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Are You in Marketing Because You Can’t Sell?

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I saw in e-mail exchange today between a famous sales trainer and a successful information markter and copywriter.

In it, the sales trainer arrogantly proclaimed: “Marketing is for people who can’t sell.”

I’ve heard this many times before.

When I was in the corporate world, the sales force and the marcom department often had an adversarial relationship.

It was mainly based on salespeople not believing that marketing has value — and the marketing people resenting that snobby attitude.

The sales trainer who said “marketing is for people that can’t sell,” by the way, is a guy who actively teaches cold calling.

In essence, he advocates calling people who do not know you, interrupting them at work or at home, and pressing them into buying from a total stranger (you).

I much prefer marketing, in which I follow The Silver Rule, a principle first articulated to me by consultant Pete Silver.

The Silver Rule says that it is better for prospects to come to you than for you to go to them.

Cold-calling selling completely violates this rule.

I don’t know about you, but I would much rather spend my time talking to potential clients who call me or e-mail me because, thanks to a referral or my reputation, they are interested in hiring me.

I mean, if you just pick up the phone and cold call strangers, these strangers must certainly wonder how busy and successful you really are. After all, aren’t you spending your day dialing numbers in a prospecting directory? I can’t imagine Tom Peters or Seth Godin doing that.

Wouldn’t prospects rather buy from someone they consider a busy and successful expert and authority than a salesman calling them cold over the phone?

Wouldn’t YOU, Mr. Famous Sales Trainer, who says marketing is for people that can’t sell?

Wouldn’t you, Gentle Reader?

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Frederic August 21, 2009 at 7:38 am

What if you don’t have the funds to do marketing? While I agree that neither Tom Peters nor Seth Godin would cold calling, we have to remember that not all products are as they are (yes, they are a product.) I’m a marketing guy by experience and a salesman by necessity (or is it the other way round) and often, especially in B2B, cold calling is the only way to go.

Marketing Repairman


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