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The last two posts have discussed who we want to sell to and what we want to sell to them.  So how are we going to get those people to buy those products?  Now we’re talking about Promotion – aka, marketing and sales.

There have been thousands of books written about marketing and sales.  We could write weekly blog posts for years about nothing but those topics (some people do!) and still not cover everything.  But here are some brief thoughts to keep in mind as you do your planning.

Marketing and sales are closely intertwined, but they are two different disciplines.  Marketing is the preparation of people to buy.  Sales is the conversion of the buying desire into action (an actual sale).  And you have to decide how you want to do each.

Think about the marketing and sales functions in your business as they are NOW:  Do you understand why people buy from you?  Do you understand your sustainable competitive advantage?  Do you understand your competitors?  How do you compare to them?  How would you rate your selling skills?

Now think about the future:  WHERE does your marketing and sales functions need to be in the future?  Why will people buy from you?  What will your sustainable competitive advantage be?  Who will your competitors be?  What characteristics will they have?  How will you sell? 

Remember that the purpose to all of this is to give a simple outline you can use to plan for your business.  So answering all of those questions is a good beginning – as long as you follow it up with action! 

How will you close the gap between NOW and WHERE?  How good are your sales skills?  If you are not using SPIN questions, you should be.

Sales, Marketing, Marketing strategy

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