Buyer's guide?

Subject: Buyer's guide?
From: "Geoff Hart" <geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca>
To: TECHWR-L -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Tue, 14 Dec 1999 14:08:47 -0500

Christi Carew works <<...for a company that produces
telecommunications testing equipment... My latest project is the
buyer's guide. I need to update them. Unfortunately I've never
worked on a buyer's guide before.... Do you any of you know where
I can find samples of good buyer's guides? Do you know what
exactly should be in a buyer's guide?>>

These are all questions you're going to have to ask your boss, not
us. A buyer's guide could be anything from a technical fact sheet
(e.g., "RAM: 64 Meg") to a marketing piece (e.g., "it's got 64 Meg
of heart-stopping, mindboggling, data-processing RAM, 32 Meg
more than our nearest competitors... if you think we've got any
competitors, which we don't really!!!!!!!!") <g> Which of these
options (or which option that I haven't listed) do they want you to

Once you know what they want you to create, you can ask them
who their competitors are and what aspects of your own products
you should emphasize for your audience. Phone the competitors
and ask for a copy of _their_ buyer's guides. Next, contact a few
customers who have the authority to make purchasing decisions,
and ask them what factors help them make a decision. (Get
permission to offer them some cookie as a reward: a 10% discount
on their next purchase, a company t-shirt... whatever you think will
get them to sit still long enough to answer your questions. If you
can't talk directly to customers, ambush your sales staff and ask
them about the kinds of questions buyers ask before committing to
a purchase.) Once you know all this information, you can use the
audience feedback (or info. from the sales staff) to tell you what
information should go into the guide. You can also add any other
details that seem to be important that competing guides try to play
up. If appropriate, promote the places where your products are
better (e.g., more RAM). Voila! Now you get to write the thing.

--Geoff Hart @8^{)} geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca (Pointe-Claire, Quebec)
"If you can't explain it to an 8-year-old, you don't understand it"--Albert Einstein

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