You probably pick up other company\'s brochures when you visit trade shows. What do you do with them? In the majority of cases I bet you either leave them to fester in the lovingly designed show carrier bag or you scan some of them and then throw them away. Do you read any of the brochures you get through the post or left by sales people? If you do not read brochures why do you think your prospects will? If your brochure is all about you and very little about your customer it will not get read. If it is not read it cannot sell anything. That means you lost another prospect because your brochure did not do its job right. ... What A Brochure Is Not ... Designing a brochure is not simply the managing director, marketing director or Mr Average Copywriter simply dumping everything they can think of about your company and its products into a four page 4 colour brochure. Explaining how your business has grown from strength to strength over the last 5 years, or how the new widget is now also available in puce and lemon is boring. In fact most brochures are deeply boring. Maybe not to you as the business owner - but to the most important people you know. Your customers and prospects! Neither are brochures an art gallery for your in-house or external graphic design team to show off their brilliance with well produced photos, line art and consistent house style. After all winning awards for your brochure is not as important as winning sales. Is it? Have you found salespeople who are unwilling to give customers your brochures? That is because good sale staff instinctively know whether your brochure helps or hinders sales. ... So What Is A Brochure ... Purely and simply, another sales tool. Part of your marketing tool set. Please treat it that way. To create it you turn the dial to your customers favourite radio station: WII FM. Better known as What\'s In IT For Me! ... Use Sizzling Copy To Hit People Between The Eyes ... Do not take up the space on the front, or back, covers with your logo, managing directors head shot or a stock photo of a forklift truck or someone attractive sat gazing transfixed at a computer screen. ... Smash Through Buyer Inertia With A Captivating Headline ... Instead use a great headline to encourage people to open and investigate what you have to say. You could use any of the following headlines: If you are in the car hire business you could say, \"7 Reasons Why Car Hire Is Costing You Too Much\". Then explain why in your copy inside and further explain how you can make sure the prospect avoids those costs. Perhaps you are in IT or software services? Your headline could be, \"How To Sell More to Your Old Customers\". Then you explain how implementing a customer relationship management system gives the ability to follow-up properly. But whatever company you\'re in tell your customer something you know they want to know. ... Write Copy That Tells And Sells ... When writing the copy inside your brochure make it interesting, arresting and intriguing. Give your prospects some interesting facts they do not know. Stir in some Great Customer Testimonials. No testimonials? Start talking to your customers now to get some. You are writing the copy to sell your product or service. So the writing is vitally important. Next you need to make sure you have necessary line art, photos or other graphics at appropriate points in the brochure. Whatever you do remember graphics are there purely to support the copy. With any graphics make sure that you have a caption to avoid distracting people from wondering what that graphic was about. Make sure that your brochure has all the ways your customer can get hold of you and order. That includes having an order or enquiry form they can fax to you. Finally, one of the most important elements in the brochure: The Offer and call to action. You need to offer your customer something for doing business with you. You could offer any of: - free bonus reports - audio CDs - DVDs - Different payment options - Strong guarantees - Bundled with other products or services Whatever you do make sure you\'ve a call to action with a deadline for your offer. Your brochure needs to make clear the next step for your customer. ... How Do You use Your Brochure? ... Don\'t leave it lying around like yesterdays newspaper. You have paid good money to produce it. Treat your brochures with respect and give them or send them to people you want to do business with. At trade shows a good approach is to suggest that you will send a brochure to your prospect. That way you can keep following them up with further offers. Jay Abraham is the highest paid marketing guru in the world at $5,000 per hour. He notes that sending a brochure to a prospect without a well-written and interesting covering letter reduces response. If you feel you must leave brochures around tradeshows try stapling an envelope with an interesting headline, such as \"5 Ways To Slash The Cash That Drains From Your Web Site\" to your brochure. Your letter will get read. The letter needs to spell out your major benefits are and where they are in your brochure. Proof of effectiveness of adding such a letter is given by Troy White, writing in Duct tape Marketing, he says: \"...Info USA who sells direct mail database lists started testing this (sales letter,Jim) with their catalogs and saw an immediate 300% improvement in orders. All with a simple letter attached to it!\" Similarly use direct mail and send them out to the companies you want to do business with. Make sure a personalised selling letter goes with every brochure you put out there. Write and design your brochure as if you were standing in your customers and prospects shoes. Do it right and your brochure gets read from cover to cover and prospects find it informative and buy from it. Remember if you are unwilling to invest up front in producing a brochure that sells you cannot expect anyone to take action from it and you have completely wasted your money to produce it.