Create a Killer Sell Sheet For Your Invention

A sell sheet is the best way to generate interest in you idea or invention. If you are looking to license or sell your invention, you need a way to grab your audiences attention, explain what is in it for them and then tell them what you want them to do. A great sell sheet can do all of these things and they are easy to create. See an example that I use.

Elements to Include

You should include the following elements in your sales sheet.

  1. Product name
  2. Tag line
  3. Problem your product solves
  4. Solution
  5. Benefits
  6. Features
  7. Graphics
  8. Call to action

Depending on the product, you could omit some of these items or change the order around. For me I typically like to focus on products that solve a specific problem. If your product does not solve a problem, you may focus on what your product does differently than other products in the market.

Product Name and Tag line

Two of the most important elements in your sell sheet should be the product name and the tag line. The best product names are relevant yet unexpected. Relevant means that the product name is related or explains the product. Unexpected is making a connection that is unique. This can come in the form of a play on words or the joining of two words by taking the meaning of one word and fusing it with another. A name is not only the title of your product, the name becomes what a customer thinks about when they hear it. You want to make sure your product name projects the right image. Names should be:

  1. Memorable
  2. Distinctive
  3. Relevant
  4. Unexpected
  5. Easy to Spell (For web searching)

Next up is the tag line. A great tag line must grab the attention of the reader so they want to find out more. The best tag lines offer the main benefit of the product or the solution to a long standing problem. The main job of the tag line is to summarize the essence of your product or your solution using the fewest words possible.

What's the Problem?

Does your product solve a specific problem? If it does, you want to discuss the problem first. Remind the reader of the hassles, inconveniences and friction created by the problem. Build up and fully explain the problem. You don't want to leave any doubt that something is needed to solve this issue. Answer the what and the why questions we all have.

  1. Why does anyone need this?
  2. What will the product do for me and my customers?
  3. Why is it important?
  4. Why is it unique?

Your Solution

After you have clearly laid out the problem it is time to introduce the solution....Your Product. Explain why your product alone can solve the problem. List out the benefits and features in bullet point form.

Much has been written about the differences between features and benefits. What we all need to realize is that customers don't care about features. They want to know what those features can do for them, what are the benefits. It is easy to start with features but try to convert them to benefits that your customers will find useful. As an example if you were selling a new car seat, one of the features might be 6 position adjustment. Converting that into a benefit might be "Ride in perfect comfort with 6 position adjustment perfect for your body."

Customers need you to be clear about how features are relevant to them. They will not figure it out on their own. That is your job. Spend the time to get it right.

Graphics

You should also include a graphic of your product if you have it. This can include:

  1. Pictures of your invention
  2. Caricatures
  3. Line drawings
  4. Images of key features

Do not get carried away with graphics. One is often enough. Only use more if there is a clear need to clarify a specific benefit. Remember that the words and the copy are most important in your sell sheet. Copy is what sells the product, images are present for support.

Testimonials

Testimonials can be very powerful. Your sell sheet can get by without them but if you can get them, your sell sheet will be more convincing. Testimonials create social proof that your product does what you say it can do. They also help your customer see themselves as a candidate to use the product. There are a lot of ways to get testimonials for your product. You can do a marketing survey or focus group or you can let likely customers use your product. This is an important step that you should not ignore. Don't underestimate what you will learn from people actually using your product.

Sell Sheet Software

There is all kinds of great free software available to you when you are creating your sell sheet. For modifying images you can't beat Photo shop. If you are looking for something that is free you can use Gimp or my personal favorite Paint.net. To actually create your sell sheet you will want to use vector based software such as Inkscape or Scribus. Both programs are available for free.

After you are done laying out your sell sheet and you have all of your images and copy like you want them, you should save them in a PDF format. PDF is the best format for sharing with the rest of the world. It is clean, simple and everyone has access to PDF software.


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