Marketing Selling – Just what is the difference?
Anyone who knows me, knows I am passionate about selling. For me selling is a process that ends with the buyer exchanging money (or something of equal value) for a sellers goods or services. An effective sales person influences the process to make that exchange happen in the shortest possible time. So if that is selling, what is the definition of marketing?
The aim with marketing is not to sell, but to generate interest and encourage the prospect to know more. Marketing targets a large number of prospects with the hope that some may buy, whereas selling proactively engages with a smaller more specific target using people skills to make that sale a reality.
In my humble opinion, marketing stimulates interest, selling brings in the money.
Start with marketing then…
Marketing is a very important part of the sales process, but it only accounts for the beginning. In recent years, social media has helped businesses to better engage with their buyer, asking questions and presenting solutions through the likes of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. However new marketing tools like social media, will never replace the rest of the sales process such as objection handling, closing and most importantly, delivery of the product or service i.e. the follow-up. Remember if you don’t deliver, you won’t get paid.
Having worked with many SME’s I am astounded by their reliance on marketing as their main route to get money through the door. Take retail for example. How often have you been into a fabulous looking shop, only to find no one engages with you? If you are anything like me, you probably turned around and went back through the doors with your money still burning a hole in your pocket.An effective sales process would grab that person and encourage them to spend, spend, spend. Marketing alone struggles to do that, but selling can. So why put all your time and effort, as well as hard earned cash, into something that will not deliver for your business!
The impression I get when speaking to SME’s, is that they often don’t like the thought of selling to a real live person, much preferring to keep their distance and hide behind a marketing campaign. This fear of personal rejection means they hope that their marketing activities alone will deliver the sales their business needs. However, if an SME could learn the sales skills necessary to improve their performance, and in turn their confidence, how much more successful and happy do you think they will be?
Now don’t get me wrong marketing alone can be extremely successful. Check out Dollarshaveclub.com on YouTube. 48 hours after launching a promotional video on the site, the company had gone from zero orders to 12,000! Amazing story and the founder became a multi millionaire in months! However, back in the land of reality, do you really think that approach would work for every business?
So, do you think you are selling, or just marketing? Do you think your business might grow faster if you could better solve your customer’s needs and get paid more handsomely for it? Remember, marketing is only a part selling, it isn’t a substitute!