you. Secondly, you need to have a potential customer to sell that product to. Thirdly, you need to have the skill to sell your product to that customer. That’s all there is to it, and all there ever has been to it. Everything else is just window-dressing and game-theory.
Because so much sales work is now done online, individuals and companies have developed the incorrect belief that sales online have to be conducted using different methods to sales conducted face to face. That might be true from the standpoint of technology, but not from the standpoint of the method that goes into making a sale. So long as your website is developed according to one of the oldest principles in sales, you should find that conversion rates from visitors to your website get healthier, and then stay healthy.
The principle we’re referring to is called ‘AIDA,’ and was already widely known among sales professionals long before it came to public prominence in a pivotal scene from the film ‘Glengarry Glen Ross,’ which is still used as a reference point for sales advisors today. AIDA is an acronym, and we’re going to break it down step by step – as well as explaining how it can be made relevant to your company website.
A:- Attention (Do you have their attention?)
This is the most important link in the chain, and also the one that is most commonly implemented incorrectly on websites. On the world wide web, you have even less time to grab the attention of a potential customer than you do speaking to them on the phone. The Nielsen – Norman Group, who are experts in such matters, say that the average user will decide whether to stay on or leave a website within ten seconds of it loading. Ten seconds isn’t a long time, and that means all video content or elaborate animations on your homepage are a terrible idea. You need to capture your customer’s attention immediately. That means showing them something that they want.
If you operate a sales website, your customer has come to your site looking for a particular product or service. That product or service should, therefore, be the first thing they see. If you want inspiration for this, take a look at an online mobile slots website. Nobody does this better than the companies who offer mobile slots to players! Theirs is a hyper-competitive market, and they can’t afford the time of players who have come looking to spend money with them. The first thing you’ll see on any online slots website is a list of slots, all of which seem to be tantalizingly one
click away. You need your products to feel as accessible to customers as online slots websites make theirs.
I:- Interest (Are they interested?)
Having someone’s attention and making them interested in what you have to sell isn’t the same thing. Even if you have all of your products clearly in view on your homepage as we’ve suggested in the previous point, your prospective customer is still looking for a reason why they should use your services instead of one of your competitors. They’re probably shopping around, trying to find the best deal for themselves. You need to quickly convince them that it’s with you.
The easiest way to do this is to give something away, or offer something cheaply. A lot of successful companies will offer a ‘loss leader’ product on their homepage; a product which is sold at or below market cost in order to persuade customers that you have excellent deals available. ‘Click here for discount’ offers, or free gifts are also known to be crucial aspects of securing a customer’s interest. When a customer can see that you have the goods they want and you’re offering great sales incentives, they’ll be interested. Note that both of these stages have been achieved without the customer leaving your homepage.
D: Decision (Have they been presented with a decision?)
Here’s where we give the customer a choice to make. They can see that you have what they want, and they can also see that you’re offering them great incentives. Do they want to buy it, or don’t they? If they don’t, they’ll soon leave the site and go elsewhere. If they do, we need to turn their interest into something more formal. That’s why clicking on any of the products or offers on your homepage should take them to either a pop-up, or a new page, which asks for contact information from them before they can proceed any further. That could be taken by way of registering to use your site, or providing an email address or telephone number for you to contact them on and discuss their needs. If you don’t need to have direct contact with your customer in order to advance to sale, your task here is even easier; all you need is a ‘buy now’ button – and your customer is still only on your homepage!
A: Action (Are they taking action?)
If you’ve followed the A, I, and D of AIDA properly, you’ve done all you can. Taking action is in the hands of the customer. When they’re presented with a decision to make, it’s down to them to follow through on it. Only now will the other pages of your website become relevant. A customer seeking more information before making a purchase or providing you with contact information may look for your ‘about us’ page, or seek out customer testimonials. Make sure you have both pages clearly labeled and available. They may wish to see an expanded product library, so have a
separate page for products, too. That means you need only four pages on your website in total; your homepage, your products page, your ‘about us’ page, and your testimonials page. AIDA is effective because it’s minimalist; if you give your customer too much to choose from, they can veer off course and go down avenues you don’t want them to. Keep them in a tight sales funnel, and the majority of them will either follow it down or walk away. You’ll have more sales, and far fewer time-wasters.
For many of you reading this, trimming down your website to four pages would involve deleting well over half of it. That might feel excessive. If you’re not getting the sales you want through your website, though, you should consider that all those extra pages might be the reason why.