So many small business owners are under the impression that marketing is all they need to gain new business. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Retail businesses and restaurants can rely on marketing because the exposure and awareness created from marketing gets people in the door. However, this just isn’t true for other kinds of businesses.
Marketing is about awareness and timing. Marketing provides a business with opportunities to be in front of their target markets without selling. The market can learn about the business and develop a level of familiarity. If the timing is right, the prospect might reach out to discuss working together. Notice I said ‘might.’ That’s because marketing is passive. Any outreach is the prospect’s responsibility. All the stars have to align in order for a prospect to make a move.
Sales is an activity performed by the salesperson. It is targeted, specific outreach designed to gain a meeting where a discovery conversation can take place. Sales isn’t convincing or persuading. Rather it is identifying if you have a solution to the prospect’s problem. Sales outreach involves investigating a target market, learning as much as you can about those prospects and then contacting them to schedule a conversation. You aren’t seeking a sale. You are simply seeking a meeting so you can learn more about them and their situation.
This kind of active outreach ensures you will have the opportunity to engage with your prospects. So, while marketing is passive, selling is active. They are both important when growing a business. The marketing creates awareness so that when you reach out to the prospect there’s a good chance they are already aware of you. If they are unaware at that time they will probably go searching to learn about your offering.
As you create your sales and marketing strategy make sure you have both sales and marketing in the mix. Remember, marketing alone won’t get you what you want. Selling alone could but the added credibility and exposure from marketing strengthens your position.
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