How Sales and Marketing are as Different as a Purple Cow and a Pink Cadillac

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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

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About The Author
Cari McGee

My husband and I came to the Tri-Cities in 1994, and we thought it would be a temporary stop on our way to larger cities. He was a television sports anchor at the time, and we planned to go wherever the "next step up" took us. Twenty-plus years later, we're still here and we've loved every minute of it! We have two children now, and we've found the Tri-Cities area is a wonderful place to raise a family. It's a great place to do outdoorsy things -- I like to hike Badger Mountain or run along the river path. I also love reading ... by a cozy fire in the winter or a beautiful picture window in the summer (with the A/C on!). I've been a licensed Realtor since 2004. I earned my managing broker's license in 2016, which means I can run my own brokerage, or create a team of real estate agents and supervise them, which is exactly what I did when I formed the Cari McGee Real Estate Team in 2018! We have administrative and marketing personnel, as well as additional agents to serve you. I became a director of the Tri-Cities Association of Realtors Board of Directors in 2016, became Secretary/Treasurer of the organization, and was elected to Vice President in 2019. Want to talk about real estate? Click here to schedule a meeting with me!

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