Catalogs and Booklets Provide Creative Opportunity
Ingenuity plus attention to detail helps distributors land lucrative accounts.
When it comes to selling catalogs, brochures and booklets, the question isn't who buys them, the question is who doesn't buy them. Serving as vehicles that market and promote business and list or display information that is pertinent to a company's sales, these items are basic necessities among end-users in any market. As such, distributors can expect them to be fairly easy to sell. The difficulty, however, lies in the way distributors present solutions to end-users that require these products.
"Distributors are well suited to go after business in this arena," said Mike Gordon, president of Commercial Business Forms, Cedar Knolls, N.J. "They can begin their sales pitch with a clean, fresh slate and then tailor the product to their clients' needs, but they need to be creative about it."
For instance, noted Gordon, Commercial Business Forms distributes catalogs to an auto parts importer, which sells its parts to auto body shops. In order to do so effectively, efficiently and successfully, the importer needs to present its auto parts and costs in a clear, easy-to-reference catalog.
"We were able to achieve this objective," said Gordon, "by understanding the different scenarios the auto body shop's employees experience on a daily basis." As a result, Gordon said his client was able to maintain good business.
The catalog's exterior design is as important as its interior content. According to Gordon, knowing how the catalog will be handled, who uses it and where it will be used are critical factors that effect the design process.
"By obtaining this information, a distributor can solicit accounts that once relied on high-speed copy centers, such as Kinkos, to get the job done," said Gordon.
In fact, Commercial Business Forms sells booklets to a company employing service technicians that were experiencing various gliches with books, which were being printed at Kinkos. Gordon explained that the main problem was that the books would not stay open since they were stapled. "Using those books caused the technicians to become frustrated, so we recommended a wire-o book, which stays flat so technicians can easily record information ," he said.