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Time To Move Up From the Worn-Out Sales Brochure

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I got another one of those calls the other day. . ."Can you make me a brochure?" Many business owners have been sold on the notion that they need a tri-fold brochure or they are not in business. Forget it...everybody's got one and no one uses it.

Your potential clients need an education. They need to know how you are different. (The typical tri-fold brochure simply confirms that you are the same.)

Every small business should create the following pieces of information and format them in a way that allows them be printed inexpensively and updated often. I like to call this approach, the Marketing Kit. Your marketing kit starts with several professionally printed pieces that are the framework for up to 10 or 12 different educational documents. The core components are:

  1. A pocket folder - A multi-use workhorse, this piece alone, if designed well, can send the message that you are in business to stay. (This one will cost a little but it has many uses)
  2. A marketing kit template page- This should be a professionally printed piece that carries your logo and contact information but is different than your letterhead. This is the base piece for the pages described below that insert into your pocket folder. (Your actual marketing files can be MSWord type documents that are laser printed. This gives you the ability to change and update your content and also allows you to tailor your marketing kit content to specific prospects.)
Some combination of the following pages should be created for your marketing kit.

  • The Difference Page - Hit them with how you are different and shower them with benefits of doing business with you. Don't tell them what you do. I like to keep this one to the top 3 or 4 things that you do that your target market will value. Think benefits that are unique.
  • Deeper Differences - Now take each core difference and tell the reader in greater detail why and how that difference is important.
  • A list of services/products - Okay, now tell them what you do or what you offer.
  • Deeper Product/Service Descriptions - Go into detail on each of your product or service offering.
  • Case Studies - Pick representative clients or industries and outline how your product or service solved someone else's challenge. People learn in different ways and case studies allow them to see themselves getting relief. I think this format works well. State the situation, the problem, your solution, the result. Over time you can collect more and more of these and draw upon the ones that fit an industry or problem that in relevant to your prospect.
  • Testimonials - Get quotes from real live clients and create a page titled - "See what others have to say about us." These quotes can be some of the strongest selling tools you have. New technologies make it easy to create audio and video testimonials too.
  • Client List - In some cases, just simply listing who else you do business with can present a compelling case.
  • Process Description - Show them how you do what you do. Create detailed checklist and flow charts that show them how you keep your promise. In many cases you have these anyway but by making them part of your marketing you can demonstrate how much more professional your organization is. These also help you justify why you charge a premium for your services. Many people underestimate how much really goes into delivering a quality product or service. So show them.
  • Your Story - Many companies have interesting or even gut wrenching histories. Tell them your story in an open, honest, and entertaining way and you will win their hearts as well as their heads.
  • All of the above pieces can, in many cases, be word processed files that are laser printed onto the template I described above. You can learn even more about how to use this unique tool here

    This format allow for very inexpensive printing and a great deal of flexibility when you need to update, change or even personalize your magnificent marketing materials.

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Brian Price, executive director of marketing

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