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Distinguishing Networking, Marketing, and Sales

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The following article was contributed by: http://sealthedealsuccesskit.com/

This article includes a chart that shows you how to distinguish between networking, marketing and sales, the key terms of business development.

©2005. Suzi Pomerantz, Innovative Leadership International LLC. All rights reserved. Excerpted from Seal the Deal: The Essential Mindsets for Growing Your Professional Services Business

People often misuse the term Marketing to be an all-encompassing concept to mean everything from press, exposure, pricing, referrals, networking and branding to sales, business development, rainmaking, and getting new clients. Marketing is often broadly used to refer to the act of getting your message/product/service to market as well as to define the materials and design of your image. I’d like to try to un-co-mingle the three main concepts for you. Once you have a clear understanding of the distinctions between networking, marketing, and sales, you will be able to manage your time so that you are leveraging each piece of this critical trinity to get to the sweet spot where deals are sealed!

In a nutshell, Networking is about Relation, Marketing is about Preparation, and Sales is about Implementation. What does that mean? Figure 1.1 will give you specifics about each one, but basically Networking is the relational aspect of your business. It is connecting with others for the purpose of sharing resources, information, leads, referrals, ideas, etc. Cultivating a working network of relationships is crucial to your business development system, but in and of itself will not be the way you build or expand your client base. Marketing is how you will prepare yourself to take your unique identity package, your irresistible offer, and your message to market. This involves a lot of strategy, design work, writing, and outreach, but those things alone will not get you the clients you want. Sales activities are about implementing your business development strategies. Simply put, Sales involves making appointments, seeking to be of service, making fabulous and bold offers, and asking for the business. Your goal is to master the integration of where preparation and relation meet implementation.

Relation + Preparation + Implementation = CLIENTS

Or, stated another way,

Networking + Marketing + Sales = $$$$

Many savvy and successful businessfolk will tell you that it is not a one to one ratio, and that it is most important to spend the bulk of your time in networking or relational activities. If you think of systems, you have to put a lot into the system up front to yield the desired output. Networking and marketing activities are the precursors to sales activities, all of which are necessary input. It isn’t magic. Your networking and marketing activities do not always just naturally lead to a hot prospect and then you turn on the sales juice or begin the sales process.

Although that will happen on occasion, wouldn’t you rather be in the driver’s seat than waiting for your networking and marketing efforts to pay off? There’s no need to wait for someone to ask you to dance…you get to take the lead and thereby control your time, your efforts, your results, your business. Taking action in your sales process from the start will dramatically reduce the time-to-close even while you are building your network and creating your marketing materials and strategies.

The Figure 1.1 provides more detail about the distinctions between the three keys to success. If you take only one thing away from this book, my core message is that you need to be taking action in ALL THREE DOMAINS simultaneously to grow your business.

Click or right-click the red button below to download the chart of specific actions you can take in all three domains.

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