In the movie Glengarry Glen Ross, Alec Baldwin’s character famously trains a real estate sales team with the initialism “ABC” – Always Be Closing.
Unfortunately, Direct Selling marketers who focus solely on the “pitch and close” sales method may find themselves losing touch with an audience weary of being “sold.” Instead, Direct Sellers should focus on the other initialism on Alec Baldwin’s famous blackboard: “AIDA.” Attention, Interest, Decision, Action.
Why You Shouldn’t “Always Be Closing.”
This distinction between these two sales methods is important. To “Always Be Closing,” those hoping to sell products and services focus only on their own actions. In an “ABC” sales message, the distributor or corporate office texts, emails, or socially shares multiple calls-to-action per day. You know them – the people in your network who constantly share product photos with discounts and promotional prices. Often, the seller assumes the need for the product exists and promotes sales as if they are merely facilitating that need. This impersonal, purchase-first method of selling may net a few sales at first, but it is a poor long-term strategy for building the trust and insight needed to grow a business year-over-year.
“AIDA” Step 1: Get Their Attention.
Would you give me your credit card if I told you that, today only, you could get a flux capacitor for a 1981 DMC DeLorean for only $99? Probably not. The total market for DeLorean Flux Capacitors is one person – Doc Brown, from Back to the Future. He’s the only person paying attention to the market for DeLorean spare parts. Before you start emailing, texting, and sharing coupon codes for $99 DeLorean parts to everyone you know, you need to get their attention. Perhaps you can share the amazing trip you just took to watch the Berlin Wall torn down, or a GoPro video of your new hoverboard skills. The first step in successful sales is ensuring your audience is aware of your product without feeling pressured to buy. Share your DeLorean adventures without asking for a sale.
“AIDA” Step 2: Respond to Their Interest.
This is the most difficult part for network marketers, because it is the stage of the sales cycle where your contacts come to you, instead of you approaching them. You’ve done your part in making your audience aware of your product. Now, you need to organize that data and massage your network. Pay attention to prompts that might indicate interest. Is someone in your network following your time travel posts closely? Have they liked, looked, or shared your adventures? Have they commented or asked you questions about your new lifestyle or silver car? Have they shared personal challenges that might be helped by your products? These contacts are your leads. Use a tool like LeadKlozer (see below) to track your social media activity and conversations day-to-day. The “Interest” step is critical in growing your customer base or team.
“AIDA” Step 3: Personalize Their Decision.
Reach out to your contacts that have expressed interest and help them formalize their decision. It’s not enough that they’re interested in time travel; for your purposes, you need them specifically interested in time travel using the product you sell, the DeLorean. Gauge their progress. Have they already purchased a DeLorean? Do they live in a market where it is legal to achieve the critical speed of 88 MPH? Help tailor their decision. If you don’t sell DeLorean time machine parts, this step is where you’ll meet for coffee or a video chat to talk about nutrition and health concerns, allergies, and specific life goals. Don’t hold these conversations and consultations publicly. These types of questions and polls are also not appropriate for mass communication. Leverage your personal connection to help your prospect build a clear picture themselves owning, and using, your product or opportunity.
“AIDA” Step 4: Prompt Them to Action.
Now, finally, you have reached the point where you can share with your prospect that $99 Flux Capacitor sale … Or free sample, or $199 Business Builder Kit. Through your Attention/Awareness campaign, they learned about your product. Without spamming them, they have expressed their interest. They’ve engaged directly with you to decide what product or opportunity is best for them. And you, as a corporate marketer or distributor, can now notify them about offers that apply to their specific needs. When the right package or sale is available to them, reach out and inform them that now is the time to buy.
Finally: Plan Your Journey Together.
Your relationship with your distributors, team members, or customers doesn’t stop with one sale. Keep the lines of communication open and provide news and ongoing training. Connect frequently with previous purchasers to ensure that the product is still working for them. Engage to see if their needs change and to answer questions. Constant communication is key to ensuring you will be able to turn their attention to new products and services in the future, to start the “AIDA” process again for a new opportunity.