Sales Versus Marketing

Sales & Marketing business signpost

Sales Vs Marketing

I have to admit, I’m a groupie for Jim Koch, founder of Boston Beer Company; makers of Samuel Adams Beer.

I’m an admirer not only from a business standpoint—taking a beer recipe to billionaire in thirty years. But…I also have to admit as a beer drinker I like his beer and his way of doing business.

In an article by Drake Baer on Business Insider, Koch tells Baer Boston Beer built their business on sales, PERIOD. They didn’t hire a marketing person until after they were in business for 10 years. You’ll find the full article HERE

Sales Versus Marketing

You can’t argue with success and I wouldn’t presume to argue with Koch’s point of he and his staff rolling up their sleeves and going door to door with beer and cups in hand selling his product one bar at a time.

In the 1980’s on the leading edge of the craft beer revolution, door-to-door sales were a great way to get sales—it still is!

I can only wonder, however, how Jim and his associates could have built Boston Beer faster with today’s Internet marketing technology. If Jim had the Internet back then could he have reached that billion-dollar figure, faster?

I also wonder if Jim had a mentor like Dan Kennedy or Bill Glazer could he have reached the big B figure sooner rather than later.

Sales Versus Marketing—What’s The Difference?

Strictly speaking sales, according to is the act of selling, or the transfer of property for money or credit.

Marketing on the other hand is, “…the total of activities involved in the transfer of goods from the producer or seller to the consumer or buyer, including advertising, shipping, storing, and selling.” Again, according to

Simply put, SALES: you give me money or credit and I give you a product. MARKETING: sales is part of marketing but it also includes advertising, etc.

When Jim Koch says he concentrated on sales in the first ten years of Boston Beer Company, I believe he was saying nothing happened until the sold his beer and money exchanged hands. As a startup Boston Beer didn’t have the funds or NEED to advertise. Why, because his business was growing at a pace where production kept up with demand; further advertising would have exceeded Boston Beer’s ability to supply clients.

Simply, put this was pure supply and demand. Like MANY startup businesses, especially manufacturers or producers of tangible items, growth in production keeps up with growth in demand—up to a point.

When growth in demand, usually locally, stagnates and the company has attained capital for further expansion and growth THEN it’s time to turn to advertising as a means to increase demand.

If we use Jim Koch and Boston Beer Company as a template we can see Boston Beer did EXACTLY what a business-to-consumer startup MUST do in order to grow.

It must sell its product or service—PERIOD.

Spending money on unneeded overhead has been the doom of many a startup, ESPECIALLY if more TIME and money is spent on overhead versus sales.

Sales Versus Marketing for Startups

As a startup business owner you absolutely, positively, without a doubt MUST sell your product or service. Build cash flow THEN you can worry about infrastructure.

Take a lesson from a billionaire and his path—sales first then marketing.

We’ll discuss marketing versus sales in a future installment of Until then—Here’s to your success!

Agree or disagree, please comment below.
Please take the time to share us on Facebook, Twitter, or any of your favorite social media.

Photo courtesy of
Keith is the resident writer and troublemaker at Empowered Pros.
Please like & share:
Copy the code below to your web site.

Tagged with:

Filed under: businessDirect MarketingSales

Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!