Customer interest is crucial to the sales process. Gaining attention can be done in the initial stages but interest in the product needs to be maintained throughout the sales process. Once you have gone through the process of gaining customer attention, maintaining customer interest and then kindling desire is important.
There are numerous techniques for maintaining customer interest towards the product mainly depending on the technicality of the product. One of the major reasons for using such sales techniques is to induce desire in the prospect which ultimately results in action as mentioned in the AIDAS theory.
1) Present yourself as a professional –
Besides the basics of personality and communication of a sales persons, the most commonly used techniques is to maintain catalogues, brochures or some presentable material. In highly technical products, sales persons carry their laptops along with presentations as well as technical data to answer any queries on the spot. This helps in maintaining customer interest.
2) Catch hints –
The prospect himself drops hints during the opening stage and a smart sales person should catch those hints. Such as if you have a portfolio of 4 products, the customer might ask a question on 1 of those products. This might mean he has an above average interest in that 1 product and the sales person can than start the pitch by showing the advantages of that single product. A sales method used especially by a shoe salesmen.
3) Probe / Ask the prospect questions –
Probing is a very important technique. Clear out his attitude towards you product and than proceed with your presentation. Your questions should be smart and should answer basics like Does he need your products? Does he have a preference for any specific product? Has he used your kind product before? Has he heard about your product? etc. These questions can help you determine how much convincing you need to do.
A sales person needs to understand basics such as customer motivation, body cues, hostility, understandibility as well as customer preferences to maintain interest towards the product. Customer interest is an integral part of the AIDAS theory of selling.