Ever wondered how the “big hitters” in your industry generate seven figure incomes? It isn’t by selling alone. Even if you’ve perfected the perfect product, created a one-of-a-kind service, or are dedicated to your cause, how have they motivated the world to sit up and pay attention?
They market themselves like crazy! Only you can create awareness of your company, products and services with clever marketing materials, unique ways to distribute them and techniques to open doors to customers that will have them saying, “We just have to have them!”
Why a Marketing Kit?
Webster defines marketing as “the ability to attract a buyer if offered for sale.” The word “attract” is important here, because most people are visual. Time and time again in sales and marketing, we realize a powerful influence: The visual overwhelms the verbal. That’s why, when expressing this to clients and prospects, we often use phrases such as, “People think with their eyes” and “People hear what they see.”
We choose visual clues presented to us by customers and clients that make us appear competent. Visual clues work. We can listen to stories of your company’s success or remarks from a happy client, but if we can see what you have to offer, we’re more likely to make a purchase.
The first step towards creating the visual is to put together a “knock your socks off” Marketing Kit. Why? Because long after you’ve left the building, your prospect or client can feel, touch, smell, shake and share a well put-together Marketing Kit. Marketing Kits have legs.
What’s in a Marketing Kit?
Most sales people are selling the wrong thing. They are selling features, benefits and God forbid, price. What should they be selling? Their story, and their company’s story. Stories are the way the human animal learns. We saw stories all the way back to biblical times, to Jesus, Moses and Muhammad. One of our Presidents, Ronald Reagan was called “The Great Communicator” because of the stories he told. We grew up listening to fairy tales and Aesop’s Fables.
Why are stories valuable? Because they touch our emotions, capture our hearts and spur us to take action. So the first thing in your Marketing Kit should be your company’s story: why did the company get started; what amazing things have happened to past clients and customers as a result of your product or service; who will I meet or be allowed to interact with if I join your Club or start doing business with your company? Learn to tell your story, and tell it well.
How Can I Tell My Story?
Create a brochure that covers a broad range of your company’s products and services. Who are you? Why did you go into business? How long have you been in business? What makes you unique? What are existing clients and customers saying about you? Who should we contact?
Your brochure or brochures should be brilliant in color and photography. They should capture action, results and strong testimonials. They can be as simple as a “One Sheet”—a glossy 8 ½ by 11 front and back marketing piece—or as fancy as a tri-fold. Ideally, you have two brochures: one that does describe your features and benefits, but another that tells the story of yourself or your company through the eyes of the employees.
You can continue to tell your story by including the Biography of yourself, your executives and your Founder. Biographies should be more than just the facts: they should be an opportunity to spin a tale about how you or your employees have come to where you are.
The final piece in crafting your story is from the eyes of happy customers. Choose your testimonials wisely, and if you don’t have any, go after them. Contact past clients and if necessary, volunteer to craft the testimonial yourself and submit it to them for approval, editing and correction. You’ll be surprised how many customers will take what you’ve drafted and change it completely, providing you with an even better and stronger endorsement than you came up with yourself.
The actual folder in which you will include your marketing pieces (brochure, biographies, testimonials, business cards, etc) should be custom designed to let your customers and prospects know: we spend money to make money. Investing in a unique pocket folder with a matching envelope should be your top priority. You are competing with hundreds, maybe thousands of other companies and individuals who do exactly what you do or something similar. When your Marketing Kit lands on the desk of a prospective CEO, you want him or her to stop what they’re doing, open the package and say, “Wow. This is amazing.”
Finally, in addition to having a coordinated Marketing Kit with a “knock your socks off” folder and attention-grabbing envelope in which to deliver it, should be any media pieces you or your company have generated about your business. If you get an article in a magazine or newspaper, have it reprinted on the highest possible quality paper, with the name of the magazine/newspaper and date visible as to its currency. Make it a goal to obtain at least one interview or if necessary, write your own article and submit it to industry-related publications and newsletters.
Am I Done Yet?
Marketing Kits are a great way to include either a book written by you or one of your employees, or the complete history of your company as a gift to your prospect. Again, you want your image to say, “I’ve invested in you. Now you come invest with me.” If you don’t have a book, create a unique marketing piece that can grab someone’s attention. Even your business cards can be used as a promotional piece for your company.
So the next time you and your staff are hosting a marketing meeting or sales conference, take a good hard look at what you’ve been sending your customers. If it doesn’t “knock their socks off,” it’s time to dial it up and change your image. I’ll see you at the bank.
About the Author
Christine K. Clifford, CSP is the author of eight books including YOU, Inc. The Art of Selling Yourself, and the CEO/President of Christine Clifford Enterprises. She helps companies and individuals craft their story and designs “knock your socks off” Media Kits for companies, individuals and entertainers. Visit www.christineclifford.com or email her at Christine@ChristineClifford.com. Don’t forget to ask! ™