All businesses need a combination of sales and marketing working in unison. However, a frequent obstacles to success is grouping these two activities together as one task. They may be interrelated, but they are different and should be treated as such.
What is Marketing?
Marketing is all about getting attention. Our worlds, both online and off, have become very busy and chaotic. Marketing’s #1 goal is to make sure your ideal prospect knows you exist. Attention is limited, and if you don’t standout you won’t get noticed.
The foundation of successful marketing is knowing your ideal prospect. This is the person that is most likely to buy from you. They want what you are offering and have the budget to buy it.
You need to understand as much as you can about them. Things like their age, type of work, hobbies, and where they spend their time online are all relevant. The more you know about them, and understand their needs, the better you can design your message to them.
What is Sales?
A sale is when we actually earn the customer. They buy what we are selling. It is about value. We need to demonstrate our product or service is worth the money. A business may survive with poor marketing if the product “sells itself”, but no company can survive without sales.
Many discussions about sales get interrupted with “But…I don’t like selling”. The reality is we are all in sales. We sell everyday and just don’t realize it. Convincing a friend where to have dinner or why they should consider adopting your point of view is the essence of sales.
The business owners that object to selling are usually trying to say “I don’t want to be pushy“. Guess what? We agree. Regardless of how bad you need the revenue, you should never try and force someone into buying something they don’t want or need. It simply is not effective and will hurt your reputation over time. By qualifying a prospect, you can determine if they are your preferred customer.
Use Marketing to Make Sales
The internet has changed the landscape of how we do business in many ways. There is a very high volume of information competing for your prospect’s attention. They also now have a lot of research and many resources available for them to make an educated decision before they even speak to you. Their decision to buy your product and do business with your company comes already informed. Trust and sincerity are essential and can make all the difference in earning them as a customer.
Knowing who can benefit from your product, what it will do for them, and why they should buy from you will allow you to be transparent and honest. The answers to these questions will help you design the right message for your prospective customer. It should be focused who will benefit most from your product or service. If you know who that customer is, you can dedicate your time and attention on them without wasting resources on the ones that won’t.