15. Sales

1. overview 2. planning 3. swot 4. marketing plan 5. marketing mix 6. product
7. price 8. promotion 9. place 10. literature 11. public relations 12. promos
13. advertising 14. sponsorship 15. sales

It bothers me enormously the amount of times I have had conversations with senior managers who seem to think that sales is the same as marketing.


I started my commercial career many years ago as a salesman working in the pharmaceutical industry. I was very privileged to have received a great deal of training from my employers and in particular I remember a slide which spoke a great deal to me. It went something like this

  • Who is your company?

  • How long has your company been around?

  • What is your company good at?

  • How big is your company?

  • What is your company's product range?

  • What sort of reputation does your company have?

  • Why should I be interested in your products?

  • Who are you?

  • Can I believe what you tell me?

  • What sort of training have you had?

Now what did you say you wanted? You want me to buy a product from you?

The point is that the customer needs to be satisfied on a very wide range of questions before he is in the position to talk seriously with a salesman about the purchase of product. Usually, if these questions have not been answered then it is impossible for a sale to be made. If the salesman himself needs to attempt to answer all these questions, it will probably take him an enormous amount of time and probably over a prolonged period of time and many visits - not an efficient approach.

Conversely a marketing campaign employing a wide range of weapons in the marketing armoury can answer many of these questions before the salesman even enters the office of the customer. Thus, marketing has set the back-drop for the salesman to make the sale.

Selling material?

Do your sales force have all the selling material they require to do a professional job? In a competitive market place if your salesmen do not have well rehearsed and logical arguments for why your product or service is better, then the customer will drive the conversation onto the subject he knows will put the salesman on his back foot - price. However, if the salesman can control the conversation by discussing other positive aspects then the probability of sales success at a more profitable price is vastly increased.

If you have adopted some of the other weapons in the marketing armoury then has this been put together as part of the sales literature? Not only is this an effectve way of making sure your customer is aware of the professionalism of your company, but it is also another opportunity to ensure the conversation is within your control and hence away from the subject of price.

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The following are a number of testimonials from satisfied clients. We are really pleased to receive these testimonials, and proudly list them here.

Thanks for the website Ian.
As you stated, I have had a steady stream of enquiries since setting me up on the internet.
Morning Ian, just a short note to say 'thankyou' for the work on my website. Not only am I pleased with the way it looks, but I could not believe it when I got my first enquiry from it only a few days after its completion. All you said would happen has indeed happened.
Thank you very much for your kind help. It is really a good advice for my marketing plan.

Thanks and best regards,
Hi Ian Just a short note to tell you we have had a very good season, an excellent sales increase so we should be ok now the autumn is here and going very soon into Winter.. . . . . . . . .
Thanks Ian. The website has certainly increased our Bookings and we look forward to next year.
Best Wishes
I am not really interested in getting back in to PPC as it cost a lot of money last time for not a lot of return. We have been without it for over a year and what you are doing is still increasing visits and turnover on the site.
Sports Outlets
Just a quick note to say I’m very interested in maintaining the website you have completed a marvellous job of so far. We are already noticing a complete change and receiving a lot higher internet inquires.
Thanks Ian
Hello Ian, came across your website via a Google search and wanted to say how impressed I am! The marketing plan template arrived within seconds of my request - it is clear, tremendously helpful and has provided me with the structure I desperately lacked as I prepare to kick off my new business on 1st September! A really super service, am sure I will be in touch again over the coming weeks to discuss other elements of your offer.

Thanks and regards

....... I have also noticed the success of extra clicks! Business is also up by at least 15 percent from last year. Regards
Owner (Dry Cleaners)

I would just like to bring a ray of sunshine to your day (well it did for me).
Since we started to work with Ian Smith, our Adwords guru, our results have improved impressively. These figures are the average across the board, ..
Our Click through rate has gone from 1% to a very credible 4.5%
Our average cost per click has dropped from 87p to 63p (just remember some clicks are still £2+).
Our average position has gone from 5.4 to 4.6
So all in all a very good result and with further input we hope to do even better.
Interior Design Retailer