You should know, as you read this, I’m a morning person. In a perfect world, I’d get to the office by 7am everyday, have all appointments completed by noon, and take off for home around 2 in the afternoon. From the minute I wake up, my energy starts to rise, reaches its peak around 12 or 1, then starts to decline. At 5 pm there is a sharp drop, and by 7pm I am absolutely useless as my energy levels have plummeted.
But, I don’t live in that perfect world and clients need to see me at the time most convenient for them. Often, that time is after 5pm.
On my way out the door this morning I told my husband that I had a 5:30 listing appointment with a seller. As listings are scarce right now, I’d meet with this seller if midnight was her preferred time! But, I told my husband that because of this late meeting, I’d be home later than usual, and probably pretty tired.
My husband, who knows a ton about marketing (and even more about me) and is the editor-in-chief of a marketing publication, suggested I tell the seller, if I was fading, “Look, can we wrap this up? I’m really tired.”
Um, no. Can you imagine?
I told him, “That right there is what tells us that sales and marketing are not the same. You can’t say that as a sales person! You know sales is flirting. Would you have ever told a girl you were trying to date, ‘Hey, can we wrap this up? Are you going out with me or not? I’m really tired.’? No! Of course you wouldn’t have.”
So, what’s the true difference? Salespeople can’t get tired but marketers can? Not quite.
Marketing is grabbing attention. It’s the carnival barker. It’s the bright neon sign. It’s the presentation. If we go back to the person-you’re-trying-to-date analogy, it’s the tight blue jeans or the attractive haircut. Marketing draws the person in. Sales creates a relationship. The carnival barker gets a break as soon as everyone is inside the tent. The neon sign can be switched off. But in sales, it’s long-term and it’s best-foot-forward EVERY time. Even if that time is 8pm, as it often is during the long days of summer.
I suppose this post could have been a lot shorter if I just had written down these two quotes:
“Marketing is a contest for people’s attention.” – Seth Godin
“Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck — ‘Make me feel important!’ Not only will you succeed in sales, you will succeed in life.” – Mary Kay Ash