Marketing is NOT sales

Do you know the difference between marketing and sales?

A lot of people get confused, or mislead, and believe that they are the same thing. And this of course leads to misunderstandings, entrepreneurs believing that social media doesn’t work for them, or that the person they hired to help with their social media hasn’t delivered what was intended.

In this article I explain the difference, and I will also share with you why you need a solid marketing foundation to be successful in sales.

What’s the difference?

Sales and marketing work together simultaneously and at the end of the day they both work towards the common goal of increasing leads and revenue.

But, they are 2 very different processes. In very general terms, marketing is raising awareness of your business and sharing what you do, and getting people interested in your products and services. While sales involves working directly with a prospect to reinforce the value of your business, make an offer, and hopefully close a sale.

Therefore, marketing does not directly result in sales, the goal is to raise your profile and get on the radar so that when you approach potential customers, they are aware of what you offer and hopefully are interested in it. You are basically bringing the horse to the water, so that when you approach them, they are more likely to do business with you then if you approached them cold.

Marketing can be challenging to measure, especially if you are not taking the next steps of following up with prospects with a sales process. While sales, you measure with how many calls you have and the revenue you get, it’s more obvious.

You NEED sales to continue to run your business, but you need marketing to get you sales. So, how does marketing lead you to sales?

Why you need marketing

If sales are what keeps your business growing and moving, then why don’t you just skip the marketing and go right for the sale?

How many prospects are ready to buy from you right now? Let me know below if you think you know the answer.

I heard somewhere once that about 3% of people are ready to buy from you right now. That means that 97% ARE NOT. So, if you go directly for the sale, get a no, and then never speak to that prospect again, you are burning through potential clients and someone who might be a great customer somewhere down the road.

If instead you use social media marketing to build a relationship with the prospect, establish your expertise, and provide value that shows them how your services could benefit them, when you do hop on a call or some other sales process, they are a warm lead and are much more likely to do business with you, because your marketing has already brought them half way. They understand what you do, who you are, and how it helps them.

Why you need a sales process

This means that social media marketing, or whatever marketing you’re doing, is just part of the process of generating revenue. It gets the potential customers in the door so to speak.

My clients sell high ticket services, which means that some type of sales process needs to be involved. Very seldom is someone going to show up with a bunch of cash and be ready to buy – it can happen and those are special unicorns.

Now if you are selling a smaller ticket item, the sales process is much simpler to the extent that you may not notice it – but its there. For example if you own a coffee shop – your customers already have a pretty clear idea of what they want, and the salesperson – the cashier or barista simply needs to ask for their order and potentially prompt for if they want to add a muffin. Same goes for a clothing store. Someone goes in and the salesclerk helps them find what they need. Once they try on an item and like it, the salesperson simply asks if they would like them to take it to the counter for them. The marketing strategy got them into the store or café, and that is a HUGE part of the challenge.

But for anyone selling their expertise, this sales process can be more complex. You need to help your potential customers see that you are the right person to help them, and that you have the right offer to help them accomplish what they need. Your marketing activities get them through the door – or reaching out or engaging, but you need to take them beyond that to turn them into a paying customer.

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