Do the Right Thing: Market or Sell

Do_the_right_thingThey’re different; marketing and selling.

However, they seem to get mixed up in the minds of many who’s job it is to bring in new business.

You can see it in proposal responses that are trying to “educate” decision makers. Those are the elaborately long answers to RFP questions that go off into the ether and entirely miss the need to sell at that moment.

And you can see it in marketing that presents only features and benefits…in every message. Messaging without a compelling customer experience. It’s as if you sit down in a restaurant and the first thing you’re given is the bill, before ordering,  even before eating the meal.

Here’s a quick, non-academic separation of church and state (marketing and selling):

Marketing is…

  • Speaking to the anonymous many in a market
  • Understanding the needs (hidden or explicit) of customers in that market
  • Publishing compelling messages about the valued customer experience your firm delivers

Selling is..

  • Solving one customer’s specific service needs
  • Connecting that customer’s service needs to the impact they have on their business results
  • Presenting a unique solution to address those needs & help customers reach their goals

Do the right thing – market when you want to:

  • Raise awareness
  • Get qualified,  motivated leads
  • Seek to own a specific position in a market

Do the right thing – sell when you’re:

  • Introducing your firm the first time face-to-face
  • Writing a proposal & answering an RFP
  • Presenting your proposal in-person as a short-listed supplier in a bid process

How do you differentiate between Marketing & Selling?

Chris Arlen
President, Revenue-IQ

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