The B2B Selling Paradox


Share on LinkedIn

B2B Sales – one business selling to another – is a paradox; a concept which contradicts itself. Any sales professional who can understand and help resolve that contradiction will stand out from the crowd. So what are the two sides of the paradox and how can they be resolved?

Both sides of the B2B relationship think it’s about buying and selling but it isn’t. It’s about finding ways both buyer and vendor can work together in a value chains.

A value chain is collaborative, whereas buying and selling is competitive.
In collaborative transactions each party works at adding value to the other, whereas in buying and selling each tries to take value away from the other. There’s the paradox – B2B and Sales.
The sales professional who understands this disconnect will always be more successful than the ones who don’t. More sales, at better prices, with less stress, and more follow on business and referrals.
When the sales rep can persuade customers their real interest is served by a partnership with suppliers who do a better job of what they do than the customers can for themselves, the price pressure goes away. Why insist on a discount – a short term advantage – when you’ll be buying for years, with a lot less control?

When the sales rep can persuade management there’s no future in giving away discount to win the deal, and then not servicing the account properly later, customer complaints go down and sales referrals go up. Why say anything to get a deal if you aren’t going to get, and do, good business out of it?

When the sales rep can bring together buyers and sellers, and focus them on their combined value add, as opposed to value take. That’s when things start to work the way they should.
B2B negotiations shouldn’t be anything to do with buying or selling – they should be about co-operating to find ways of jointly creating value for end users at lower cost, and sharing the benefit which results.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Steven Reeves
Consultant, author, software entrepreneur, business development professional, aspiring saxophonist, busy publishing insight and ideas. Boomer turned Zoomer - thirty year sales professional with experience selling everything from debt collection to outsourcing and milking machines to mainframes. Blogger at Successful Sales Management. Head cook and bottle washer at Front Office Box.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here