Following are some key points to remember when designing your own sales collateral:
Distinguish Your Company From the Competition
Competition is inevitable and that's why it's important to understand the dynamics and target markets of your primary competitors. Knowing their strengths and weaknesses arms you with the ability to position yourself uniquely. You can turn their weaknesses into your strengths and further build upon what you can offer customers. For example, if customer service is important to your potential customers and your competition makes no mention of it throughout their literature, you can gain advantage by creating a brochure that specifically addresses the types of services and programs you offer to deliver stellar service. Sales collateral, created with this research in mind, can help promote your company's image, goals, professionalism and direction. Brochures, information sheets and company backgrounders can increase your company profile when distributed at sales meetings or conventions.
Types of Sales Collateral
There are many types of sales collateral that can be used to market your company. Sales collateral can include a range of documents, including brochures, product sheets, postcards, posters, banners, etc. The trick is producing the documents that best fit your needs. For example, with Hewlett-Packard's new DeskJet 1000C color inkjet printer, you can create virtually any type of document using the printer's built-in driver capabilities. Using HP ZoomSmart scaling technology you can minimize or maximize an image to fit on anything from a 4"x6" postcard to an 11"x17" handout without distorting the original image. Additionally, you can create billboards and banners as large as 54" square using the banner feature. Once you've selected a type of sales collateral, the design and layout of the document is the next step.
Design & Layout
It's important when designing your sales piece to keep in mind the image you wish to project. The graphics, colors, content and overall tone of the document should match the image that defines your company. You don't want to be too conservative or too flashy, you want to select a design that is pleasing to the eye. Abstract graphics are nice, but choosing graphics that are relative to what your company does or offers tends to be more effective. Color scheme is also important. According to some graphic designers, a three-tone selection tends to work very well. You can select light, medium and dark tones that complement each other and mix-and-match tones to create new shades. You then can select one accent color, which tends to be a brighter color, to define and emphasize shapes or curves. You aren't obligated to use the same layout, graphics and colors continuously in future sales collateral, but similarity invites recognition, an important issue when trying to build a company image.
Once you've chosen a design and layout, it's time to work on the meat and potatoes of your sales piece: the content. Choosing the "right words" isn't as simple as you may think. Messages need to be consistent with corporate image, tone needs to be appropriate, ideas need to be clear and precise, and so on. A good starting point would be to identify your target audience and have a firm grasp of their business needs. Secondly, position your product or service as the solution to their problems. Thirdly, when space allows, use quotes from satisfied customers or industry experts who have used your products to validate your pitch. Once you've gathered this information, you'll be able to get a jump start on writing the content for your sales collateral.
Remember, designing your own sales collateral is not as hard as some would have you believe. Creativity is innate. With a little patience and versatile technology, you too can design professional-looking sales collateral. For more information about Hewlett-Packard products, please call 1-800-752-0900. (NAPSI)