Dispelling the Marketing Myth

Hi, Everyone!

Here’s an article I recently wrote for our MasterStream:Essentials outreach program —

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Mission-Critical Issue #2

Dispelling the Marketing Myth
Understanding the difference between marketing and sales.

There seems to be some confusion …

A great many human development professionals believe their marketing efforts will bring them clients.

They are mistaken.

The purpose of marketing is to generate inquiries about your services.

Marketing includes an enormously wide range of possible approaches and a huge set of tools and techniques:

• Internet marketing, social media, search engine optimization, viral marketing, video and audio marketing, email blasts and batteries …

• Strategic business alliances, elevator pitches, physical networking, sponsorships, trade shows, advertising specialties …

• Branding, image management, public relations, media relations, expert positioning, association affiliations …

• Designing a website, publishing articles and white papers, maintaining a blog, conducting podcasts, and developing advertising campaigns …

SO many ways to market yourself … and those were just the tip of the iceberg!

Regardless of the approaches you’re using, your marketing can only be deemed effective if it generates qualified leads in excess of your capacity to handle the work.

Read that again.

Your marketing results should keep you in the position to pick and choose those opportunities you genuinely want to pursue — and those you will politely set aside. If your marketing isn’t creating a excess of inquiries, you may be forced to try and convert the inquiries you do receive into clients — and that can be a VERY difficult thing indeed.

Bottom line — all marketing approaches can result in inquiries about your products or services — but getting an inquiry and getting a deal are dramatically different things.

The purpose of sales is to convert inquiries into clients.

While low cost, relatively simple products can sometimes be sold as a direct result of a well-crafted brochure or webpage, the majority of human development professionals offer a much more robust menu of programs, products and services. Things like books and low-cost seminars can easily be purchased without the assistance of a professional, but the REAL things you want to sell will almost always require you to have a conversation with your prospect.

Once you find yourself in a conversation with a prospect, your marketing has done its job and it time for SALES to become your primary focus. Sadly, very few human development professionals are naturally gifted with an ability to sell — and the majority have little or no sales experience and virtually no true sales training.

Sales conversations can be divided into a number of phases, each with its own set of objectives. Some of the phases may resonate well with your personality and business philosophy while others may feel alien, unnatural and downright scary!

So the mere thought of selling can be terrifically unpleasant.

Mind you, sales doesn’t HAVE to be that way — but traditional sales approaches, filled with exploratory probes, trial closes, and objection handlers can feel manipulative and incongruent with what you’re all about. It’s no wonder human development professionals struggle in their role as their own salesperson.

Yes, in order to be successful you must market yourself — and even if your marketing efforts are working well, there’s no guarantee that you’ll end up with a client. Sooner or later, far more often than not, a sales conversation must occur — and you must find a way to become comfortable with that fact, develop the skills you need and apply them effectively. If you lack sales skills and proficiency in using them, even an ideal situation can be destroyed.

So, do you have a marketing problem, sales problem or both?

-T-

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One Response to Dispelling the Marketing Myth

  1. Excellent, well written, and thought provoking material, T. This definitely helps me clarify where my focus needs to be! Thanks.

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