Do you have a supply closet full of brochures and marketing collateral in your office? If so, I have a challenge for you: throw them away.
Brochures and sales sheets don’t help the sales process. They don’t make it easier for your customers to buy. They don’t solve problems.
Brochures are sales crutches. They prop up weak salespeople and indistinguishable brands.
Brochures Delay “No”
Every warning bell should be ringing if you hear a customer say, “Send me your literature.”
Some salespeople misinterpret these requests for information as signals that the customer is interested and ready to buy. The reality is much different. “Send me more information” is a nice way of saying, “Thanks, but no thanks.”
Nobody likes to say no. It’s uncomfortable. It feels rude to tell an eager salesperson you’re not interested in them or their services. So customers look to softer ways to deflect the sales process.
Asking for a brochure is a soft commitment that doesn’t really mean anything.
Make Salespeople Sell
A salesperson’s job is not to convince and cajole a customer into buying. Their job is to find and solve a problem — acquiring the customer is the result of that process.
The brochure is a distraction. Make the salesperson actually do their job:
- Prospect and discover opportunities
- Qualify fit and interest
- Demonstrate capabilities and prove the value of your services
- Negotiate and close
An attractive marketing kit may be a nice leave behind, but it doesn’t create value. It doesn’t answer questions. It doesn’t discover needs. It doesn’t demonstrate capabilities.
Brochures Slow Down Sales
If for no other reason, get rid of brochures because they slow down sales.
Every time a salesperson sends out a brochure they slow down the sales process. First it takes a few days for the marketing kit to arrive at the customer’s office. Then the sales rep follows up with a call a week later to see if the package arrived. Best case scenario the salesperson gets the customer on the phone and they schedule next steps. But the more likely scenario is the call hits voicemail and phone tag begins.
Meanwhile, the competitor that didn’t use a brochure has already qualified the prospect. The competitor knows if there is a real opportunity, and is scheduling presentations or delivering quotes. They achieve a significant advantage in the sales process.
The simple act of sending a brochure can cost you a sale.
Throw Away the Brochures
There aren’t many scenarios I can see where salespeople need brochures. Send the customer to your website if they want more information. Or better yet, sell. Figure out what the customer needs and work to solve the problem.
You don’t need a glossy marketing kit to solve customer problems or differentiate your brand.