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#651: Never Leave Behind a Useless Leave-Behind

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Monday, September 12, 2011
Updated: Monday, September 12, 2011
To stand out with prospects, we have a lot of our work products, research and data on our website that anyone can view and download (all nonproprietary and not our most valued information). What we are now looking at is non-web collateral that would be effective as a give-away or leave-behind to represent our brand and value to prospects. What are the most effective types?

Consider your reaction and the process you use when you get something in the mail (e.g., refrigerator magnet, inscribed pen) or are handed it by someone in a public setting (e.g., report, CD, notebook). The odds are very high that you are going to dispose of it, either immediately or by putting it in a place to look at later (i.e., never). The key to a recipient is how quickly they can figure out what it is, how it works, how they can benefit from it, and for how long.

This is why flash drives (containing a vendor's collateral) are so popular. I already know exactly what a flash drive is, how to use it, and how it can benefit me. Sooner or later, because I keep it with me and use it repeatedly, I will review the vendor's material. Furthermore, even if I decide to not use the vendor, I have a constant reminder of the vendor and a positive impression. Consultants are infamous for handing prospects beautiful reports of their work to show just how great they are. If someone hands me a white paper that I now have to figure what it is, find a place to file it temporarily, and then spend time reading, my odds of doing all of these things and connecting positively with the provider are really low (especially if I discover it is all about the consultant and not about my needs).

Tip: Don't burden the recipient. Never leave anything with a prospect unless you can guarantee they know exactly what it is, they know how to use it, and they can get value from it quickly. Ideally, they would want to use it immediately after you walk out of their office, and each time they use it, they can do so quickly and see it as valuable. What you consider high value may be seen as low value because its use is complicated to the uninitiated prospect. If your leave behind is hard to understand or use, or difficult to get value from, what kind of impression do you think your prospect will associate with you?

© 2011 Institute of Management Consultants USA

Tags:  goodwill  intellectual property  presentations  reputation  sales 

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Comments on this post...

Franco Leoni says...
Posted Tuesday, September 13, 2011
I completely agree with this topic. USB flash drive are the best way to hand out collateral and value at the same time. As a member of the board of IDDA (International Disc Duplicating Association) my suggestion is to choose your supplier of USB drives from companies that have experience in handling data. A USB flash drive is not just a gadget as a magnet or a pen, it is an electronic device and you want that your prospect get something that works properly, doesn’t contain virus and can retain his data for a long time.
Franco Leoni - IDDA
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