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The old AIDA.
Video length: 3:06
Dave Harries: Grant, I was quite surprised to see in the book, the old AIDA, if you’re an opera fan, or AIDA, however you say it, the A-I-D-A buying journey because that’s very, that would be perceived by some people as very old fashioned, yet you say that is still relevant?
Grant Leboff: Yeah. One of the things that I find quite frustrating is you read a lot of literature about selling today and people will say that the buying journey is no longer linear. What they mean by that is, is that people are no longer sort of going through a definite journey, you know, they ring up a company, met the salesperson, get the proposal, discuss it and make a decision. That’s what they mean by linear, because now people are all over the place. They go to a website, a blog, they might meet someone, they might go back to a video, so they’re all over the place and they’re information gathering and everything else. I accept that’s perfectly true, but that’s not the buying journey isn’t linear. The AIDA acronym stands for attention, interest, desire and action. That is still right because essentially, cognitively human beings still need to know about something, get interested in it, then decide that they want it and then take action.
That process isn’t going to change. They’re not going to jump from taking action to now I better find out about it. That’s not how it’s going to work. In terms of the buying journey, it’s still linear, where it goes wrong, and I say this in the book, is that AIDA is still right as to understand the cognitive buying journey. Being tied to the traditional sales funnel is not correct because the traditional sales funnel itself is now irrelevant. To say the buying journey is not linear is just cognitively wrong.
Dave Harries: Would it be fair to say that perhaps the AIDA process, while it exists, is more under the control of the buyer as it used to be?
Grant Leboff: Absolutely. What I would say is this, I suppose because it’s a cognitive process in the mindset of the buyer, and it’s them, it was always in their control. What the difference is, it was easy for a salesperson to track because in a world where a customer didn’t have access to a lot of information, of course the customer relied on the salespeople with whom they’re interacting to take them through the journey. There might be three or four companies that you were looking at, so assuming you’re in contact with most of those salespeople, the salesperson kind of know where they are in the journey of having a meeting, of setting a proposal on doing this, so they kind of knew where they were in that AIDA process and they link that to the funnel. Today, yes, the challenge is the customer’s in control, so even when they meet a salesperson they then might go back, look at videos, interact with others, sign up for somebody else’s webinar. It’s very hard and much more difficult for a salesperson to understand where they are cognitively I that process.
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