Giving out a brochure can indicate:
“I don’t have the time to talk to you. Here, take this. It will tell you all you need to know.”
You haven’t asked enough questions or listened to your customers needs, so they tell you they want to think about it. Your response, give them a brochure!
You are scared of your customers or lack knowledge about your products and services, so the easy way out is to hand them a brochure.
I am not against brochures, used correctly they are a great sales tool. Even in this e-commerce era, brochures have an important role to play. And the money spent on them is completely wasted if they are left under the counter and don’t get into the customers’ hands. So, ‘Yes’ you do need to give them out.
However, what I am against is handing them out without personalising them for each customer. This is something that is almost impossible to do cost effectively in a large mailout or letterbox drop, but face-to-face it can be done when you take a customer focussed approach.
Abuse your brochures
You can disfigure your lovely glossy brochure before allowing the customer to head off with it. There is a good reason why you should do this. You do it to personalise information for the customer and remind them of the key points that matter to them.
My favourite tool for this is a yellow highlighter. Use it to mark the key things that matter to this particular customer or to the person they are going to discuss the potential purchase with. That way these points will jump out at them.
Dealing with reverse type and glossy brochures
Bright highlighters often don’t show up well on gloss finishes or where there is a lot of reverse type. In these situations use a pen and underline or put an asterisk next to the key points that are of importance to the customer.
Let me illustrate this for you
Picture the situation. There have been a number of burglaries in your area so you are in the market for security screens and a security door. You get information from three suppliers and intend discussing the pros and cons of each with your partner.
Your partner’s main concern is the cost, even though they agree that family safety is the priority. You are also concerned about whether the security screens will darken the rooms or are unsightly and how hard they are to clean. You asked each sales rep about this, but now when you look at the brochures it’s hard to find the relevant information. This means that it’s a challenge to get your partner to look beyond the cheapest price.
Let’s say that one of the salespeople highlight the section of the brochure that discusses these points and writes alongside something else you’d mentioned that may be an issue for your partner. Instead of racking your brain to recall what the salesperson said (and even which salesperson said it); it jumps out at you from the page. You’ve done your research, you know what you are talking about and now the second sale takes place as you win over your partner.
What about email?
If you are going to email a brochure or provide a link to it at your website, use a similar process to focus your customers on the points that matter to them. For example, “If you turn to page 2 in the second paragraph you will see that it explains… the other thing you particularly liked about the XYZ model is covered in points two and three on page 5.”
You are now making it easy for the person to locate the specific information that mattered to them. With an attachment or in the information in the body of your email, you can also use the yellow highlighter facility in the same way as you would with a printed brochure.
Pretty brochures don’t win you more business. Specific information that matters to your customers and reminds them that your products and services have the solutions that they require is what wins more business. Make it easy for prospective customers to contact you and always follow up.
Jurek Leon is a storyteller, trainer and coach who presents courses and addresses seminars on word of mouth marketing, motivation, customer focussed selling and managing the customer experience. Subscribe to Jurek’s FREE monthly ‘Terrific Tips’ e-newsletter www.terrifictrading.com. Alternatively, email firstname.lastname@example.org.