The ‘White Paper’ Secret Weapon (Don’t Share This!)

Writing persuasive white papers? Trying to sell with your paper?

What I am about to share… is my secret weapon. (Frankly, I cannot believe I am even documenting this.)

If you want to influence your readers buying behavior—especially if you’re targeting business professionals—then you need to make sure your white paper has one of these.


My secret white paper weapon is:

The ‘What to Look for List’

Deep into your paper, after you have described your solution and it benefits, you should always include this kind of a list.

Said another way, this is the ‘Top Considerations When Shopping’ or ‘Key Requirements When Analyzing…’ list.

This is comprised of a carefully crafted list of requirements that the reader must consider when looking for a solution.

Here’s an example:

Let’s presume I worked for Apple and I was talking about what to look for in an MP3 player:

  • Song Selection: Seek a company that provides immediate access to millions of songs via an integrated software interface
  • Accessory Selection: The ideal player has a large variety of third-party products that add functionality to the player
  • Video Rentals: Look for a solution that provides access to low cost video rentals using the Internet
  • Longstanding Track Record: Only work with a company that has been developing and innovating MP3 players for at least a decade to ensure the highest quality products
  • Intuitive User Interface: Look for a UI that is very intuitive and requires no training of instruction manuals

I just made up the above list. The idea is to fabricate a list that ONLY one company can possibly meet—yours!

These lists are very valuable to readers. In fact, many will use them as the sole criteria when shopping.

The end result is a very persuasive tool that will help you ensure that readers come back to you for their business.

Are you using these lists? What do you think about this approach?

10 Responses to The ‘White Paper’ Secret Weapon (Don’t Share This!)

  1. Shelli February 27, 2008 at 7:17 pm #

    A very compelling ‘secret’ for white papers… What are your suggestions for applying in a commodity-like industry?

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