By Karen Marley.

The information packet. Usually, this is a pocket folder with different pieces of business collateral designed to tell your customer or prospect what it is you do. Right? Not entirely.

An information packet is a relationship-building tool. People ask for them because they are not ready to buy. They need assurance that they can trust you. Let the information folder help them see the value in your services.

The following lists include the types of documents found in these packets and the role they play for your client.

Let’s start with the nuts and bolts. These are the pieces people expect to see; the items that describe the product, company, and services. These include:

  • business cards
  • brochure
  • sell sheets (or samples if you’re in the creative world).
  • cd or dvd (if you have it, great. If not, don’t sweat it).

Next up are the items that help the recipient develop confidence in your professional stature. These pieces reflect recognition from outside sources establishing credibility in the eyes of the reader.

  • professional bio
  • client/award list
  • testimonials
  • press release

The last group of documents is where you can shine. These are the unexpected, added-value pieces that separate you from the crowd. Their presence shows the reader your company is knowledgeable, generous with its information, engaged in the industry, and focused on client solutions. The key word here is “show.” Many service providers make these claims but you are the one actively doing it with your packet. What are some of these golden nuggets?

  • case study
  • article
  • newsletter (if content is a good match)
  • report
  • personal letter
  • additional resources

I don’t advocate you include all of these items in every information packet. That would be too overwhelming. Choose the items that are pertinent to your prospect. A robust information packet is the first step to establishing the professional relationship clients are looking for with a vendor. Make sure it’s you.

Want to use this article in your e-zine, newsletter or Web site? You can as long as you include this complete blurb with it:
Karen Marley is an independent business writer who helps businesses communicate their value to their prospects and customers. She can be reached at http://www.kmwordsmith.com.

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