Even in the Internet era, sell sheets remain key to landing licensing deals. Here are 12 top tips from master inventor and licensing pro Roger Brown:
- Be professional. Proofread your sell sheet. Nothing looks worse than misspellings.
- Be as brief as possible – keep you sell sheet to one page.
- Send your submission so it arrives on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. On Fridays, people who review submissions tend to be distracted by the upcoming weekend. Monday mail gets piled on stuff left over from the weekend.
- Use a colored envelope. Companies that accept ideas from inventors get a lot of mail. Be eye-catching. A colored envelope stands out in a pile.
- Know the name of the person accepting submissions. Call the company. Make sure you have the proper spelling.
- If you submit via email, save those emails as well as those the company sends you.
- Keep a database with all the information of people you have contacted. You don’t want to call the same person twice for the same reason.
- Make sure your contact information is on everything you send. Several people in the company may review your submission. Things can get separated.
- Don’t be a pest. Don’t call every other day. The more you call, the more you kill your chances of a company wanting your idea.
- Know your market. Don’t send a tool product to a toy company.
- If you have a prototype, let the company know. Don’t send it with your first submission.
- Dial in your expectations. Licensing royalties typically are 2% to 5%.
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