Brochure Selling?!

I had an interesting email the other day from a member of our sales community. She asked me if it is “normal” to not leave brochures with a client. Now, apart from the general fact that I don’t think we can decide what is normal, I responded that I have several schools of thought on this. My thinking is part of how I was raised in sales. Brochures and other documentation are a part of any sales call. They do not replace the sales rep and are not to be overly relied on!

I firmly believe that as we move from tactical to more solution-oriented and complex selling, the brochure becomes less relevant and essentially moot. As the product or service being sold becomes more complex, the sales campaign is longer and becomes more discovery-, relationship-, and conversation-based. Brochures become adjunct and not core to the sales effort. If you are selling a more tactical product, such as a copier, then you may use brochures to help support the story. I certainly did when I was at Xerox.

One thing I do know is that if you are leaving your clients with nothing for them to refer to after you go, you will not help your sales campaign. Brochures become very useful in this case. I think the sales community as a whole sometimes needs to be reminded that we have to rely on our contacts to sell for us in the account – they have to act as our proxy. Use brochures smartly and carefully. They cannot replace a well-informed and trained sales professional who takes the time to listen to his or her clients.

6 thoughts on “Brochure Selling?!”

  1. Todd-

    I actually get this and does make me think that at times I have relied to much on the brochure. When can I “get off” the brochure”..?

  2. I think think you have to make sure you have confidence in your products AND you take the time to build a relationship and do good sales discovery. That is how you create great sales calls. Then the brochure becomes secondary. YOU and your client are primary!

  3. Level plays a role here. If you are calling on a C-level executive, a pre-printed brochure or product spec sheet will probably do more harm than good. What would be effective with a C-level is third party material which validates your value proposition. Examples would be WSJ/Fortune/Forbes articles, Gartner or other consultant research , or Wall St. analyst research.

  4. Their is certainly a balance but remember that approximately 80% of people are visual learners, not auditory learners. They only remember what they can see, even if it’s only the name of your product. Too many of us enjoy the notion that we are great conversationalists but the reality is that we need to sell the customer the way that the customer learns best. I say err on the side of using visuals.

  5. I think brochures are great for people to leave with the prospect after you have gone over the product in full detail with he or she. I am learning from my research and through trial and error that people are buying/setting appointments with me more from my body language and how I will treat and service the client in the future. I am still in the learning process and found this article helpful.

  6. Geoff-

    Welcome to the ToddCohen.com Blog! You research sounds like it is paying off. The bottom line is that brochures will not make the sale. They support and help the sales campaign. You are correct-how you treat your client makes the difference. They buy “you”-don’t forget that.

    Good Selling!

    -Todd

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