Watching the sales activity of several sales teams lately, I have come to the conclusion that these teams are truly confused about the differences between MARKETING and SELLING.
I work with many small businesses where the business owner and/or the small sales teams sell and there is often NOT a marketing department within the company. This is where it gets tricky as the lines are more blurred now than ever because marketers and sellers are using some of the same tools to carry out growth strategies.
Email, social media, conferences, events . . . these are all excellent tools but I’m finding business owners and sales pros are many times perplexed – not about the technical use of the mediums (well, honestly – there is confusion here too), but of the purpose and functionality of their MESSAGES in the mediums.
Using Marketing messages instead of Selling messages could be delaying or even halting sales progress. Marketing messages are meant to generate interest and leads whereas selling messages are specific and varied pending the individual’s needs.
What’s the difference in how you communicate marketing vs selling in each medium? You’ll probably nod your head and say “Ohhh, yeah, now I understand” when you see the examples:
Marketing Email –A special offer that goes out to a list of people that promotes a specific event or product.
Selling Email – Sending one person a value-driven email asking to meet to discuss their challenges around a problem.
Marketing Social Media Post – “Dr. Smith is offering a $150 teeth whitening special this week only.”
Social Selling Post – Commenting on someone’s LinkedIn post – “I’d like to hear more about your views on this. I have a reference paper that may offer some insight – let’s connect for a conversation.”
Marketing at a Conference – Setting up a booth and handing out squishy stress balls and brochures and capturing email addresses.
Selling at a Conference – Initiating conversations with prospects, quickly prequalifying and establishing next steps to connect or converse.
In brief – think of marketing as 1 to Many and Selling is 1 to 1 –
Marketing is promoting your message to a group of potential customers.
Selling is creating specific and intentional messages that address one prospect’s needs.
Marketing and Selling each have their own jobs to do. Get clear on your audience (many or one) and your intentions (generate interest or progress sale) so you can make the most of your time and energy.
If you’re already doing this, you’ll think this might sound simple but I suspect most when most small businesses or small business sales teams look at their communication, they’re blurring the lines here.
Be more intentional about Selling versus Marketing messages and actions and you should see your sales results improve quickly.
Until next time, stop hoping, start SELLING!
PS – Need help nailing your SELLING Messages? Let’s talk about Audience Development and determine how you MARKET your message and how you build messages that SELL.