Create the right conditions, and buyers convince themselves.
Marketing is often confused with selling. If marketing is the art of creating genuine customer value, selling is the art of demonstrating the value to the prospective buyers and gaining their commitment. The primary function of marketing is to identify unfulfilled needs and desires whereas a fundamental challenge in selling is to understand the buyers' needs to capitalize on the opportunities or to resolve the problems they are facing.
How does the marketer identify unfulfilled needs and desires in the marketplace? If telling isn’t selling, then what is? If the harder you push, the more push-back you get, how the heck are you supposed to sell? What actions can any business take not to generate an undesirable equal and opposite reaction?
Success in marketing and selling depends a great deal on how well you research the industry and the prospect, how you investigate the situation, identify the opportunities, and determine their implications by asking intelligent and probing questions. It further depends on how and when you introduce solutions and how you develop them with the help of the buyer. It is often said that selling is not about convincing buyers, but about creating the right conditions to allow buyers to convince themselves.
Although commonly referred to as "sales & marketing," the two are rather distinct concepts that are often confounded. Philip Kotler, the father of modern marketing, has said: “Marketing is not the art of finding clever ways to dispose of what you make.” He adds, "Marketing and selling are almost opposites. Selling starts only when you have a product. Marketing starts before there is a product." In other words, marketing comes before selling.
If you have ever visited The Sherlock Holmes Museum at 221b Baker Street in London, you probably noticed the most intriguing title on his business card: Consulting Detective. When we are involved in our clients’ marketing and selling efforts, we put on our consulting detective shoes. We deploy inquisitive, consultative, and customer-focused acquisition strategies to do the most elementary things right! This common sense approach has resulted in helping our clients win and retain mega accounts among Fortune 100 prospects including global leaders in the semiconductor, investment banking, technology services, and automotive industries.
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