As a small business owner:
If you answered “yes” to any of these three questions read on.
There is a marketing predicament in the world of business – thankfully, it is very easy to solve if you understand the power of discerning and having clear operational definitions for your business.
Let me give you an example. If I go to www.dictionary.com and look up the word marketing, this is what I get:
1. the act of buying or selling in a market.
2. the total of activities involved in the transfer of goods from the producer or seller to the consumer or buyer, including advertising, shipping, storing, and selling.
Now, if I look up the word sale what I get is:
1. the act of selling.
2. a quantity sold.
3. opportunity to sell; demand: slow sale.
4. a special disposal of goods, as at reduced prices.
5. transfer of property for money or credit.
6. an auction.
Now, by reading these definitions you will immediately notice that there is no clear discernment between marketing and sales. While marketing has to do with the act of buying or selling in a market, sales has to do with the act of selling.
So, as a small business owner, what should you do if you want to increase sales? Marketing or Sales? The truth of the matter is that marketing and sales are considered to be one and the same thing. They are collapsed as a concept. They are two separate processes that relate to one another but can be done independent of one another. However, since we do not discern between the two, operationally this creates a lot of confusion.
To add to this, marketing also seems to include “the total of activities involved in the transfer of goods from the producer or seller to the consumer or buyer, including advertising, shipping, storing and selling.” It certainly does include a lot – even selling!
As you can understand, this can be confusing for anybody, and my job is to bring discernment into this discussion so you – as a small business owner and entrepreneur – have better control over your business by understanding the role that marketing plays operationally in your business.
I will also bust any myths that suggest to you that marketing and sales is one and the same thing. In fact, they are very different concept with distinct business requirements.
According to RSC Business Group, operationally marketing is a very simple concept. It has to do with taking people that don’t know you exist and having those people know you exist.
In a formula marketing can be spelled out as follows:
Stranger (someone who does not know you exist) --> Process to let person know that you exist --> Prospect (someone that knows you exist)
In an even simpler format marketing looks like this:
Stranger --> Process --> Prospect
Hold on! Where in this formula does marketing produce sales? The truth is, it doesn’t – at least not directly. Marketing is simply a part of the process and if you are trying to close sales by only doing marketing, there are several steps being skipped in your business.
Why is this important?
Imagine if you tried to teach somebody calculus and they did not have an understanding of basic mathematics such as addition, subtraction, long division and multiplication. What results would you produce with that person if they did not understand the basic fundamentals?
The answer is very little results or almost NONE! And if anything got produced it would really be a fluke, or it would have been very hard to do.
However, if you look in the world of business, most people try to have a marketing process (or buy marketing services) to increase sales. This is a myth. Marketing in and of itself cannot produce sales results because marketing’s purpose is the creation of new prospects. In other words, people who know that your business exists.
Now, when you begin to understand this very simple concept, you can focus your marketing not on producing sales but on introducing your business to others in a way such that they are left with a great impression of your business.
The manner or methodology in which you can have people know that your business exists is unlimited and unbounded, and when you start accounting for the number of people that know your business exists, you can begin to have something that a lot of businesses miss out on. It’s called “existence” or “being known in the market.”
Watch out for the next article as we continue to dispel the myths about sales and how you can build an effective business process for your business through a very simple marketing and sales mechanism.