How can you make your catalogue a lot more effective?

Why is it that so many companies when they produce a catalogue abandon a key rule of salesmanship? You would think they’d never heard of “sell the sizzle not the steak”, “sell with benefits not just features.”

In other words they’re simply listing features of products alongside a picture of the product.
For example if you’re marketing a range of supermarket cleaning machines you’re just listing features if you simply:

  • Describe the dimension of the pads
  • Give the power of the electric motor
  • Give the amount of litres of water the machine carries

And for the next model up – you simply do the same thing.
If you’re selling via benefits you do all of the above and tie the features into your prospect’s needs, wants and desires.


Your chances of making sales will be greatly enhanced if you apply the magic words ‘that means’ or equivalent.

To illustrate…

Whenever you list a feature of a product ask yourself “what does that mean to the customer”?

For example:

“With the smaller machine mentioned:
This 18 inch machine is ideal for working in tight aisles in delis and other retail stores. It gives you the capacity to go where many other cleaning companies can’t go which means more work for you. What’s more, weighing in at just 140kg it’s easy to load onto a trailer or into a van – easily managed by your female staff.”

Failing to include benefits in catalogue descriptions means you’re relying on the reader being an expert on the subject.


While some readers will be knowledgeable, the reality is most people don’t transpose features to benefits so you should do it for them.

For most products it’s not the product itself that people want – they’re buying the bottom line benefit.

Catalogues can cost big bucks and are an important tool to many businesses so enhancing their ability to sell is crucial – it means a better return on the investment!

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