Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Difference Between A Sales Consultant & A Marketing Consultant

This post came about because of an e-mail I received last week. Nothing unusual about an e-mail requesting a return call to discuss marketing. So the next day I made the call to this potential customer. To my surprise the prospect wanted a marketing consultant, that would be me, to in essence become his company’s sales rep. He also said I would be compensated only when I made a sale. What is this madness? Folks I have always marketed myself online or offline as a marketing consultant, not a sales consultant.

Note to all business owners in need of hiring a consultant. I’m sure most of you already know this, but for those who don’t, read on. Consultants all have extensive knowledge in we do for a living. Please don’t insult us by attempting to contract for services that are not our areas of expertise. Do us all a favor and contact the appropriate consultant for the job you wish to get done.

With that being said allow me to explain the difference between a sales consultant and a marketing consultant, or should I say the Wikipedia version. They pretty much covered how I would have explained it. Happy Marketing Week!

Marketing
Is an ongoing process of planning and executing of the marketing mix (Product, Price, Place, Promotion) of products, services or ideas to create exchange between individuals and organizations. Marketing tends to be seen as a creative industry, which includes advertising, distribution and selling. It is also concerned with anticipating the customers' future needs and wants, which are often discovered through market research.

Essentially, marketing is the process of creating or directing an organization to be successful in selling a product or service that people not only desire, but are willing to buy. Therefore good marketing must be able to create a "proposition" or set of benefits for the end customer that delivers value through products or services.

Sales
Are the activities involved in selling products or services in return for money or other compensation. It is an act of completion of a commercial activity. The "deal is closed", means the customer has consented to the proposed product or service by making full or partial payment (as in case of installments) to the seller.

Academically, selling is thought of as a part of marketing, however, the two disciplines are completely different. Sales often forms a separate grouping in a corporate structure, employing separate specialist operatives known as salespeople (singular: salesperson). Sales is considered by many to be a sort of persuading "art". Contrary to popular belief, the methodological approach of selling refers to a systematic process of repetitive and measurable milestones, by which a salesperson relates his or her offering of a product or service in return enabling the buyer to achieve their goal in an economic way.

A sale is completed by the seller, the owner of the goods. It starts with consent (or agreement) to an acquisition or appropriation or request followed by the passing of title (property or ownership) in the item and the application and due settlement of a price, the obligation for which arises due to the seller's requirement to pass ownership, being a price she is happy to part with ownership of or any claim upon the item.

The purchaser, though a party to the sale, does not execute the sale, only the seller does that. To be precise the sale completes prior to the payment and gives rise to the obligation of payment. If the seller completes the first two above stages (consent and passing ownership) of the sale prior to settlement of the price the sale is still valid and gives rise to an obligation to pay.

No comments: