Apr 152014

Solopreneurs do both marketing and sales.

But did you know there are differences between the two? In the 1980s I co-owned an Apple computer dealership here in Toronto. At first when we were tiny (worked from home) the line between the two was blurred since my partner did both of them. But as we grew we hired sales people to sell and my partner did the marketing.

I found out the differences right away then! Marketers market and sales people sell – right? But where does one end and the other begin. Here are six of the differences.


They need each other since marketing creates demand and sales fulfills it. This i s a great example of a symbiotic relationship. One of the best articles I read about this uses a scene in the 2013 movie “The Wolf of Wall Street” where the main character tests someone’s understanding of sales by using his fountain as an example. You can read this blog post here.

6 Differencessales is one to one

  1. Marketing is one to many. Sales is one to one. I wrote an earlier post and put my version of a funnel in it to illustrate this. You can find it at Is Sales a Part of Marketing .
  2. Marketing is data (or numbers) driven. Sales is relationship driven. When you choose your target market you often choose by the number of potential clients in this niche – start with a big number and then whittle it down to far fewer by choosing a “niche” or subset of this market.
  3. Marketing people develop product or services. Salespeople don’t. Marketing includes research to find out what people want (and will pay for) and then creating it.
  4. Marketing can’t be tracked. Sales can. The most successful trade show that we did with our Apple dealership was in 1986 where we tracked the number of people who came to our booth (dropped their business cards in a bowl) and how many eventually bought (we had our salespeople call, set up interviews, write proposals and close). We saw first hand how symbiotic the relationship between marketing and sales really is.
  5. Marketing looks after your brand’s reputation. Sales looks after what individuals think of you.
  6. Marketing analyses the big data. Marketing brings you the average result not the specifics. Sales takes care of the ambiguities and details of each person. That can’t be averaged.
  7. Marketing isn’t interactive. Sales is a conversation between two people.

You can see how they’re intertwined. In “big” businesses they’re two separate departments who often don’t interact with each other. One of the advantages you have as a solopreneur is that you do both.

Stay involved if you outsource marketing or sales. Be sure the people selling or marketing you understand your brand and what you stand for and believe in. Keep doing it yourself – that’s one of your competitive advantages as a solopreneur!


Tell me whether you outsource or keep it for yourself to do.


Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 April 15, 2014  Posted by  Business Basics  Add comments

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