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Recommend a generic solution (part 3 of 4)

Part 2 of this article discussed how to destroy the credibility of every other way of dealing with a widespread problem.

Now you can sweep them all out of the way with your new, improved, recommended solution.

And you can do it without a sales pitch.

generics - Recommend a generic solution (part 3 of 4)

Introduce your solution… generically

Don’t jump in and label it with your product or company name. Don’t dump in your regular product description. Don’t use your normal marketing lingo.

It’s much more powerful to describe your solution in generic terms.

This seems counter-intuitive to most sales and marketing people, who are used to pitching their products and talking up their company.

But this restraint is critical to your success with a problem/solution white paper.

Why this is so vital

This approach adds tremendous educational value to your white paper.

It spells out the business or technical benefits of your offering by comparing and contrasting it to other offerings on the market without getting caught up in brand names.

It slows down your argument, so you move at the prospect’s pace.

And it eliminates the temptation to launch into a sales pitch, which can destroy the effectiveness of your white paper.

Call it what it is

Remember, you’re not supposed to be writing a brochure.

But if you can’t avoid giving a sales pitch, don’t call what you’re writing a white paper. Just write a brochure, a sales letter or a product brief; then call it what it is.

If you offer a hybrid of two existing genres, say so.

If you are really creating a whole new category, say so. This helps prospects picture your market space the way you want them to see it.

How to describe your offering generically

    • Forget superlatives, marketing-speak and any other terms you normally use to describe your offering
    • Imagine telling a Martian about your offering, without using name brands and buzz words he wouldn’t know
    • Locate your solution in its market space, within an established category, class, genre, niche or type
    • Focus on how your offering solves that nagging problem better than anything else.
    • And make your argument without naming your product or your company.

Now all that’s left to do is to tilt the playing field firmly in your direction with a simple buyer’s guide. The final part of this four-part series shows you how.


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About Gordon Graham

Worked on 300+ white papers for clients from Silicon Valley to Switzerland, on everything from choosing enterprise software to designing virtual worlds for kids, for clients from tiny startups to 3M, Google, and Verizon. Wrote White Papers for Dummies which earned 50+ 5-star ratings on Amazon. Won 16 awards from the Society for Technical Communication. And named AWAI 2019 Copywriter of the Year.

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