In our continued series of excuses for not getting the order, this is the 97th excuse. This excuse comes from both new and senior sales people. “We do not have enough sales literature or the right kind.”
When you hear this justification you might want to take a second look at the salesperson. One of the key ingredients of a successful sales person is their creativity. When you couple that with the digital age, the excuse does not hold much credibility.
It has always been my opinion that I want to leave something behind and/or send an email follow up regarding the presentation I just made. Most of the time, it was a customized piece that I scribbled on paper and then asked the design team to develop and fine tune. I often used freelance graphic artists for this. I would develop several different sales literature pieces to fit the circumstances that I needed.
Recently, I was assisting an organization with the launch of a product line that was not inexpensive, and had a lot of features and benefits for a large national chain. We needed to develop a packet of training information for the sales team, to train the store personnel in 17 seminars throughout the USA. This was at a cost to the company of a minimum of $30,000 in fees and related travel expenses.
All the literature that was available and that they were going to use was aimed at the features of the product and contained nothing about the benefits of the features. The store associates that they were going to train would be selling to consumers who really want to know the benefits of the features. There was nothing that the company had, no literature or brochure, that addressed the benefits!
We developed a brochure that addressed the features and described the benefits to the consumer. We wrote out the features and benefits, cutting and pasting from their existing sales literature. We hired a freelance graphic artist for $200 to make it look professional and then had it printed at a local print shop. We printed up 2,500 of these brochures (we were going to be training a minimum of 2,000 sales associates) and we had a total cost of less than $500 for this.
The sales team started to do the seminars, and the feedback that they got from the associates was tremendous. The associates felt it was simple and to the point and answered the questions the consumer has about the product. Many sales associates asked if they could have a supply of these so they could give them to the consumer when they were discussing the product.
Several surprising things came out of this:
a. The sales associates asked why the other companies giving the seminars did not have literature like this, so simple and to the point for the consumer.
b. Several of the associates contacted the sales team weeks after the seminar and told them that the brochures we had given them often helped to close the sales to the consumer.
If your sales teams are really professionals, give them guidance and assistance to create a brochure that not only fits the situation but their style of selling as well. It can be a brochure that is left behind, or it can be emailed as a follow up.
The small business owner can easily solve this problem and very inexpensively as well.