Get these terms correct for your business and the world is your oyster.

Very simply the terms are marketing and selling,

If someone came up to you today and asked you to define marketing and selling, what would you tell them?

Business owners are wasting thousands of dollars by not understanding the terms and how they apply to their business.


Selling takes place either face to face, voice to voice or face to website.

Marketing is how you got the above to happen.

That’s it really. Thousands of books have been written, tens of thousands of charts and graphs have been published around these two terms. (There is a lot to learn about both.) Yet a lot that has been written and published has been fried froth. Why?

What Kind of Issue Is Holding Your Business Back: Marketing or Selling?

In the consulting world in the 1970s and 80s, consultants specializing in marketing and selling earned a lot money serving clients who thought they had a marketing problem.

But what hey really had was a selling problem.

Others hired sales consultants to train teams to sell when their problem was really marketing–and had very little to do with selling.

Do you see how money can get spent foolishly from owners not knowing the difference between marketing and selling issues?

“I just know I need more sales. Period!”

Ok, let’s break that down a little from a business coach’s perspective.

Are you seeing a lot of prospective customers/clients/patients/members but few actually becoming happily involved with your business?

OK, you have a selling problem.

Now if you tell me, “When people find out about us they are excited. We have a very high closing rate when prospective customers call us. We just need to have more people find out about us.”

You just discovered the answer didn’t you? That’s a marketing problem.

Knowing only that you need more sales–and not becoming more intimate with what selling and marketing actually do for your business–is a sure-fire way to spend money putting out a fire you don’t really have.

By Becoming Specific With Your Need, You Can Be Specific with the Solution. Make sense?

OK, say you’ve defined your need. Now, would a consultant or a business coach be a better fit for your specific business?

Consultants work on specific issues. Business coaches give you an extra pair of eyes and ears in standing shoulder to should with you looking at your business on a holistic ‘complete enterprise’ basis.

Business coaches have been hired when a consultant should have been hired–and vice versa.

I like the above definition of marketing and selling a lot better than the one I’ve used over the years. To wit: Marketing is identifying the correct ponds to be fishing in while selling is knowing what lures to use to catch the kind of fish you want.

You can use your own metaphor of course. But just to know that selling takes place either face to face, voice to ear or face to webpage can give you a tremendous advantage.

Just do NOT lump selling and marketing any more in the same sentence–as meaning the same thing, fair enough? Feel free to give me some business specifics as to marketing and/or selling issues. I’ll be happy to give you a professional opinion/advice at no charge ever.

Get it? Got it? Good!





About Steve Lanning

Steve Lanning is a nationally recognized entrepreneur who has been creating his own paycheck since 1975 and loves to help others do likewise. As the founder of both the National Association of Business Coaches (sold in 2002) and the Consultants National Resource Center (for all marketers of professional services), he and his family have lived in three of the four states in our Quad State region. His passion is to see individuals and small businesses, start-ups to mature, discover and promote their strengths in building revenue streams individually, that, collectively, make for a strong region as reported on and celebrated by the Quad State Business Journal. He can be contacted at

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