Marketing vs. Sales: Which One Do You Need?

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Marketing and sales?

Marketing or sales?

Are they the same or different? Should you focus on one or the other?

First, marketing and sales are not the same, but the distinctions are subtle. There’s so much overlap, the two often get confused. Let’s talk about each, comparing similarities and differences as well as why both important to your real estate business.

What is Marketing?

Marketing is everything you do to draw attention to your brand. It’s what you do to attract people to you, in a way they understand and resonate with. Note here your brand can be you as an individual or a team or brokerage.

Good marketing tells a story that identifies the customer’s need or pain point and then tells them you have a solution to that need or pain. Additionally, marketing focused on the customer’s problem also makes the sales process much easier because there’s no need to “convince” them.

We’ve got some killer resources and ideas for you about upping your content marketing game:

By reading, watching, and engaging with your content on a long-term basis, people get to know you better. Then, when it is finally time for them to buy or sell a home, they won’t need to think about who to hire—you’ll already have it in the bag.

Inbound vs. Outbound

Inbound marketing is about getting people’s attention and then asking them to make themselves known by reaching out to you. It is a longer-term approach and is more about letting people get to know you over time.

Outbound marketing gets you in front of people today and asks people to pay attention right now. It is the proactive approach that puts you in front of someone immediately and qualifying them on the spot.

If you want more business now, outbound marketing will almost always get it faster.

Inbound Marketing Activities:

  • Advertising in newspapers, magazines, radio, billboards, TV, and more
  • Sending out promotional items
  • Website SEO
  • Direct mail, including postcards and newsletters
  • Email, including newsletters and emails about special events
  • Signs, brochure boxes
  • Branded Swag
  • Social media pages and groups
  • Farming, geographic and demographic
  • Sponsorships
  • Pre-listing and buyer presentations
  • Social media advertising

Outbound Marketing Activities:

  • Calling FSBOs and expired listings
  • Calling just sold and just listed owners
  • Calling past clients
  • Calling a geographic area
  • Calling apartments, corporations, builders, banks, and other companies
  • Door-to-door canvassing
  • Open houses
  • Client parties
  • Networking events
  • Community events
  • Seminars
  • Booths at events
  • Teaching and speaking opportunities

What is Sales?

Whether someone’s attention came from an inbound marketing effort like a Facebook ad or from physically knocking on someone’s door, sales is what you do with a person’s attention once you’ve got it.

Sales is when you tell them exactly how you solve their problem so they’ll want to hire you over someone else.

Nothing can replace the value of sales efforts when it comes to getting more business. Even if you have a great marketing campaign, poor sales techniques will stop someone from ever “signing on the line” and actually hiring you.

Marketing can bring them as close to the crossing the “buying line” as possible, but you still have to close them.

How Sales and Marketing Activities Work Together

By now, you may already have a good idea of how marketing and sales work together. But just in case, let’s discuss it briefly.

Marketing is the act of getting someone’s attention and having them raise their hand saying they need your product/service, and sales is what you do to actually get them to “sign on the dotted line”. They work hand-in-hand to get you more customers.

Additionally, marketing makes sales easier. Great marketing that clearly communicates your value proposition shortens the timeline from “contact to close” because there’s less convincing that needs to happen. Marketing as a great way to pre-qualify your potential clients.

Marketing is also a leveraged activity. When you’re doing sales, you’re limited by time and resources. There is only one of you and there are only 24 hours in a day. In contrast, marketing can be hired out, giving you more time to focus on the activities only you can do.

Doing Your Most Value-Added Activity

To truly compete with today’s sophisticated marketing, you need to be an expert graphic designer, web developer, copywriter, and advertiser. Chances are, you’re not. (And even if you were, would doing all of those things be the best use of your time?)

You are the face of your business. Nobody can be you but you, so you should think about what activities only you can do and what activities you can hire out.

Smart agents know that they can’t do everything. Hiring out your marketing frees you up to do the things only you can do. Those are the things that are the very best use of your limited time.

You Need Both Marketing and Sales

So, you need both marketing and sales to be successful.

Marketing helps your sales efforts go further, and it also helps bring in business without you having to actively seek out new business.

Sales is what you do to actually close the deal and get the new client.

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