A long time ago, when I was first starting my career, a mentor shared a quote from Zig Ziglar on the difference between Sales and Marketing, that I continue to use today:
Sales – is convincing a customer to buy the product you have.
Marketing – is understanding what the customer needs, and finding the product to meet that need.
Today, as I work on business development in the advertising industry, I remain ever mindful of this philosophy.
My goal is not to sell our services, or worse, to convince a company that they need to buy from me. My goal is to get to know a company, to understand their business and their position in the industry, and to learn what they think is holding them back.
The more information I have on the business, the message and the market – the better I am able to serve that business not just on the one project, but throughout the year.
But in this era, where small one-off companies are popping up all the time offering cheap solutions, it is harder to get potential clients to understand the difference between the two concepts – sales and marketing.
As hard as this may be, it remains an important philosophy to grasp in any business.
The sales purchase may get you a quick result – but the complete marketing approach will provide a solution that lasts much longer than the initial project.