Sales vs Evangelism

For all those who think/believe that evangelism just another way of doing sales, here is a cool quote from Guy Kawasaki, the "father of evangelism marketing" and former chief evangelist of Apple Computer, that I picked up from a "Creating Customer Evangelists" workshop last Sunday:

"Sales is rooted in what's good for me. Evangelism is rooted in what's good for you."


Comments (9)
  1. i used to do evangelism work for a software vendor (clarus corporation) selling ecommerce software based on the microsoft platform and I was part of the sales department and at the end of the day i was still selling the clarus and microsoft visions and i also had to contend with competing platforms during the sales process and say why ours was so much better. so, i see the point that you are trying to make but if your compensation is tied to sales and your are governed by the sales process then you are selling.

    Don’t get me wrong I believe it is a fulfilling job and i believe you truly do get to help customers and create brand loyalty.

    Let me ask you this, when you visit a large company with a sales person…is the end goal to sell?

  2. FrankPr says:

    I see what you are trying to say, and yes, up until recently, evangelism was integral part of the sales process here at MS Germany, as well. But this has changed recently (worldwide) since s.o. has recognized that evangelism and sales are really two different things. Evangelism is about building a loyal customer base. So I, as a community evangelist (as it’s called officially), though being still in a sales-oriented compensation plan for purely technical reasons, am measured by different criteria, like how many developers I have talked to, and how they are satisfied with what Microsoft has to offer them. That truely reflects the very goal of evangelism. And it’s fun working that way.

  3. Ferris Beuller says:

    You can bs all you want but you cant polish a turd.

  4. FrankPr says:

    Yes, you have a strong opinion on MS, and thanks for your constructive comment.

  5. Ferris Beuller says:

    Who said anything about MS, I didn’t, YOU did. I was referring to evangelism bs.

  6. Ferris Beuller says:

    And thanks for your unconstructive tardness.

  7. Regarding Mathew’s question…

    Here’s a bit longer explanation of what Kawasaki meant: Evangelism is a strategy, an ideology, a belief system. It’s about exposing your offerings, not imposing them.

    Comparatively, it’s selling using an open house tactic vs. door-to-door. Prospects are besieged with direct sales, and most hate it, so the more you work with customers and prospects in a non-sales environment, the easier the sale. Better yet, they’ll spread the word about your offerings even if they don’t buy.

  8. FrankPr says:

    Ferris: Since you were not very explicit in *what* you are referring to, I (wrongly) assumed that you were referring to MS – because that’s what I see all the time, so that was a gut reaction. Sorry for that.

    Nevertheless, when I see people using word like "bs" and "t**d" in a comment, I don’t feel that’s a very constructive remark, so that explains my tart response (and I was trying to stay polite).

    You may have your own bad experience with some kinds of evangelism, so maybe you think it’s all pure sales stuff. But we try to do it differently, and I get a lot of positive customer response.

  9. Damir says:

    When you’re truly thrilled about your experience with a technology and software architecture, you’ll become outspoken evangelist rather than a sales person. The Evangelists do believe in something. 😉

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