information packages

Assembling Information Packages for prospective clients

A standard information package to send to prospective customers is a very powerful tool for making sales. It can also be a wasteful endeavor.

When a prospective client says “please send me some more information about your product or service,” they can mean one (or more) of many different things:

  • “I want to use your information as negotiating material with our current product/service provider.”
  • “I don’t know what questions to ask you to sound like an intelligent consumer.”
  • “I need to run this by my board, tech guys, or colleagues.”
  • “I’m flat broke and can’t possibly purchase your service, but would like to know how you do what you do so I can get my brother-in-law to do it.
  • “I’m not interested, but I’m too polite to say so!”

Or even:

  • “I’m seriously considering purchasing your product or service and just need a little more justification to make the decision.”

Our advice – create an information package that far surpasses anything sent out by your competition.  Then, be very selective, and only send it only to qualified prospects.

The “Shock and Awe Package”

Marketing expert Dan Kennedy first introduced us to the concept of the “Shock and Awe Package” in a workshop in 2009.  Also called a “salesman in a box” concept by other marketing companies, a package of materials gets, quite literally, “in the door” to your prospect.

Why Should I Spend Money On This?

John actually asked this question, probably on behalf of good CFOs everywhere.

It’s a very good question – glad he asked.

The only reason to spend money on any marketing effort is to improve sales.

It’s been our experience that our information packages,  make such a significant improvement to our conversion rate that their cost is well-justified.

Of course, you can spend as much as you like and have few results if you create an expensive kit and send it out indiscriminately.

Every company must find the “sweet spot” for packages that get results to justify their costs.   Here are the numbers you need to know:

  • What is the lifetime value of each new customer you acquire?
    (Average yearly profit per customer times the average number of years they remain customers.)
  • Counting all of your advertising efforts, how much does it currently cost to acquire a customer?
  • What your current conversion rate?  (How many inquiries result in sales?)
  • How much will your information kit improve your conversion rate?
  • How will this affect your total cost to acquire (TCA) a customer? (Our guess is that you’ll find it will actually reduce your TCA by improving your conversion rate.)

The best answer, of course, is to spend as little as you possibly can to get the result you want.  You might use a similar information package for six months, then add or remove items.   Keep track of your conversion rate during each time period, and you will arrive at the optimal solution.

Our Advice – Make a Better Package, but Send Fewer of Them!

While you might send a postcard to your entire list, it is important to be much more selective with information packages.  Ideally, you want your package to be the most impressive  one to be received when a prospective customer is “shopping around” among your competition.

The cost to produce a great information package can vary from around $25 to several hundred.  They might take a few minutes to put together (assembled from components you keep in the office ready for such a purpose) or it might take hours to customize a kit for a particular customer.  Money and time must be in proportion to the likelihood of purchase and the lifetime value of the customer you desire.

Packages for Prospects

Packages sent to prospective clients can serve many purposes:

  • Get the attention of your prospect
  • Stand out from the competition (who probably just send documents)
  • Show the quality of your work and attention to detail
  • Provide a physical demonstration of your company’s style and quality

Qualifying Your Prospects

The success of using information packages relies on carefully qualifying customers. Sending packages out indiscriminately is expensive and wasteful.

We send packages addressed to a specific person, not to a company or even to a job title at a company.

Don’t send a package out unless the answer to all three of these questions is yes!

  • Has this person expressed a sufficient level of interest in my product or service?
  • Does this person have the financial ability to purchase my product?
  • Does this person have the authority to make the purchasing decision?

You need to decide the thresholds for each of these questions and they will differ from company to company, and possibly even from product to product (a person who qualifies for a discovery flight might not “qualify” for a complete aviation training program, for example.)

We’ll provide more info on specific questions to ask your prospects to get the answers to these questions without raising any alarm bells in the Marketing Master Class.

Customize Your Packages

One of the most common errors in marketing is a failure to subdivide your marketing list specifically enough.

Automated systems such as Infusionsoft or SalesForce make it possible to select prospects that meet very specific criteria – you might create a specific package for your East Coast prospects, or for owners of Citations, or for visitors from a specific trade show versus the rest of your list.

We also customize based on the product.  Prospects for our Marketing Master Class get a much smaller and less expensive Information Package than prospects for our consulting packages.

Your Package in the Marketing System

In most cases, you’ll want to send an Information Package only after a prospect has been qualified by a salesperson.

For more on what to include in Information Packages and how to qualify customers,  be sure to tune in to our Marketing Master Class on Wednesday, March 13th at 1:00 P.M..