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August 26, 2015


Greeting Sales and Marketer!

Sales is a SOFT Close and Marketing is a HARD Sell

i sometimes think that most people have most things BACKWARDS. people think sales is about SHOVING something down someone’s throat, getting them to BUY at any cost (whereas sales is REALLY about smiles and service). the same kind of people seem to think that marketing is about MANIPULATION; once again, using any device or tactic or strategy to paint something in a MAGICAL light that makes it irresistible to customers. the name of the game in both cases is meant to be, sell at ANY cost while using all of the tools of psychology and our knowledge of human nature – not to mention outright DECEPTION – in order to win customers over

at the same time within the industry, sales and marketers themselves often have misconceptions with regards to the role of sales and marketing. it is true that that marketing is more akin to FARMING and sales to hunting. the late esteemed Eliyahu Goldratt would say that marketing is about spreading SEEDS to attract birds (customers) and sales is then about using a gun to shoot them one by one. the problem is that what sales and marketers end up thinking – along with the general public – is that sales is more "gung-ho" while marketing is more "laid back". marketing is seen as a "soft" sell while sales is send as the "hard" close. my contention is that this is really the other way around

i have explained time and again how the KEY difference between sales and marketing is that sales targets specific SINGLE people or groups while marketing targets MULTIPLE people in generality. a common misconception is that marketing is about COLLATERAL like nice brochures and whatnot for people to read while sales is about TALKING to people. however, salespeople use brochures as part of their arsenal and a networking event – which is marketing - is all about talking to other people. sales or marketing can use ANY tool at your disposal – email, phone, presentations – the only question being whether you are targeting specific people/ groups or a mass audience

because of this key difference, marketing is about PULL and sales is about PUSH. in the former you make an offer and EXPECT customers to respond while in the latter you demonstrate value and ASK the customer to respond (of course, marketing should demonstrate VALUE and sales should make OFFERS as well!). because of THIS sales should be a "soft" close while marketing should be a "hard" sell. just THINK about it: how is your marketing going to stand out unless it is really and truly in-your-face? then once the customer engages with you, do you think that a "soft" sell or high-pressure sales tactic is going to close the deal? one definition of sales is "removing obstacles to a deal" and now that your customer is engaged you simply need to GENTLY coax them to buy

i have come to realize the crucial point of marketing being HARD (and therefore sales being SOFT) after absorbing the marketing of successful online entrepreneurs like Tai Lopez, Ramit Sethi. all of them are multi-millionaire online marketers and all of them follow the very same approach with their marketing which is to make it LEAN and MEAN. lean because you deliver your message in bite-sized chunks and MEAN because you shoot to SCORE are CONSTANTLY making an offer or asking for a response. another big difference between TRADITIONAL marketing versus what works today is that your marketing needs PERSONALITY

one of the best examples of this kind of marketing are the "one off" landing pages pitching a specific product or service that you sometimes find online. they seem to go on and on forever with an almost irresistible hypnotic quality that make you want to click to "Buy" or "Try" every time. the thing with these ads is that they OOZE with personality and are full of PERSONAL rejoinders, anecdotes, tips and plain friendliness. it is like what you might end up with if you mix the "friendly neighbor" approach with the most high-pressure kind of sale tactics and arm-twisting imaginable. Michael Cheney is a particularly successful marketer whose mailing list i subscribe to who goes to the extreme of borderline swearing and insults (directed at naysayers). you know what? it actually WORKS and makes for some very compelling copy

as a final example think about one of the most successful sales and marketing models out there which are INFOMERCIALS. the marketing on those things is out of control and calling them "over-hyped" is an understatement. Infomercials will use every kind of prop, testimonial, demonstration and offer imaginable just to get you to pick up the phone and call. then what? well, because they have developed such as powerhouse MARKETING approach they don’t even NEED salespeople. you end up talking to a soft-spoken customer service person who is simply happy to answer your questions and take your order. do you think the average sales-focused TELEMARKETING operation has the same amount of success as the average marketing-focused infomercial?

if you are in the category of people with "soft" marketing looking for an opportunity for "hard" closes then you might want to think about refocusing some of what you are doing (especially if it is not working). make your marketing BRASH and UNAPOLOGETIC. make BOLD claims and DARE your customers to prove you wrong. make sure you stay "YOU"-centric but otherwise communicate like a RAPPER with no holds barred and nothing to lose. tell your customer why they should do business with you, what you are going to do for them and what they need to do next. review some super-successful marketing blogs, videos and presentations. i will admit candidly that this kind of marketing is not for every brand. however, it may be the push you need to take your "ho-hum" MEDIOCRE marketing to the next level

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Sales is SMILES, Marketing is MEASUREMENT

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