Q: What's the difference between marketing and sales, and how can I integrate the two to build my business?

A: This is an important question, because a carefully crafted combination of sales and marketing is vital for successful business growth.

"Selling" or making sales consists of interpersonal interaction-the one-on-one meetings, telephone calls and networking-that you engage in with prospects and customers.

The term "marketing" encompasses programs businesses use to reach and persuade prospects, including advertising, public relations, direct mail and more.

You'll often see the terms used incorrectly, such as when a business advertises for a marketing professional but is really looking for someone to make telephone calls, meet with prospects and close sales.

That's because prospects normally move through the sales cycle from cold to warm, and then finally hot-where they're ready to "close" and become clients or customers.

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