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AIDA model – How to apply it to your LinkedIn prospecting?

Attracting prospects, visitors and converting them whether through a website, an email campaign, an advertisement or any other marketing action is precisely the principal objective of any good marketer.

“But Clément, I saw prospecting on LinkedIn in the title, I thought this article was aimed at salespeople and not marketers!”

This is the question you are probably asking yourself now.

Wait two minutes and let me explain.

Have you ever heard of AIDA model ?

If not, I strongly advise you to go for a walk on this excerpt from Alec Baldwin’s speech , subtitles are available for non-English speakers to understand what AIDA means in more detail.

I will still define AIDA quickly, then we will go further than this model and finally we will see how to sell through marketing . And how you read it in the headline, we’re going to get into the B2B sales on LinkedIn .

Definition of the AIDA model

Invented in 1898 by Elias St. Elmo Lewis, the AIDA model , is a key tool which allows to stake out 4 phases through which the consumer passes before the act of purchase: captivate the AT attention, arouse I interest, provoke the D desire and encourage AT ction.

  • Warning “: Targets become aware of your product (eg: top-of-the-funnel marketing – print or online advertising, prospecting, word of mouth).
  • Interest “: Targets perceive the value and express their interest in the product, thus becoming prospects (eg: incoming inquiries or responses to a prospecting campaign).
  • Desire “: Prospects seek to know more from salespeople to obtain answers to their questions (eg: discovery calls, demonstration).
  • Action “: Prospects buy the product and become customers. (ex: sending of proposals, quotes)

Top Marketing Funnel

Fast, simple and efficient.

End that was over a century ago, of course an approach successful marketing-sales is still based on these fundamental principles, however, we must go further to really be effective!

As mentioned above, the main purpose of AIDA model is to incite action . In marketing, it would be for a visitor to download our white paper or any other resource on our website, a contact request …

Of a business point of view , this can be the sale of a product via our e-commerce site, an order by email or a quote. But that is not the subject of our article, we are interested in B2B sales and more particularly at prospecting and sales process on LinkedIn .

Besides on LinkedIn, you are aware, you have to face multiple competition , at longer sales cycles and to prospects who are often not ready to buy . There are still more variables to consider, but the approach in social sale on LinkedIn is no less timeless.

For those who watched the video above, Dave Moss (Ed Harris) pointed out the quality of leads, not being ready to buy his services during his prospecting: “The cards (leads) are not good”.

What will happen to your new prospects who will not yet be ready to buy you will say?

They will therefore be part of your LinkedIn network forever, will follow your posts and content, and eventually come back to you when ready to buy. Example for our agency LeadIn , some of them appeared more than 6 months after a first exchange to call on our services!

Therefore, through the LinkedIn channel we will generate 3rd phase among prospects, we are not going to highlight “ the action “to do so closer our sale . We will arouse the “ Desire”, here the goal is to have a first discovery call , a demonstration of your product, a first contact to learn more about your prospect. And to do this we will use the concept “ABC” .

Go further with “ABC”, this new AIDA model

Now that we have introduced the subject of AIDA, let’s discuss the concepts of “ABC” and “Marketing is the new sale” applied to social selling .

Times have changed nowadays instead of waiting to offer products and services qualified prospects, salespeople are now opinion leaders , educators and trusted consultants . Thanks to new technologies and social networks (LinkedIn in our case mainly), they create relations with buyers much earlier in the sales cycle by providing them with the information they need to be successful.

If you are a salesperson, the acronym “ ABC” must have mentioned you “ Always be closing “, but for me this sentence has become obsolete and I will explain why.

The buyer behavior has evolved, people no longer buy only from people they like, but from people they trust. How to build trust with his prospects? It comes little by little, exchange after exchange!

So with the arrival of digital and social selling, “ABC” has taken on a new identity. The “C” is now synonymous with “ connection “because you can’t sell on social media if you can’t connect to customers in a meaningful way.

ABC - Always Be Connecting

As mentioned earlier, do not try to sell from the start ! First, you have to bring value, and make yourself available to help the prospect make the best decision . (Potentially buy your product / service. 🤫)

Yes, in the past, buyers first inquired of sellers to learn more about their solution.

But with the advent of the internet, information is very easily accessible in a few clicks, therefore they are looking for as much information as possible online and solicit them recommendations of their networks.

You begin to see the potential of social selling ?

Now, the best companies don’t just win by product quality that they sell, but also through quality of information that they provide as part of the sale itself.

Above all, above all and I insist one last time, especially not to rush things ! You must not approach your “ ideal client “on LinkedIn and engage it in a sales process from the start!

When you first receive a 5-10 line LinkedIn message from “Mr / Mrs X from company Y who wants to present you the best product Z?

Do you want to accept his connection request and respond to him?

I don’t think so, it loathes me so much that from the login message, if I see it from the first words, I don’t even read the entire message and refuse connection !

So remember this sentence “ Trying to sell on the first LinkedIn post is a bit like trying to get married on the first date “…

Here is an example of a message that you should definitely not send. 👇

LinkedIn connection message to be banned

For sell effectively via social networks , at a time when information is available just a click away on search engines, you will need create link , and establish a relationship of trust .

In addition, by doing this you are creating a healthy relationship based on “ Winner-Winner “. The clients have a privileged contact and assistance to better succeed while the vendors benefit from invaluable trust and better knowledge of their customers.

And who says more links, often says more to accompany, and of satisfaction ! (And therefore potential recommendations!) Because let’s not forget, there will never be a better marketing than that of a satisfied customer.

Without social proof or referrals, you’re going to have to generate interest through marketing . Here is my take on the subject: Marketing is the new sale.

Marketing is the new sale

Of course, this is not to say that one is more important than the other, although marketing has matured over the years and plays an important role, both in sales and in the commercial function.

Let’s take an example to illustrate all this, golf.

Ideally, you’ll want to put the ball in the hole in one hit to win, although that isn’t possible in the vast majority of cases. You will therefore have to leave the ball as close to the hole as possible to be sure you can get it in during the second putt, a matter of probability …

Think of marketing as that “first shot”, where you ideally want to put the ball in the hole, but in case you miss it, you want to leave it as close as possible so that you can hit it in the hole on the next shot. !

Indeed you could put the ball in the hole on the first shot (so close a sale through marketing campaigns ), but this way you would mostly risk stepping away from the target and not closing the sale. approach message presented above)

Therefore, your probability of success will be much better if you choose instead to approach the ball as close to the hole as possible! Then to operate it simply (equivalent to the award of a “hot” marketing prospect to a sales team).

Here, the sells are the part that hits the ball close to the hole and ends the game, basically it is to bring this hot prospect to sign a contract.

What I’m trying to say through this metaphor is that when you think about the lead generation via LinkedIn , or some other type of social selling, think of it from a marketing for sale perspective, as opposed to the direct sale .

As in golf, you will probably have to play one more stroke, but your success rate will increase drastically!

For that, we will have to break down the marketing-sales process, and structure it with steps to follow, without ever trying to take a shortcut … at the risk of losing the deal.

One thing is certain: the prospecting on LinkedIn has new advantages, and that is why it is the channel more and more used in outbound marketing ( Outbound marketing ).

This makes it possible to obtain a quick engagement , with a structured sales approach based on timeless fundamentals such as the AIDA coupled with a modern systemic approach.

You may know them, these processes are often referred to as “ conversion tunnels “(in funnel English), they will be the backbone and foundation of the converting as many prospects as possible into customers during a successful social selling approach on LinkedIn.

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