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Company Brochures: Tell Your Story

4 Aug, 2005 By: Ian Crockett imageSource

Company Brochures: Tell Your Story

Salespeople love to tell stories. They can
weave a tale around the features and benefits of a product that will have
prospects wondering how they ever lived without it. They can make your service
organization sound like a cross between Nordstrom and the Ritz-Carlton.

The question is, however, are they telling the correct stories, especially when
it comes to your dealership? Are your salespeople making too many promises and
creating unreasonable expectations for your service and administration people?
Are they focusing too much on the price story instead of a value/ongoing cost of
operation story?

The simple answer is most dealers and sales managers have no idea what stories
are being told when a salesperson is out in the field and a nice commission
check is in the balance. That is, unless, your salespeople are provided with a
high-quality, well-thought out company brochure.

I’ve rarely walked into a dealership and seen a nicely designed, well-written
brochure that discusses the features, advantages and benefits of your business.
Every dealer should invest in some type of formal sales collateral in support of
their salespeoples’ efforts. It’s the one area in which short cuts need to be
avoided. You’re only cheating yourself when you try to save a few bucks,
particularly when a strong corporate brochure can help win multiple machine

There are several types of corporate brochures. There’s the four-panel,
six-panel or the 8-12-page bound brochure. With the continuing changes in
technology, dealers can have a high-quality corporate folder preprinted and then
have a series of additional product sheets that get reproduced when needed
discussing the technology you’re trying to sell.

As a dealership grows, the concept of a corporate brochure becomes more
important. Management wants a story told that’s consistent with the brand and
overall business objectives. The only way to do that is give the sales force a
road map. Copy that includes bullet points has always been my favorite style
because it allows the salesperson to have some flexibility and tell stories
around certain points.

In using the term road map, I mean a lay out that has a starting point and a
predetermined sequence. If you don’t want your salespeople discussing the
equipment until later in their presentation, don’t make it the first section.

Your brochure may want to be broken down into:

• A brief history of the company

• The company’s mission

• Needs analysis program

• How the equipment will be supported

• Any guarantees your company provides

• Types of customer service technology your company has invested in

• The hardware and the various service options available

• A summary of a few customer testimonials as a proof source

In addition, most dealers have a value added story they tell when they’re in
front of customers. However, most dealer principals and sales managers can no
longer be in on every deal. But that story needs to be told to the customer and
it needs to be prominent.

This takes on greater importance if a dealer has a high profile due to
advertising. Nothing is worse than having a great service/solutions-oriented
message in your advertising to differentiate you in the marketplace and then
have a salesperson be in front of a prospect and talk only equipment and price.
Savvy customers don’t want to buy on price.

A quality corporate brochure will also help recruit better salespeople. The best
in the business want to work for companies that support their efforts. Being
able to show them a quality corporate piece during an interview gives you a
considerable advantage over your competitor who will give them a stack of
business cards and say, “Go get ‘em.”

Manufacturers can also be discussed in a brochure if co-op is an issue or if
you’re proud of your manufacturer affiliation. Keeping the copy generic is OK
since I like these to have at least a three-year shelf life.

As I indicated earlier, this should be a significant investment. Spending $3
each for 5,000 printed brochures and corporate folders is a reasonable
expectation. Of course, the prices go down dramatically as quantities increase.

I’m not real big on the business card CDs or even PowerPoint presentations. They
take away the required interaction between the salesperson and prospect that
establishes rapport. Multi-page bound presentation proposals are nice, but
everyone does them so there’s no uniqueness.

In my opinion, take the dollars spent on binding machines and the novelty pieces
and put them toward a professionally designed and well-written corporate
brochure. If you think you have a good story, tell it and make sure everyone on
your team is passing it on.

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