Everyone is doing it.
You, your competition, that small shop in the corner, the garage close by and the big factory on the outskirts of the town and pretty much every other business too.
They market themselves.
Through various campaigns and media they try to get more people to buy their stuff. They run promotions, posters, ads, give away brochures and do many more things.
But, most of them don’t sell. Even though they all think they do.
There is a strong misconception that sales and marketing are in fact the same thing. In reality, even though it may be quite tough to tell the difference, they are both unique aspects of running a business. They compliment each other, true. However, they are not the same thing.
Marketing is everything you do to reach your audience and persuade them about your product or a service. It is all about analyzing the demand and producing a product or a service to fulfill it.
This usually happens on many levels:
• your branding,
• website and its promotion,
• direct mail,
• viral campaigns,
• brand marketing
and many more.
Sales on the other hand, instead of focusing on meeting a customer demand, tries to match already existing product or a service to the existing demand.
Selling happen on more interpersonal level from qualifying your prospects as the one who needs what you offer to one-to-one meetings, cold calls, email communication and so on to close the sale.
In other words, your marketing efforts begin the process that the sales complete. Without marketing you wouldn’t have all the prospects and leads, yet without good sales skills your closing rate – the number of sales you actually get, would be depressingly low.
Where is the confusion coming from?
Mainly because sales is in fact one of the parts of the marketing process, in most cases the last one. This is the part when you communicate directly with the prospect. This is when you are selling. This is when you need to use all the skill you have to reinforce the message that your various marketing efforts (your website, an ad in the paper or a referral from a happy client for instance) have communicated to the prospect.
What does this all mean to you?
That in order to increase your sales and income you need to focus not only on putting your name in front of as many people as possible. You need to also actively seek out the very people who are interested in what you offer, and, most importantly, who need you right now.
Remember, marketing, doesn’t matter how great, only initiates the process but you close it by selling.
Do you agree?
Do you agree with me, or do you have a difference understanding of sales and marketing? Let me know in the comments.