Are Sales Brochures Passe’?
By Jeff Davidson
A standard, hard copy brochure is still a viable sales tool that serves many purposes, including offering an introduction and an overall picture of your products and related services. Beyond typical customers or prospective customers, the brochure also delivers a message to a variety of people: prospective employees, peers, and vendors.
To produce an effective brochure budget enough time – the greatest faux pas in producing a brochure is to work under an unrealistic time table. After establishing your best estimate of how long it will take from initial concept to finished product, multiply that by two. Murphy’s primary law, “anything that can go wrong will go wrong,” unfailingly applies to the process of developing a brochure. Between drafts of various copies, edits, and re-much time can be eaten up.
What the Brochure is Not
It is unlikely that your brochure, no matter how expertly designed and tailored to your targeted customers, will, of itself, bring them in. Consider it an information tool, a door-opener, or a start-off piece – but not a sales closer.
Here’s a quick look of what your brochure should not be:
* A laundry list of every product you offer
* An enduring work of art
* A stand alone marketing tool, apart from other marketing tools
* A substitute for effective personal selling
Variation on a Theme
One innovative sales outfit in Charlotte developed a brochure from the customer’s perspective. Dominating the front and several inside pages, customer experiences with the company were presented in their own terms, in elaborate detail.
The testimonials themselves varied in length between 65 and 300 words. The use of quotes, pictures of the customers, and their reprinted signatures following their testimony made for a vibrant, innovative marketing tool. For reinforcement, a similar version was posted on the web.
In selecting these clients and soliciting their participation in production of the brochure, the company chose customers who were geographically spread out throughout the area, thus indicating the desired trade radius, and who had been customers from between last week and two years.
Though it may seem as if producing this type of brochure requires considerable effort, actually each of the testimonials were garnered in less than three days, then edited and proofed. Overall, the brochure proved to be a compelling, unique publication that fit nicely with the company’s overall sales effectiveness.