Understanding the difference between sales and marketing

The difference between marketing your product and selling your product is huge. There’s plenty of people that are effective at marketing a product. There’s not plenty of people that are effective at selling a product. Sales professionals and organizations must fully understand what is the difference between marketing a product and selling a product. In corporate America, these are typically two different divisions. There is a team that establishes marketing. There is a team a team that generates sales. There’s a big difference, and it’s an important one.

Marketing:

In marketing a product, a marketing team is creating the best picture and light of a product to generate interest and to spur further conversation.  There’s many philosophies and many professional marketers out there that can elaborate this at a greater scale. But the bottom line will always be this: when you market a product or your service, you’re trying to generate interest and buzz to warrant further conversation. Here’s where the problem lies. Marketing a product is fun. Marketing a product is easy. You can go to your sales appointment and be the best marketer. You can high-five someone, have laughs, enjoy the conversation. But at the end, you need to have the strategic information. You need to have the challenging conversations.  If you don’t you’re marketing, not selling. You’ve generated interest in the product, but you have not had the tough conversations. 

Sales:

The tough conversations are the cornerstone of a good sales appointment. As a salesperson you have to build so much value in the product or service. The salesperson taps into the pain points of not using that product and service. They plant the seed in the prospect’s mind:  “not using that product or service today is unfathomable for my business.”  In sales, we need our prospect to answer these questions. How can this product help me immediately? What am I going to lose by not buying it today? When a prospect can answer those two questions, you’re selling.. 

Is marketing enough?

Marketing puts a prospect in the sales funnel. In the world of digital marketing and digital selling, that may be enough. There’s plenty of people that have seven, eight, nine figure businesses because they’re efficient at digital marketing. However, when it comes to the skill of face-to-face sales, when it comes to the skill of telephone sales, when it comes to the skill of a consultive sales approach, marketing is not enough because there is more than needs to be done. 

After tapping into those pain points, a salesperson follows it up with questions that a marketer doesn’t. “Mr. Prospect, would you pick up that product today? “Ms. Prospect, can I count on you to get this order today? “Mr. Prospect, where should I have your product shipped? “Mrs. Prospect, are you the person that’s going to sign this contract at the end of the appointment today?” I can list 20 more examples of closing the sale. A salesperson is not afraid to close a sale. A salesperson encourages and wants those objections that come because once you overcome the objections, you have buy in and convicted to your product or service that they’re not going to cancel or look elsewhere. 

The value of teamwork

A marketer might be content with the feel-good and the pat on the back. This statement may upset marketers. They would argue that a salesperson cannot sell a product that isn’t effectively marketed. On the other hand, someone in sales would say they can sell better if only the marketing team was better. The truth is there has to be teamwork. Sometimes marketing and sales is one and the same, but often they are not. Of course, this is applicable to face-to-face sales, telephone sales, consultive sales. Digital marketing and digital selling is a whole different conversation. We can leave that conversation for another day and another expert. 

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