Selling and advertising are two extremely complex disciplines and I wouldn’t want to mislead you into thinking one article could get your knowledge up to scratch. What we can do in one article is introduce you to some established models that are used by the best in the world daily in marketing and selling. While I normally stress the difference between marketing and selling for the purposes of this discussion I will use the two interchangeably. If you do your marketing right, especially in this modern digital world it can do the selling for you. These models are used by the professionals and you can see examples of them daily if you know what to look for
The AIDA model is a classic of sales letters and broadcast commercials. Attention, Interest, Desire and Action are what the letters stand for. Basically you solicit the attention of the prospect through a question or call out such as “Are you tired of your white laundry not coming out white?”. Then pick their interest through preferring a solution such as “the new startupbiz washing powder for whites will solve the problem”. Then create desire by letting them know how the product achieves this and finally close with a call to action to buy the product and bonus points for including price and place. This model is best used when you have ample time and space to express yourself in words.
BFA stands for Benefit Feature and Advantage. Its a model you will have encountered many times and is useful in shorter form advertising. Its great for graphic ads and short video or audio commercials. Statements like “The new Startupbiz washing powder will make your laundry days a pleasure (benefit) thanks to its active Zimbabwean enzymes (feature) which make your whites 50% whiter. Just be sure to link the benefit to a relevant feature and advantage pairing.
Another model another acronym. The SPIN model leads with customer situations rather than their specific needs. Situation, Problem, Implication, and Need-Payoff. This starts by identifying a painful situation usually backed up by a statistic. This statistic highlights the problem. The implication of staying in the situation is the next step of this model. Finally the need is established and instantaneously the product is offered as a payoff to that need. Think of advertising for insurance or health products, they do this very well .
The snap model is more of a play on positioning but it still qualifies as an established marketing model. SNAP stands for Simple, iNvaluable, Aligned and Priority. The way it works is presenting your product as a simple answer to the day to day life of the customer. It works really well with luxury products like smart watches which very few people needed but they are marketed based on how easily they fit into your life. Invaluable is evidenced by the ubiquitousness of these devices offering you step count, heart rate, blood pressure, blood oxygen, sleep tracking and more. The product is then connected to overarching but usually non specific goals you have like being healthier or losing weight. Finally having the information the smart watch provides is placed as a priority in your life.
The BANT model is useful in interactive circumstances like face to face selling and also for complex situations like business to business (B2B) sales. Essentially in the BANT approach your are assessing the prospect. Budget, Authority, Need and Timing are what the letters stand for. If you’ve ever worked in a company that works with big organisations or government departments the steps will make sense to you. You will quickly want to qualify the prospect making sure they have both the budget and the authority to proceed. These are your two biggest hurdles and BANT gets them out of the way first. If you’re offering a wide range of products you get through these before establishing the product they will eventually settle on. Next is the needs assessment and finally the timing of the deal. If you work in an industry with plenty red tape this can help you out.
The NEAT is sort of the antithesis of the BANT model. As you should grasp by now BANT selling assesses customer need only in the third step. NEAT stands for Need, Economic Impact, Authority and Timing . NEAT is very useful in setups such as consultancy. Customer needs cannot be ascertained without thorough examination of the client. The economic impact is then outlined to the client. This usually includes the opportunity cost of not taking on the engagement as well. After establishing the economic impact the next step is to ensure authority is in agreement with the plan. Finally the salesperson will set a timeline and solidify the order.
Depending on your line of business and type of customer you will find a combination of models that work for you. I encourage you to do some deeper research into them to understand their application.