What’s the difference between marketing and selling?

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No entrepreneur in history ever became one simply because he was a born leader. Entrepreneurship is not a talent, but a discipline that is forged through years of consistent work on weaknesses and development of strengths. Entrepreneurship is influence and you cannot learn to be an entrepreneur until you learn to be enterprising yourself. So, the challenge here is simple: how to learn to be enterprising.

One of the best ways to do this is by reading.

Selling is Marketing....

As an entrepreneurs, writer, public relations and social media marketing practitioner, I read a lot. Reading builds my self-image and that’s one of the most important thing I must continue to protect and continue to work on developing. Well, to cut a long story short, I’ve started reading this book, The Greatest Salespersons…  What They Say About Selling by Robert L. Shook, and one of the underlying questions being asked and answered throughout the book was: “What’s the difference between marketing and selling?”

I know a lot of us entrepreneurs don’t know the difference between the two, and often mistaken one for the other. Therefore, to put a stop to this ignorance, I might as well let Francis G. “Buck” Rogers of IBM fame, and a couple of others answer it for you:

“Selling is the art of persuasion where you utilise your individual talents to convince someone to buy the product or service you offer. Marketing, however, is a much more inclusive term which means understanding the customer’s business and putting together a solution to his problems, thereby increasing his productivity,” says Francis G. “Buck” Rogers in The Greatest Salespersons…  What They Say About Selling.

Laura Lake, at About.com Guide, in Marketing vs. Sales: What is the Difference, writes: “Marketing is everything that you do to reach and persuade prospects. The sales process is everything that you do to close the sale and get a signed agreement or contract. Both are necessities to the success of a business. You cannot do without either process. By strategically combining both efforts you will experience a successful amount of business growth.”

According to the Small Business Bible in an article on its website, What’s The Difference Between Sales and Marketing and How May One Compliment The Other?, “The major difference between sales and marketing is that the sales is refer to the conservation of assets by advertising products while marketing is a mechanism through which these sales mechanism are introduced to the general market and the way through which the product is introduce in the market to increase sales. Therefore marketing can be considered as an integral part of sales as it directly influence the amount of sales a company process and makes.”

Well, folks there you have it. No matter how it is explained, sales and marketing are like two peas in a pod. They are brother and sister, and for all I care, they could very well be a pair of twin, the ying-yang of an association that facilitates both means.

In conclusion, Peter Kusterer sums it up very well for us when he says that marketing creates opportunities, while sales brings about outcomes.

Now, over to you! What is your understanding of the difference between marketing and sales? Do you have a better definition of marketing versus sales? If so, I invite you to please share it with us. If you got something to add here, please, we welcome it too.