What is more important; Sales or Marketing?
Depends what generation you are coming from; back in the 1980’s when I was a salesman, I had no real idea what marketing was, apart from Radio TV and newspapers, and that world was a closed shop unless you went to the right universities, or worked your but off on Hospital radio for years. Marketing back then was what we separate as Media now.
When I started as a vacuum cleaner salesman back in the early 80’s we did our own marketing called canvassing, which meant after a rah-rah session in the morning singing motivational songs, we poured out onto the streets and started banging on house doors with a spiel about how a new American company has opened in the area and there’s a free prize draw, blah blah “What’s your name and number in case you win, is Hubby at work? God bless he’s the lucky few eh, blah blah… “
What we got in 2 hours canvassing, companies today would pay a fortune for; we got the names and numbers of the householders, whether they own or rent, if hubby works, where he works (educated guess on income) and what vacuum cleaner they use of around 50 people, sure 10 were rude and 5 slammed the door on us and threatened to call the police, but the rest of the info was dynamite.
Now with a more educated or depending on your point of view; over-wary consumer, the results of such a practice would be much less effective, hence the reason you don’t get as many cold calls as you did back then.
The information was then fed to a few telemarketing people who then called everyone and told them they won, we gave them their cheap prizes but only if we can give them a demo of the Vacuum cleaner in their homes. Then In the evenings we went to work, we had the best training in the world back then, at 19 years of age I was using advanced N.L.P. techniques that I was unaware of but they were drilled into me and they were very persuasive.
To this day I still believe some salespeople can sell anyone things they don’t want. There is still a branch of fundamentalist sales where their devout followers will try to educate you that your mission in life is to convince people they need a service or a product before they even knew it existed, that to them is pure sales.
Remember the scene in the movie Boiler room where our salesman is met with the objection that he needs to ask his wife before he can make major decisions, and our jihadist sales ninja knows this means no, so he fights back with:
“Do you need your wife’s permission when you need to go the toilet? Think of how proud of you she will be when you took the initiative and made her some real money, that’s what makes wives happy”
Sexist and patronizing at the same time, yet uses a very subtle shock derivation trick that opens your prey up for the kill and gets the truth out of them, as only when you have a true and honest playing field can you win, I say win and not sell as it was a battle of wits between the buyer and the seller, not about the product.
Fast forward 30 years and a more savvy B2B buyer, and smarter B2C consumer knows how to battle back against the sales Jihadist and Is ready for the preliminary rapport building and closing techniques and are more interested in finding a decent product that solves their problem, your shiny shoes and coloured ties matter much less now.
With the advent of the Internet and Online marketing people can now bypass the greasy salesman and go direct for the things they want, and how do they find out about the things they want? Through online marketing and effective altruistic content, selling is now called marketing, and the smart techies are selling by giving people the illusion of choice that it was their decision to go for one product over another, proactive marketing means the battle of the sale was lost on the internet before the consumer even got to the mall.
You can feed information through content marketing and sell so effectively with a series of blogs that educates your targeted audience how you are the trusted and the best to deal with through your knowledge of your industry and you can build up trust in your company, then, when the time comes you will be rewarded for your efforts, you don’t even have to go to sales meeting anymore and have a leader board or those ‘Top Salesman of the month’ certificates that hang in your office, nope, marketing is the new sales now. I do miss the company car though and the company meals and parties, God knows how they afforded that!
You can now be unshaven , obese, rude, boring, fart a lot and still sell a lot of stuff in this present age, but only of your knowledge is up to scratch and you realise that you have to give the market a better back scratcher, to trust you, and why your back scratcher will ease all their itches, and sell you will.