istock_000000539892mediumIn one of my recent sales training workshops we got into an interesting discussion about the definitions of “sales” and “marketing”. I’ve looked both of these words up in the past, in several dictionaries, and never been really happy with what I read. They never got to the essence of what I felt about these two topics. So, we explored these words in the training session.

There were 6 (plus myself) in the room and we had around 100 years collective experience of actually working in sales and/or marketing, primarily in the business-to-business environment.

Here’s what we decided:

1. Marketing is generally an arms-length activity. Sales requires you to be close to the customer.

2. With marketing you don’t get to converse directly with the customer. Sales requires conversation and interaction.

3. Marketing is typically a 1-2-many experience.  Sales is typically a 1-2-1 experience.

4. Marketing tries to highlight problems, failures or opportunities. Sales tries to highlight solutions and success.

5. Marketing focuses on “later”. Sales focused on “now”.

6. Marketing mainly leaves physical things with the customer (the exception being on-line). Sales leaves memories and perceptions.

7. Marketing starts of a journey. Sales finds the destination.

8. Marketing is about transmitting. Sales is about receiving.

Of course, these are generalisations. But I hope you find some empathy with the thoughts we captured in my training room that day. I’d love to hear your thoughts about the definitions of sales and marketing. Over to you…

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