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Sales And Marketing – What Is The Difference And How It Affects Your Home Based Business

Sales and marketing are terms that often travel together and many assume they mean the same thing. They are not.

Let’s start with a fishing analogy.

In fishing, marketing would be the act of chumming -or throwing bits of fish-friendly food over the side of boat to attract fish. You would do some research so you know which bits will attract the particular fish you are interested in. This could include the size and flavor of the cumming bits and even which side of the boat or time of day you toss them in. This is marketing. The act of attracting the desired catch.

Sales is the lure with the gleaming hook on it that is cast out among the desired fishes. It’s brash, often obviously artificial and there is no better analogy for sales than the hook. It is cast over and over and reeled in, temptingly and tantalizingly in front of the unsuspecting fish.

There is honor in both methods.

The Marketer uses carefully gathered information in symphonic execution to draw his customer in. First as a casually interested prospect, then as an engaged investigator and finally as a customer and, if he is wise, a raving fan. The Marketer’s goal is to gently message the prospect into being a customer in such a way that he’s convinced it was his idea to make the purchase.

The Salesman thinks on his feet. He understands different personalities and what motivates them and he figures it out within minutes if not seconds of meeting the prospect. He deftly interrogates and finds the pain of his prospect and immediately morphs his product or opportunity into the perfect solution.

Why This Matters To You

If you have a home based business, especially a network marketing or MLM business, chances are your upline expects you to be a salesman. Friends and family, circle of influence, paid leads and anyone netted in the “3 foot rule” all require selling to close the deal. You have a window of a minute or two to make it happen and if you don’t do it right you likely poison the well forever.

Selling is a craft that can be learned like any other but most scripts are one dimensional and if you haven’t learned what’s between the lines your close rate will be minimal. The good news is that there are plenty of books, audios and live courses that teach the art of selling. The bad news is that most new network marketers grow weary of being battered by NO long before they master it.

Marketing is more subtle. It attracts prospects to you and allows you to gently present yourself and you product over time. It allows them to grow familiar with you and build trust and by the time the process matures the close is seamless and painless. It more readily builds raving fans and virtually eliminates buyer’s remorse. Marketing also requires study and dedication but is easier to master than full frontal selling.

Both sales and marketing are essential to a successful business and understanding and eventually mastering both need to be part of your journey.

Where Are You In The Cycle?

Most home business and network marketers get the “cart ahead of the horse” by plunging into a business first and trudging through the process of mastering sales and marketing later. Don’t feel bad if this is where you are in the cycle. It’s common and it’s manageable.

Start now by investing in books, audios and coaching to teach you the fundamentals and plug into a mastermind group to help you hone your new skills. Nobody fell from the sky knowing these skills and you simply have to resolve yourself to make the commitment to success.

Business Suicide Strategy #5 – Not Having a Sales and Marketing System

It’s not often that I walk into a business and find a truly effective sales and marketing system in place. What I repeatedly see is haphazard marketing followed by ineffective sales. This is caused by the omission of structured systems or processes in place.

It may surprise you to learn that sales and marketing need to work hand in hand. Both are reliant on each other. To succeed in today’s highly competitive market place a business must be a ‘sales and marketing machine’. Many times especially in smaller businesses where the owner wears many hats; the owner’s least favorite job is selling. Selling almost always carries with it a negative image. But if you cannot sell or have a team that sells your products or services your business will fail.

Even if you are the number one expert in your field with the best service or product imaginable, you will never achieve the rewards you deserve unless you master sales and marketing. Unfortunately inferior products and services thrive all the time especially when the business hires a team of experts who implement a powerful method of communication to get the buyer to open up his wallet or request more information.

Why do you need a sales and marketing system? Marketing is all about generating qualified prospects/leads for your business (Lead Generation). Sales is all about converting these prospects/leads into clients or customers, and then maximizing the profit from each client or customer (Sales Conversion and Customer Maximization).

