Sy Syms, the discount retailer who owned scores of clothing stores in the northeastern United States, and who had many hundreds of thousands of customers, had a saying which everyone who sells for a living should know: An educated consumer is our best customer.
What did Sy Syms mean by that? Did he mean that he wanted only those customers who had studied at Harvard and had gotten a Fulbright scholarship to Cambridge?
That’s not what he meant at all. He meant that the more your customer relies on you for understanding and advice, the more business she will do with you.
A well-designed brochure can be a great way to keep your customer educated about your business. Here are five great tips which will help you do what Sy Syms did: educate your customers and make them customers for life!
- Focus on one big idea and as few smaller ideas as necessary. No need to sell your entire product line off of one brochure. Pick the one product or service that most people are interested in, and work on just that one. Let the potential customer know what else you do and give them plenty of contact information so they can get to your website and find out more.
- Take a complex issue and simplify it. Perhaps you talk to all of your potential customers about the same complex issues. What your clients are looking for are solutions. You can design a brochure which addresses one or more of these issues by the use of charts, texts, and graphs. Leaving it with each customer after having met with her is a great reference tool and ensures that your key points are not forgotten after the meeting is over.
- Make sure the front panel of your brochure raises an issue of interest to your potential customer. The front panel is your “front door”. You want to make sure that it has impact, that it raises curiosity. The ideal response to your front panel should be “I was wondering about this issue (product, service) just the other day. Maybe this will answer my questions.”
- Update your customers on new developments in your field. New developments, new approaches, new information…new brochure! Don’t let your information stagnate and become out-of-date. If there have been significant developments in your field, revise your brochures. Sure, it will cost some money, but what value to you are documents which contain information which is no longer relevant?
- Use a brochure to build real trust and loyalty. In the movie Miracle on 34th Street, the salespeople at Macy’s would send their customers to Gimbel’s if Gimbel’s had something Macy’s didn’t have. Why would they do something so seemingly counterproductive? Because it built trust and credibility. If one of your competitors performs some function related to your business – something which you don’t do much of – letting your customer know about it will earn you some loyalty, and that’s always good for business.