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The Difference Between Sales and Marketing

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Building your business starts with better marketing

Believe it or not, many people don’t know that there is a difference between sales and marketing. From when I was very young, rich dad insisted that I know the difference between the two.

“Many business owners suffer from low sales and poor communications with staff and investors,” said rich dad. “If a business has strong, convincing marketing, the sales will come easily. If the business has weak marketing, the company must spend a lot of time and money, and work very hard, to gather sales.”

Moving from self-employed to big business

One difference between those who are self-employed (the S quadrant of the CASHFLOW Quadrant) and those who owned thriving businesses (the B quadrant), rich dad taught, was that those in the S quadrant were often good at sales but poor at marketing. Those in the B quadrant, on the other hand, are good at both sales and marketing.

“Sales is what you do in person, one-on-one,” said rich dad. “Marketing is sales done via a system.” Both sales and marketing are important for the success of a business. For an S quadrant person to transition to the B quadrant, they must take their skills at selling one-on-one and learn how to create a system of sales that creates more leads, which is marketing.

Marketing basics

The basic rules of marketing are fairly simple, but like most arts, it takes time and practice to become adept at applying them successfully.

Always make sure you know your audience and that your marketing tool is designed for that audience. In every marketing effort, include these three ingredients:

  1. Identify a need
  2. Provide a solution
  3. Answer your customer’s question: “What’s in it for me?” Often, along with answering this question, you can use special offers, and communicate a sense of urgency for the customer to respond

Marketing tools you can use today

There are many tools you can use to market to potential customers and create a number of leads for your sales department to close. Thankfully, with the rise of technology, the cost of marketing has gone down, and if done right, you can create more leads for less money.

The following are some great places to start your marketing efforts for your business at little-to-no cost.


It’s important to build up your email lists and to utilize those lists to market your products and services. There are many ways to build up your email lists, from having a frequent newsletter and allowing people to sign up for your newsletter on your website, to asking to add every contact you meet in various networking groups to your list. The great thing about email lists is you have a group of people who have already expressed interest in you and what you do. Taking advantage of that and staying top of mind is a no brainer.

Social media

Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn provide great, low-cost ways of reaching potential customers with your products and services. For very little money, you can establish target ads and get the attention of very targeted groups of people by utilizing the demographic and psychographic filters built into these platforms ad services. Just a couple weeks ago, Kim wrote about how two women are doing just that to great success (“ Two Keys to Small Business Success ”).

Referral networks

There’s nothing like word of mouth marketing, and when your existing customers and partners can work for you, good things will happen. One way to build your business is to offer referral fees to customers and partners who bring in qualified leads that close. And with technology, it’s become much easier to track these types of programs. For instance, many Customer Relationship Management systems (CRM) have referral programs built in.

Content creation

Did you know that what you’re reading is a piece of marketing? Each week, The Rich Dad Company creates useful, relevant content that we give away for free through our website. These pieces of content get shared to hundreds of thousands of people (through email and social media), generating interest in our company, products, and services. Sharing this information for free is a powerful marketing tool for us, and it’s proof that marketing can be both useful for customers as well as for your company.

If you want to see your business grow, it’s time to focus on marketing as part of your sales funnel. And there’s no time like the present to start. These are just a handful of the options available to you in today’s marketplace, but they’re a great place to start. Master them and you’ll be well ahead of your competition.

Original publish date: March 31, 2015

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