What's the difference between “marketing” and “selling?”

Mar 18th 2008
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by Michelle Golden - Thinking of hiring a sales person or marketer? Not sure what the differences are or which one, if either, is right for you?

Here's the difference:

Marketing is the on-going process of appealing to potential clients and ensuring repeat business from existing clients.

• identifies appropriate prospects
• effectively communicates image and capabilities of the firm
• creates/emphasizes an appeal—a differentiation factor—about the firm
• perfects customer service
• requests feedback from clients on a regular basis
• anticipates and meets needs

Marketing often necessitates cultural changes at every level in the firm. Ultimately, marketing strives to make all interactions with your firm (aka “moments of truth”) into positive experiences.

Selling is:
• proactive seeking of prospects
• interacting to qualify prospects
• effective acknowledgment of the prospect’s concerns
• closing the sale—getting hired
• following up and staying in contact when not hired

Successful sellers use active listening skills and demonstrate the ability to meet the prospect’s needs by conveying competence and confidence.

Sellers rely on public perception of expertise and/or excellence—a product of marketing; therefore, they feel obligated to meet these expectations and to follow through impeccably.

As with marketers, successful sellers also create positive moments of truth, even if they are not hired, by representing the firm well.

Marketing and sales overlap slightly, and depend on each other, but they are distinctly different.

Hope this helps clarify a bit. Originally posted as part of my Top 10 Marketing Sales FAQs on my firm's website.

by Michelle Golden.


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