Internet Marketers or Online Salespeople?

People engaged in the Make Money Online niche are most commonly referred to as Internet marketers. Truth be told, though, the vast majority are actually Internet salespeople as opposed to marketers of any stripe.

Part of reason is simple – many have little or no entrepreneurial experience in the offline world nor, in fact, any sales or marketing experience before starting their home-based business online. Added to it is the stigma the general public have towards ‘sales’ and ‘salespeople’, making marketer a more comfortable label for many.

So just what is the difference between salespeople and marketers? In its simplest terms, a salesperson concentrates all of their efforts on what they can sell today – or at least within the very near future. Marketers, on the other hand, strive to use multiplication of effort and mass leverage to build the bottom line along a continual upward curve.

For example, on any given day a salesperson will consider their current prospects and pick up the phone, draft an e-mail or head out to meet with prospects to try and close the sale. In retail sales, the salesperson will engage the retail shopper in conversation to discover what the prospect wants and/or needs and listen for evidence of buying triggers they can use to close that sale.

A marketer, by contrast, isn’t concerned with making a sale – they’ve already ascertained that the salesforce, website, catalog order desk and/or phone room people are in place and ready to convert prospects to customers. Their day will consist of research to discover any and every pool of potential prospects and devising methods to draw those prospects into their net.

This is where the ‘multiplication of effort’ makes the real difference. Instead of phoning 25 prospects today, the marketer will place advertising that reaches thousands or millions of people – knowing that a good percentage of well-placed advertising will end up in front of their target audience. Retail marketers will create, or direct their advertising agency or ad department to create flyers to be mass distributed in the vicinity of each of their stores to increase footfalls and keep their brand top of mind.

That brings up another major component of marketing – branding. In this day of social media and instant communications, building recognition and trust within your target market is crucial – as is effectively manipulating the prospects’ impression of your company and its products. Every major brand name you can think of right now is in your consciousness because of effective marketing.

Creating effective joint ventures with related businesses is equally important to marketers, as this lets them increase their reach by ‘piggy-backing’ on the promotional efforts of other businesses. A wholesaler will offer a co-op advertising budget to it’s retail customers, agreeing to cover a portion of the retailer’s ad spend in exchange for prominent or exclusive feature of their products. The proliferation of ‘points programs’ today is another great example of joint venture marketing in the offline world.

Look at any mid-size or big business – a retailer with 8 or 10 locations may have 50 or 100 retail staff, but their marketing is handled by 3-5 marketing professionals. Global corporations may have hundreds of salespeople scattered around the continents, but the marketing duties will be handled by a depart of 20 or 30 marketers – and often fewer than that. Simply stated, multiplication of effort and mass-marketing leverage allow top marketers to impact the bottom line at a rate 10 to twenty times that of even the best salesperson.

So what does this mean for the solo entrepreneur building an Internet-based home business? First, you need to learn a lot more about business and marketing. Having started your first business now, you’ve already had to learn a lot about technologies and systems used online – now expand that base by learning how bigger, more experienced business people operate. If you have access to a mentor or Business Success Coach start there, since they’ll be focused on helping you in your situation. And either way, set aside time for research…

The easiest way for most entrepreneurs to continue their business education is the myriad of business and success-related magazines. Marketing Magazine and Advertising Age, for example, are publications specific to the industry, while Entrepreneur, Inc. and Forbes are full of great info on business in general (and a great source for discovering upcoming trends). If Internet marketing is just the start and you intend to use it to create seed capital to get into bigger business pursuits, start reading The Economist each week for a more geo-political view of business worldwide. Larger cities often have their own business tabloids, and many countries have publications specific to doing business therein – Canadian Business magazine, for instance. The financial section of newspapers have a lot to offer too, if you can resist losing time from switching to the sports section, recipes, crossword puzzles or comics…

In short, spend a little less on each new shiny object that comes down the tube online and invest more in your own business and marketing knowledge. Most self-made millionaires have been bankrupt once or twice along their path to riches, but knowledge and experience are never lost to creditors and remain in full effect as you more successfully rebuild your empire.

As your business and marketing knowledge grows so will the available options you recognize. And as your experience grows with experience you’ll evolve into a true marketer, able to take your businesses to higher levels of profitability at a much faster pace!