How to Cure Brochure Boredom

By Beacon Staff

One of the ways I find new businesses to help is by picking up brochure while I’m in their business, or when I see them around town.

Brochures are your little sales dudes, sitting there on the counter, trying to get a date (generate interest enough to make a sale).

They’re critical. They introduce your company to someone when you can’t be there. They aren’t just a tri-fold piece of paper you printed out of Microsoft Publisher just because you know you need one.

What’s that little dude saying for you?

Is he calling out to a prospective customer with interesting, timely information? Or is he putting the prospect to sleep?

What do I mean by timely? Is the info presented at the proper time? “Is it saying the right thing at the right time in the buying process?” Is the message of interest at the time that your prospect sees it? Or is the message wrong for that point in time?

Think about the car wash. Do you get asked if you want the hot wax just before you hop back into your car, or do they ask before your car gets washed? A simple example, but imagine how your brochure could present an ill-timed message, similar to offering hot wax as you get into your car.

The other day I found a brochure for a health-related business. It seemed to be focused entirely on discounts, discounts, discounts.

Not solutions. Discounts.

Anyone want to buy a discount? I don’t think so.

Sure, people are interested in saving money wherever they can right now – but they’re looking for solutions to their problems, not discounts. Discounts, if you need them, come later in the process.

On the inside, there’s a list of products and photos containing a bunch of technical medical lingo. All the product info was clearly straight out of the wholesale or dealer catalog.

Nothing for the patient who isn’t a doctor.

Yet this brochure was sitting at the “Place an order” window at a pharmacy inside a grocery store. Clearly, it was pointed at the consumer, not the trained health care professional.

So why did they include gobs of obscure medical lingo that most patients aren’t going to get?

Zzzzzzzzz.

As you’d expect, there were a few positives. One that is smart to include but needed some work was a section where they answered the obvious question: Why should someone buy this stuff from them?

Here’s the list, paraphrased:

  • We want to sell you the stuff you need at the best price.
  • We want you to have a choice of brands/products.
  • We carry all kinds of stuff at lower prices.
  • We are owned by someone who has been working in this field for umpteen years. (good point, needs emphasis)
  • We deliver (useful and important).
  • We offer internet pricing but we’re a local business (good point, needs some work).
  • We can deal with your insurance company. (very important)

What in that list would make you change where you buy prescriptions, health care products and equipment, services or anything else health related?

To me, three things stood out:

  • Their experience
  • The fact that they deliver.
  • The fact that they handle the insurance.

Think about what your clients want, not just what they need. Think about the biggest problem the prospect is dealing with that you can solve. Is it front and center on your sales materials?

It should be.

People want someone who knows their stuff. No one buys brain surgery from the low bidder.

They want someone who will hand everything to them on a silver platter, in other words, without a bunch of hassles, paperwork and annoyance. They’d be happy to never again have to deal with insurance forms and 27 phone calls to someone’s call center.

They want to deal with someone who treats them like a family member would. They want to be able to depend on you like they would a favorite uncle, even if they are cynical enough to expect that you won’t.

Are your sales materials providing people with the timely information that they need at that time to proceed to the next step in the buying process?

Want to learn more about Mark or ask him to write about a business, operations or marketing problem? See Mark’s site or contact him at mriffey@flatheadbeacon.com.

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