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Differences between Marketing and Selling

August 25, 2016

Selling is a process where the goal is an order. Marketing involves the totality of presenting the company to customers and prospects so they want to do business with you.

Sales people need immediate gratification. Marketers take a long-term view. Both are necessary for successful growth.

Selling involves direct responses from the customer; follow up; and helping the customer identify their needs and then showing them how you can fill it. Good selling is done without price being a major factor, but it has to be discussed and presented properly. Selling also requires availability, attractive and serviceable packaging, prompt timing and delivery, and post-sale support.

Marketing is a program presenting your firm in a way that makes people want to do business with you. It should make you approachable and seem competent to fill their needs and solve their problems. Marketing is the way you dress, respond, follow-up, individual and firm brands, evident culture and everything about you. Your image is established by your letterhead and style of your letters and reports; the memos you write and the way you speak; and even how your phone is answered. Newsletters, blogs, social media, press releases and publicity affect and mold your image and many times establish your image.

Client contacts are very important – perhaps the most important part of marketing. I know of a firm that requires partners to have a client contact at least once every two months, and the managing partner monitors it. A client contact can be a telephone call just to say hello, sending a newspaper or magazine clipping, or a book, or having lunch or just dropping in when you are in the “neighborhood.” These are all quite easy if they are made part of your routine. I do not consider emails a client contact.

Besides marketing to get new business, you also need to market to get additional business or sell additional services to existing customers or clients. Effective marketing should nurture referrals. If you do not get adequate referrals from existing customers you are doing something wrong, and you need to work on this. One way I find effective is to direct marketing activities to them. Consider your customers as your sales force and you the sales manager. The job of the sales manager is to provide the sales force with the ammunition to sell and the reasons why your company is the best. Work on it!

Effective marketing establishes a community – a sense of belonging – an investment by the prospect. It also includes training your team members with procedures for them to follow.

Selling has to be done subtly, but directly. And with the recognition that you are providing a service to customers by “selling” them something they not only need, and in some cases, must have.

There are great differences between selling and marketing and they need to be recognized, honed, integrated and developed.

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