Collateral: the fabric of your business

Maria Montessori, education pioneer,

was right about so many things,

including the notion of engaging multiple senses for optimal impact.

She realized that the more senses a child used while learning, the more she internalized the work she was doing. So Montessori developed a method for teaching reading and writing that involves three of the child’s five senses. The child uses his fingers to trace letters that are made out of sand-paper, using the senses of sight and touch. This action provides tactile feedback and muscle memory for writing.

While he traces the letters, he repeats out loud the sound the letter makes. The three senses work together to intensify and support one another, and in this way, deep learning and retention blossom.

Adult consumers are not so different.

The more senses that are engaged in customer interactions, the more solid the memory is about that interaction. Let’s say a decision-maker hears your sales pitch and watches your demo (2 senses down, one to go). Don’t let her walk out that door without something to touch! The piece you hand her, if done well, will support and invigorate the pitch and the demo you just finished. If strategically created, it becomes a tactile interaction that adds to the client’s experience.

Collateral can be a very powerful reminder of who you are and what you can do. Remember, the digital world can be cold. Your website might have a great “look and feel” but we still can’t really “feel” it. An online presence isn’t enough. What makes it effective is the support of collateral that’s interesting and memorable. Seeing and touching the shape, design, weight, and texture of a gorgeous piece of printed media solidifies your business in the mind of your prospect.

Collateral such as business cards, trade show pieces, flyers, direct mail, and even the tried and true sales sheet, if created with thought and passion, can be the equivalent of sandpaper letters — and turn your pitch into a signed contract.