02 Nov Lawyers Must Know that Sales and Marketing are not The Same Thing
Among attorneys, there is understandable disagreement about the distinction between sales and marketing.
First, lawyers also fail to grasp marketing, as evidenced by the fact that most lawyers’ marketing concerns are restricted to one of the four P’s of marketing: marketing contact and other types of promotion.
Marketing departments of law firms also have little to no role in identifying the other three Ps:
What services (products) should / will be offered by businesses/firms,
What would be the price, and
How best to distribute and go to the market (place) for those services.
The sale remains the new kid on the law firm block-individual lawyer operation or institutional business feature in either context. “Some lawyers also have trouble keeping the” S “word out of their mouths, preferring the euphemism,” marketing “or” company creation that is less culturally threatening. “Even lawyers who are not burdened by these issues use the two words interchangeably innocently.
When I ask lawyers to separate the words, their responses indicate an understanding at the gut level that marketing is somehow wider, more diffuse. In contrast, selling is more concentrated and has more to do with immediacy and closure. (I don’t know what proportion of lawyers share this visceral experience. Maybe it’s just a trait of those who want sales training.)
So, is the distinction between marketing and sales merely semantic for law firms and, thus, unimportant? The difference is both meaningful and significant, I would argue.
I define marketing as a continuous, closed-loop lead generation process:
- Defining demand,
- Profile and classify the most likely to encounter particular groups-and act on that demand;
- Understand the language used by those profiled to articulate: (a) a market challenge, opportunity, or another basis for their desire or need; and (b) a preference basis among competing offers;
- Translate our perception of demand and desire into attractive goods and services within their categories and markets that enjoy competitive advantage;
- Price such offers to sell profitably;
- Distribute and otherwise effectively market such offerings;
- Communicate all of the above across trusted networks with profiled buyers;
- Communicate sales qualification data to help inform their decisions about how they allocate limited time and money for sales;
- Obtain input from sales channels and customers about sales receptivity or resistance, competitiveness, use, and satisfaction; and
- Use the feedback to inform Phase 1 and, continually improving, launch another cycle.
In contrast, I describe sales as a process of continuous, closed-loop lead-conversion:
- Make communication with receptive representatives of the segment of the profiled market;
- Test the ability of the buyer to consider the demand-triggering issue or opportunity cited for this buyer category in marketing communication;
- Investigate the perceived cost of doing nothing by this stakeholder, i.e., the existence or absence of a compulsion to act, e.g., technological, economic, and emotional implications of the issue causing demand or inability to take advantage of the opportunity;
- Discontinue sales expenditure if the cost of doing nothing is low enough to postpone or prevent intervention by the purchaser;
- Identify and encourage the alignment of all other decision-makers with a wise, self-interested business decision, whether or not to commit to investing and taking action in a solution;
- Relate the market situation, needs, and limitations to our solution offerings;
- Obtain an agreement that our solution will achieve the desired result and that our partnership will be culturally efficient.
- Defining the processes by which the consumer prefers the action decision to be implemented;
- Track implementation and customer satisfaction of the solution; and
- Feedback on ads for inclusion in their method is all of the above.
These functional positions need to be established by law firms to clearly distinguish their duties and bring a tough business approach to the three main areas of consumer acquisition and retention: marketing, sales, and implementation.
There are tactical, strategic, and competitive aspects to all three of these regions, which we can define as follows:
- Tactical: Product-related problems, including attributes, benefits, advantages, and distinction.
- Strategic: Problems related to particular applications for business and industry.
- Competitive: Problems related to partnerships or rivalry between you and the consumer.
Awareness of the client’s company and business is one crucial factor. To better distribute the company’s resources and reduce duplication of effort, the company should concentrate on the discrepancies between revenue, marketing, and implementation rather than their similarity.
