Marketers. Learn to sell.

by on 10th March 2015

You’re a marketer. You should learn to sell.

In the last two weeks, I’ve come across two marketers who have said that they’d never want to have to sell.

I think all marketers should have experience of actually selling something. I think almost all do, without actually realising.

Have you been successful in a job interview? What about getting a date with someone you really like? How about making contact with a journalist or a blogger and winning your client some coverage? That’s selling. You have the right experience and you use it every day.

You’re a marketer. You’ve been selling all day.

When you’ve found a way to connect what you have with what someone wants, you win the outcome.

When you learn to create the need before you provide what someone wants, you win the outcome.

For me, I think the most successful people I know sell by teaching. However they choose to approach a situation, a marketer who can sell holds a serious advantage.

I just don’t think you realise you’re selling all the time.


  1. Couldn’t agree more good sir. The classic “How to Master the Art of Selling” by Tom Hopkins elaborates on that concept very well. From picking a restaurant with friends to blogger outreach, we’re always selling. It’s a life skill.

    Have to admit I’m still reeling from your first sentence! My gut reaction was “If I were their boss I’d fire them in a heartbeat”, but maybe I’m being a little unfair. When someone thinks ‘Salesperson’ the connotations are as broad as the average Joe thinking of an ‘SEO’. We all know of the smarmy and pushy used car salesman. It’s a combative win-lose approach. If that’s what something thinks sales means I can understand them being pushed away.

    But solution selling and value added selling, for example, are sales techniques which are geared towards win-win outcomes. Hubspot have a great intro on the 6 principles to the consultative sales process, where teaching is #4, and framed in that context selling can be boiled down to: Finding out what other people want, and teaching them about how you can help them.

    My gut reaction (fire them!) stems from a firmly held belief that sales is everyones job. Heck, I’ve had socially inept computer programmers sell 6 figure services from a support phone call. If you call yourself a marketer and don’t think you’re up for that, well…

  2. Ha, it’s OK Bruce they weren’t my guys! But yes, I agree an understanding of the process and definition of sales is really a fundmental to successful marketing. Thank you for the Hopkins reference, I’ll take a look at that and as for consultative selling – indeed – I think that’s the approach I’m most comfortable with.

    Thanks and good luck for the F1 season!

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