There are several stages every business has to adhere to in order to maximize the effectiveness of both sales and marketing. No matter what you sell, you must have these stages in place. I know you might think your product is so unique and different. But let me ask you two simple questions…

1) Do you need profitable customers?
2) Do you need to keep them once you’ve got them and ensure that they keep buying from you?

You see, in a very real sense, every business is the same. They need a steady supply of clients or customers, and once they’ve got them, they need to keep them and maximize profit throughout the duration of the relationship. It is the number #1 reason my clients retain my services. They want me to cost-effectively increase sales by bringing in new customers. If I failed to do my job I would be fired as they could not afford my services. What many clients fail to realize is that if the sales process is not handled properly from the customer’s first interaction with the business there really are rare opportunities to get that prospect back in the door.

Successful businesses realize that selling and marketing of their products or services is an ongoing process that must be continually improved to stay competitive. A brilliant marketer and friend, Joe Polish’s business slogan is “Eat your competition alive.” Joe specializes in teaching business owners in the carpet industry how to be outrageously successful. There is no one that knows that market better than him. The success of Joe’s students who are business owners perhaps just like you, is that they follow Joe’s proven selling and marketing systems.

I recently attended Joe Polish’s Annual Bootcamp For Carpet Cleaners. I repeatedly heard from the attendees, “I was scared to start…but once I did my business doubled and even tripled.” Why did I attend since I am not in the carpet industry? Because selling and marketing no matter what the industry involves very similar principles to be profitable.

Perhaps the easiest way to understand this is to picture a car on a manufacturing line. It starts off as a shell but by the end of the line it’s transformed into a fully working vehicle. This process is a seamless one where each component part added is vital to the end result. If one part is omitted or fitted incorrectly, the vehicle produced at the end of the line won’t work properly or not at all.

But when everything is fitted correctly and in order the vehicle is ready to be sold. And why do they use a manufacturing line? 3 Reasons:

1) It ensures that the best results are attained almost always.
2) It speeds up the whole process considerably.
3) It is the most efficient productive way to get the job done.

And it’s the same with your own sales and marketing system. Now each business will require different components and strategies but the system itself is applicable to every business like the examples illustrated with the carpet cleaning and car industry.

When Life Flips You Sales and Marketing Bird Poop

Well, it finally happened.

Something I’d been dreading for two years FINALLY came to pass. And, as is usual when something stupid happens, there’s powerful, sales and marketing lesson in it.

Here’s the story:

Since moving to the coast 2 years ago, I’ve made it a habit (when it’s not raining, at least) to walk my dog on the beach.

And each time we get there, we have to walk past this giant group of seagulls. And each time we approach them, they go crazy, flying around all over the place. And each time I KNOW they’re gonna take a dump (i.e. poop) on me.

Well guess what?

Last Friday, it finally happened. A big gooping mess flew right onto my sleeve.

Uhg.

Anyway, here’s why you should care:

This kinda-sorta happens in sales and marketing, too. No matter who you are… or how SUCCESSFUL you are… you are always going to be faced with things you dread in business.

Something annoying you KNOW is coming… eventually.

The “marketing bird poop” that, as much as you wish otherwise, is going to land smack dab on you one way or another.

Maybe it’s an objection you’ve been scared to death someone will ask. Or you’ll get a question you feared answering because you don’t know the answer. Or perhaps you will deal with a client who’s a pain in the rear you have to “fire.”

Look, business bird poop can take any number of forms.

And it always sucks when it lands on you.

But you know what I discovered?

When that bird poop landed on me, after 2 years of KNOWING it was going to happen, it wasn’t that big a deal.

For one thing, it landed on my sleeve. It could’ve been worse — and landed in my face, right? And it just wasn’t a big thing at all. I simply went home, took the shirt off, and went about my day.

It’s the same in your business, too.

When bird poop hits you (and it WILL) be thankful it wasn’t worse. Just take off your shirt, throw it away and move on.
Do that and next time you probably won’t dread it.

In fact, you’ll laugh at it.