You Have to Ask for the Sale

Tom Peters writes on the "Marketing Prof’s Daily Fix" about the age-old battle between marketing and sales.  He quotes Robert Lewis Stevenson, "Everyone lives by selling something."

While I wouldn’t go as far as Tom does in putting down marketing,
the old saying, "Nothing happens until somebody sells something" is
still true today.  In spite of all the MBA’s, in spite of the thousands
of books that have been written about marketing, in spite of the
gazillion pieces of data we have to analyze, the bottom line is that
somebody still has to get the customer’s head nodding up and down,
rather than from side to side.

I recently visited the owner of a very successful retail operation.
What’s his biggest concern?  Nobody on the floor is asking for the
sale.  His stores are beautiful.  He has a nice selection of products.
He spends thousands of dollars on advertising to get the prospects
into his stores and his "sales" people are letting them walk.

It’s like going to a doctor who takes your temperature, tests your
blood, does x-rays and cat scans and MRI’s.   Then, when he spots a
tumor, he thanks you for coming in and says he hopes you’ll come back
soon.  He’s not taking care of his customer’s needs.  Hopefully, we’re
taking care of ours.

Originally posted as Don’t Just Stand There–Sell Something! on 5/04/06

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