Prospecting vs. Marketing: Which Strategy is Better?

Today, I want to take a few moments and educate you about the difference between prospecting vs. marketing.

If you own ANY type of business, you need a simple way to generate fresh leads for your business. Leads are the lifeblood of EVERY business. Without leads there are no SALES.

There are many different ways to generate leads, to include: classified ads, YouTube videos, direct mail, pay per click, etc. As I see it, all of these strategies are broken down into either marketing or prospecting.

Good Marketing Gets Prospects to Chase You

What is Prospecting?

Prospecting is the first step in the sales process, which consists of identifying potential customers, aka prospects. The goal of prospecting is to develop a database of likely customers and then systematically communicate with them in the hopes of converting them from potential customer to current customer.


In my own words, prospecting is when you ACTIVELY seek people out about your products, services or business opportunity.

You go to the people. You attend networking events, approach strangers, attend trade shows, cold call people, utilize the three-foot rule, etc. You introduce yourself, get to know the person a little bit, and talk to them about what you are offering.

Prospecting works very well for some people. It helps if you are charismatic, confident, have good people skills, and have an outgoing personality. Introverts can succeed using prospecting too, but it will be much more difficult for them.

For probably 95% of all network marketers, this is what they do to get leads. They are always looking for the next person to share their products or business with.

Example Prospecting Ideas

Once again, I define prospecting as YOU contacting a person about what you have to offer. Here are just a few prospecting strategies.

  1. Three Foot Rule
  2. Attend Networking Events
  3. Attend Job Fairs
  4. Collect Business Cards & Calling People
  5. Cold Calling
  6. Connecting with strangers on Facebook
  7. Send emails to people you know and don’t know

What is Marketing?

Marketing is the process of teaching consumers why they should choose your product or service over those of your competitors. If you’re not doing that, then you’re not marketing. The key is finding the right marketing method and messaging to educate and influence your consumers at the right time and place.


In my opinion, marketing is when you get your name out there using paid advertising or guerrilla marketing, so you get prospects to come to you! You position yourself, or your business, however you see fit, so prospects can learn more about what you have to offer, and then interested people can contact you to learn more.

This is how I build my business, because it is less time consuming, less stressful and at least 10x more effective than prospecting (I thinks so anyway).

I would bet that no more than five percent of all network marketers use marketing to grow their business.

Example Marketing Ideas

Once again, marketing is anything you do to get prospects to COME TO YOU for more information. Here are just a few examples you could do.

  1. Facebook Sponsored Ads
  2. Postcard Marketing
  3. Bing PPC Ads
  4. Blogging
  5. YouTube Videos
  6. Podcasting
  7. Drop Cards

Which Option Should You Use?

Both marketing and prospecting work. I use both strategies myself, although about 95% of my time, money and effort is focused on marketing.

If you have a marketing budget, and a little bit of marketing experience, you can focus more on marketing. If you are flat out broke, or are clueless about marketing, but feel comfortable talking with people, you might want to focus on prospecting in the early stages of your business.

Tips for Success

Whether you choose prospecting or marketing to find new leads, there are a few tips for success I would like to share with you.

First off, you really want to focus on a target market. If you try to market or prospect everyone and anyone, you are really missing the boat. Focus on ONE group of people whenever possible. Examples could include stay at home moms, entrepreneurs or people with MLM Experience.

My second tip is to have a written marketing or prospecting plan. Take out a piece of paper and write down the following things:

  1. Your goals
  2. Your strategy
  3. Your budget
  4. Your target market
  5. Your daily action plan
  6. Your marketing medium
  7. Skills you need to improve on

Fill in all of this information, update it often and refer to it daily. This will be your guidepost for generating leads.

My next tip is to invest in your business education. Take some courses, read some books, listen to some training programs on marketing and prospecting, so you can improve your skills. Skills are what pays the bills.

Next, be CONSISTENT. Whether you choose marketing or prospecting, you must do it day in and day out. Don’t just try something for one day or one week or one month, and then stop. It’s much more important to be persistent and consistent over a sustained period of time. Do something every day to get your name out there and generate more leads.

My final tip applies only to people who choose to focus on marketing. If marketing is your primary method, pick no more than 1-2 strategies you want to focus on and focus on them exclusively. Don’t try 10-20 different marketing strategies at once.

Instead, just do one or two strategies and get really good at those strategies before you dilute your efforts and try something different. Examples could include classified ads, pay-per-click, Facebook ads, postcard marketing, or something else.

Prospecting vs Marketing

Final Thoughts

There you have it folks. This is the major difference between prospecting vs. marketing, as I see it. Which method do you use in your business? Why did you pick that method? What tips can you share with our audience to get better at prospecting and marketing? Leave a comment below to let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you.

chuck holmes


Chuck Holmes
Network Marketing Professional (since 2002)
Author, Blogger, & Entrepreneur

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