Construction Business TV

Construction Business TV


Sales is NOT Marketing - Part One

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Published: 2019-09-25 | Modified: 2019-09-25
By: Construction Business TV
Posted in: Marketing
Sales is NOT Marketing - Part One

Did you know that Sales is NOT Marketing?

As a professional in a construction-related trade, here are four questions you should consider, to determine whether or not you understand the difference between sales and marketing.

1.  How broad is my customer base?
2.  How much does each customer contribute to my business, as a percentage of revenue?
3.  Is my business dependent on, my team or someone else’s?
4.  What am I doing to expand my customer base?

So let’s break these down.

1. How broad is my customer base?

In the last 24 months, how many different GCs have sub-contracted my company?  How many jobs have I had that are “customer-direct”?  Write them down or print them off.

2. How much does each customer contribute to my business, as a percentage of revenue?

So first, to do this, you have to calculate your total revenue per customer.  This information is easy to find in QuickBooks.  If you are not using accounting software…  well in the words of Dion Sanders - “common man!”

Since we are QuickBooks Pro-advisors, you can get in touch with us, and we can help you out.

QuickBooks Sales and Service -

Once you have the revenue per customer calculated, you need to divide each one by your total gross income over the last 24 months.

3. Who is my business dependent on, my team, or someone else’s? 

Who makes up the largest percentage of your revenue? Look at all the percentages because we always manage by the margins. IF any ONE customer makes up more than 25% of your revenue, you should be seeing red flags and hearing sirens.  Ask yourself, “Are THEY ready for a recession?”  What if they are completely over-leveraged and go belly up overnight?  If you do 1 million in revenue per year, could you handle a $250K haircut off the top line?   What if you have a customer that is supporting 50% or more of your total gross income?  If you are sitting back and letting someone else, feed you all your work.  You better be 100% sure that their marketing is going to hold up during the next downturn.  If having any single customer, make up more than 25% of your business scares you to death (and it should) then you must ask yourself,

4.  What am I doing to expand my customer base?

If I searched for your trade, in your city using a major search engine, would I find you on page one?

Now pay attention to the fact that I did not ask if I looked up your company.  It is a given that a search for your company website should result in seeing you on page 1, position 1.  If you don’t even have that, then we have a much more fundamental problem.

If I searched for your TRADE, in your CITY using a major search engine, do you show up on page one?

If I searched for your trade, in your city using social media, do you show up near the top?

If I searched for your trade, in your city using YouTube, do you show up at all?

So, if all of these are a YES, then you should see an excellent broad customer base from questions #1 and #2 above.  If you checked all of these off and you still do not have a nice customer mix, then you have a problem.  The good thing is we don’t need to guess what the problem is because it is simple to identify.  You are not bringing any value to the table in your “online presence.”

But let’s back up for one second if you could not check off each one of my questions concerning your presence on search engines, social media, and YouTube.


If you need the right tools and help, that is precisely why we created  Check out this presentation:

So, let’s say you have a website and you have set up some accounts on some social media.  How are you leveraging the free advertising?  My guess is that you are making the same mistakes that I made early on because I did not realize that Sales is NOT Marketing.  Because it is always presented to us as one term “sales and marketing.”  Even my college marketing classes could not keep up with the speed of the changes due to technology.

First, let me encourage you.  If you have been around as long as I have or longer then you already have a BIG advantage because you probably know how to sell.  Most of the new generation, quite frankly, is scared to sell and they expect technology to do all the selling for them.  It is a huge dichotomy that I am seeing.  Gen Xers and Baby Boomers can sell, but they have no idea how to market on the internet.  Millennials know how to leverage free online marketing like crazy, but they have no actual consultative selling skills.  Do you know what this produces? A frustrated consumer.

Consumers are easily finding completely unqualified start-ups who do not know how to listen and fulfill needs.  Then they have to search every little crack in the wall before they find a real professional.  Moreover, if they had found the actual pro in the first place, it would have cost half of what it ends up costing.  Because first, the professional needs to fix the mess, then do the original project, so it costs twice as much. That makes for one ticked-off customer.

So how do we avoid having angry customers and giving our trade a bad name?  Only market what you do well.  We have the most intelligent consumer in our history because of the internet.  Don’t kid yourself.  People can see right through fake marketing.  You need to be an expert on whatever you are trying to share.  Face to face you may be able to throw up some BS and sell someone, but those days are disappearing quickly.

A solid sales and marketing strategy begins with value-driven marketing, followed by honest, consultative sales.  After you have completed an outstanding, high-quality project, this should result in a satisfied customer who becomes a part of your marketing efforts via positive testimonials and referrals.

Marketing > Sales > Quality Results > Marketing

So again, a quick definition of the difference between sales and marketing is this.  Marketing is the methodology that you use to make somebody aware of your existence.  It is how you create Brand Awareness. Marketing also includes sharing the value you can bring to your customers.  How you meet their needs and fulfill their desires.
Sales, on-the-other-hand, is the process where you are dealing with someone who is showing interest in your product or service.

Write this down.  Marketing is One-Way communication.  Sales is Two-Way communication.

Companies who try to get an e-commerce website to do all the selling for them have much lower conversion rates.  Amazon works because they have hundreds of consumer reviews.  That is marginally replacing two-way communication that people expect as a part of the sales process.  As a construction-related trades professional, you do not have this luxury.  You must acquire and hone your selling skills.  90% of which are listening skills, but we will get deeper into that subject in another video.

As we wrap up part one of this series, I hope that you see more clearly why Sales is NOT Marketing.  Join me in part two as I dive even deeper into the process of defining your marketing strategy.

If you have any questions about the specifics for creating your sales marketing strategy, PLEASE comment below, connect with us on LinkedIn or message us directly on We look forward to hearing about your success as we help you take full control of your business.