How To Sell Reports

Submitted by Dmitri Davydov on Thu, 2006-10-05 08:22.
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So you want to sell reports? Ok, listen up. Reports will be your lowest priced products. Reports can be delivered physically, i.e. sent in the mail, or digitally, such as in PDF format, via email. In the past, many people would produce physical reports. Given today’s online world, I’d recommend only having your reports available in a downloadable format. To physically print, address, stamp and ship out these reports would be costly and tough to justify for the amount of time involved.

PDF is a method of electronically delivering written material so that any computer can read it. Let me repeat that. The PDF format, developed by Adobe (, produces a finished product that can be read by any computer. For those of us who are Mac owners, that’s reassuring!

PDF works by taking a picture of your document and storing it in a very efficient way so that when it is transferred to another computer it remains in a readable format. It is not “platform dependent”, which means it doesn’t have to be a Mac, or an IBM or any other type of system. In other words, PDF is a software application that allows your computer to open and display a document such as a Microsoft Word file (or virtually any other file). The actual creation of your reports in a PDF format is simple. Trust me on that one. If you don’t know how to do it, you’ll be amazed at how easy it will be.

This has become the easiest and fastest way of distributing information to people via the internet, because it doesn’t matter what type of computer they are using; you can be sure that they’ll see your document or report or newsletter as you originally designed it.

These reports should be priced at somewhere under $10 – generally anywhere from $5 to $10. They should be fewer than 10 pages in length – ideally between five and seven pages. There is no specific length that’s required, but you want to make sure that people feel that they have gotten their money’s worth without giving away the store.

In these reports, you want to give very detailed and concentrated information that can be immediately utilized. These reports should be very specific in helping people accomplish one particular task.

There should be very little fluff. Only include information that will be helpful in getting people to do what your report claims. Reports need to have information that is immediately usable to the consumer, can be written in a short form, and is very specific. And at the end of each report, you’re going to have a little box called a RESOURCE BOX.

The main purpose of this resource box is to serve as an up-sell for your additional products and services. But remember, unless you provide them with a ton of value in the initial report, they won’t think of buying anything else from you, so make the report worth their while.

There are two kinds of offers you can make in your resource box. In the example above I’ve chosen to make a “soft” offer. This is an offer to capture someone’s name first rather than trying to sell them something right off the bat. What’s the proper way to do it? There is no answer that I can give you except to TEST!

With your reports that people pay for, you already have their contact information so you don’t need to make a soft offer. The only purpose of a soft offer is to capture a person’s email address, which you already have if you sold them something already. Soft offers are generally made when you provide a report at no charge. People might use your report in an e-zine and your “payment” is the ability to capture email addresses of people who read the report and thus respond to the resource box.

If you price your report at $10, make sure to deliver much more than $10 worth of information. Every time you deliver a product or service to your customers, you need to give them ten times the value that they paid. If you do, they’ll be back. And, they won’t return your products. Everything you create should have a lifetime guarantee; therefore, you want to create products that don’t get returned!

Fred Gleek,

How to Develop and Promote Successful Seminars and Workshops: The Definitive Guide to Creating and Marketing Seminars, Workshops, Classes, and Conferences