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BETTER BUSINESS


The Science of Successful Brochure and Website Writing Marketing Matters By Phil Turtle, Managing Director, Turtle Consulting


How often have you read a potential supplier’s sales brochure or website and thought “Oh, that was interesting... not.” How often has it made you yawn because it’s so dry and boring, or all about their factory and not about your problems, and then consigned it to the large round file on the floor? Is this a familiar scenario? Yes,


because most copywriters compose their brochures from their company’s point of view, not from that of their prospect.


Directing traffic to your website or getting your brochure into the hands of potential customers is only half the battle. Having momentarily attracted their attention, you must hold it long enough to convince them to take action.


The A4 sales person


Reflect for a moment on the purpose of a sales brochure or website. It is there to perform a selling function, and in most cases it must do this when there is no sales person accompanying it. We can assume that if your target


or prospect has taken the trouble to leaf through your brochure or browse through your website, you have momentarily grabbed their attention. If the brochure is merely scanned and then dropped into the bin or a filing tray, or the website is clicked away from, you have just lost a sales opportunity. Taking a structured approach can


make it easier to write compelling sales copy. If you have ever had the benefit of any formal sales training, you will already know the magic formula. This same prescription can be applied just as effectively to copywriting.


1. Identify with your prospect 2. Answer his/her questions 3. Knock down any objections 4. Close the sale Identify with your prospect


First of all, realise that your reader


thinks of themselves as a single unique person. Don’t refer to ‘the customer’ in your writing - talk to him/her in the first person singular. And talk - use the same emotional language that you would person to person. Don’t start with a history of your company. Paint a picture that makes your reader think “Hey, this is about me. They’re talking my language, they understand my problems.” By doing so, you immediately engender the opinion that you understand their needs and problems.


42 NETCOMMS europe Volume II, Issue 1 2011 Close the sale


This is usually the part of selling that people dislike the most. It seems that most people just don’t like to ask for the order. But as my grandmother taught me, “if you don’t ask, you don’t get.” So, having just persuaded your


prospect that your service or left-handed widget really is the best thing since sliced bread, we can either let them do nothing, file the brochure and leave your website, or we can get them to take some form of action.


Turtle’s Top Tips:


• Use headings and sub-heads. Your reader can use these to dip straight into their own areas of interest.


•Use short sentences. Don’t be afraid to occasionally treat a phrase as though it were a sentence. It makes more impact.


•Never make your reader have to read a sentence twice. Replace difficult words with easy words.


•Avoid acronyms. If you must use them, write their meaning in full at their first appearance, with the initials immediately after in brackets.


•Remember that you and your company are not the targets of your brochure. Only let the directors comment on technical and commercial accuracy – not


on style and grammar. Answer their questions


If you’ve done your homework before starting to write, you will have developed a sketch of your target person. You should be able to work out what your readers’ problems are, and what they need to know about how you can solve them.


Knock down objections


This part is not easy, but be honest with yourself. What factors will put your prospective purchaser off? Bite the bullet and tell them why these are not reasons not to buy. Turn these negatives into positives. If you need help, talk to one of your sales people - they combat the same set of objections in virtually every sales negotiation they conduct. Find out how they combat them and then write your copy the same way.


Finish your brochure with a call to action. On your website, try to get the reader to fill in a very simple contact form. Tell your reader that your brochure/


website has only been able to tell him a small part of the story. Persuade them to email a response back to you asking for more information. Do this, and you will have a warm lead to pass to your sales force. Better still, suggest that they phone and speak to a technical advisor - don’t say salesperson! If they do this, you’ve got a seriously hot lead. Congratulations, you have now


created the main ingredient of an ‘A4, full colour glossy sales person’ instead of another pointless brochure or worthless website.


www.netcommseurope.com


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