A Pretty Website Won't Make Selling Easy

Fancy literature, brochures, or websites won't be the hard work of selling easy.


Over the years, I have seen far too many sales and marketing people develop, create, and depend upon sales literature and brochures to present, and even sell, their services and products.

Far too much time and resources have been spent on this activity.

One time, at a sales meeting, I passed out our new literature and asked, rather proudly—since I had been involved its development—how the literature was "performing" for them? One older, rather confident and curmudgeonly sales guy held 'my' sales literature and looked at it. He said: "Well, if you want to know, here's what I think." He then tore it in half and said, "It's worthless, no help at all."

That day, I learned the lesson that all good sales managers know: Literature never sells for you. It seems the prettier the brochure, the worse it does.

I see the same thing now happening with websites. For every success, like BuySeasons or Zappos, there must be a thousand others where some business owner or manager is hoping—praying even—that once the website is finished or improved, that the company is on the pathway to financial heaven.

If you are involved in this process, just be aware of the pitfalls of hoping that there is an easy way to get more business. It is harder than you think to get people to buy, either off a brochure back in the day or off a website today. It just doesn't happen that easily.

Just sayin'.

G.L. Hoffman is a serial entrepreneur and venture investor/operator/incubator/mentor. Two of his companies have traveled the entire success path from the garage to IPO. Currently, he is chairman of JobDig and his blog can be found at WhatWouldDadSay.com or at JobDig.com.


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