The goal of Marketing
The focus of marketing should be on offers of services and organizations. Industries, market segments, and demographically identified consumers provide targets. The strategy and tactics involved in defining and qualifying opportunities should be included in a marketing plan, thus simultaneously positioning your services. We mean by positioning: 1) Mind share — your identity in the mind of the customer. 2) Competition-in comparison to rivals, the position.]
Marketing’s responsibility is to clearly distinguish you from rivals and give consumers reasons to think of you first in your industry. Marketing is responsible for defining who you are, what you do, and what resources are available in the marketplace. Marketing must also build a bond between prospective customers and you. If you can build an actual dialogue with potential customers, it’s best.
Besides, marketing must make the original choice about who you want to pick as future customers. That is, which opportunities reflect the best opportunities for shared success and, as a potential client, an assessment of general need and desirability. At the tactical stage, this also requires knowledge about your services, the organization, and the advantages of selecting you.
Marketing must, ultimately, show the unique business value of the services and distinguish the organization from its goods and services. This is where the sale of value starts. Four questions should answer the outcome of successful marketing:
- Who are you?
- What do you do?
- Why are you different?
- Why am I supposed to care?
To answer the fourth question, sales build on the foundation laid by marketing: can you win the business? The emphasis is on the dynamic adaptation to the particular market and political realities that decide your future success chances.
Sales realities include developing sufficient knowledge of the consumer’s business to decide if the issue under consideration is sufficiently important for any decision to be required and, if so, on what basis the prospect will find your solution more attractive than that of the competition.
Sales must also assess if there are sufficiently strong relationships of the correct kind at different levels within the purchasing organization to provide a reasonable potential for success.
Can the unavoidable issues of a business marriage endure your power and relationship? This implies that throughout the initial commitment and during the business relationship’s hoped-for life cycle, sales must consider both organizations’ political essence and their future compatibility. Otherwise, it would be tough to establish a serious account.
Sales must also gain access and get to know the individuals who can express the prospect’s business dilemma in terms sufficiently substantive to allow a decision and promote the alignment of decision-making stakeholders around an optimal decision that enables each individual and organization to succeed. Sales must also decide mutually agreeable terms and conditions on which the business transaction with that account should be centered and allow favorable terms for future business to take place.
Sales must actually decide if this is a successful use of sales time and money now. In a given time span, is there a compelling reason for the client to make a decision?
The Emphasis of Implementation
For the service solution, the final step of customer acquisition focuses on assessing the customer’s performance. Note that the priority is the performance of the client. Your success should be guaranteed by the terms and conditions decided upon by sales. Now it’s time to fulfill our responsibilities to the customer.
At the operation, sector, organization, and political levels, the execution team establishes the partnership. This implies that, by performing a resource provider’s role at the company and personal level, they continue to expand with the account. Not only is the success of services important, but you also have to ensure that you do your part to support and client’s individual success to become a trusted resource.
It would help if you teamed with your allies inside the account in the strategic dimension to foresee, combat, and separate competitive attempts to take business away. You become everyone’s target until you are a recognizable supplier. The retention of clients is an environment in which even successful sales and marketing efforts struggle. Statistics indicate that sustaining a profitable company (not “any business”) is cheaper than replacing it. This calls for an emotional engagement with your customer. You have to be concerned about holding them.
For a high degree of customer satisfaction, a constructive approach to ensuring sustained immediate success is important. As you have done in the sales decision process, you need to improve your role as a consultant or advisor after the sale, dedicated to understanding their company even better, helping to recognize and solve challenges, being creative in promoting the success of customers, and continuing to help them expand. If the political or business climate changes, continuously update the political map and make adjustments to your plan.
No person “owns” an account, despite the cavalier use of phrases such as “my customer.” Acquiring and keeping customers is everyone’s responsibility. On any account, everybody in the company owns stock and must do their part to guarantee its growing value.
Some people also conduct portions of all three consumer acquisition and retention (sales, marketing, and execution). It is wise to note that there are three distinct roles you perform. Otherwise, one or more of them becomes increasingly likely to be handled poorly.