Selling to Sales People

Two businessmen shaking hands at lunch meeting
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Stay in sales long enough and you are sure to come face to face with another sales professional while you are in a sales situation. Your mission (should you decide to accept it) is to close a fellow closer. To earn the business from someone in the business of earning business. To deliver a world class presentation to a professional presenter.

In other words, you have to sell to another sales rep.

Don't Try Anything Fancy

Here's an important thing to think about: Assume that the sales rep you are selling to knows all the sales tips and tricks, types of sales closes and sales models that you know.

Why is this important? Because no one likes to be sold but everyone likes to buy. If you assume that the person you are selling to knows everything about sales that you do, and if you understand that no one likes feeling that they are being "sold," you won't be tempted to try out that newest closing technique you learned during that sales seminar last week.

Remember, Sales Reps are Human

Sales reps who find themselves in a selling situation with another sales rep get nervous. They think that the other sales rep will be critiquing everything they do or say. They worry that their skills in a particular area won't be up to snuff and their customer (the other sales rep) will discount their value.

 If this scenario sounds like you, relax. Remember that no matter how many years your client has been in sales or how good she is in her sales career, they are still human. 

If your client is more focused on judging you and your sales skills than they are about making an intelligent and informed buying decision for their employer, then you are facing an uphill battle from the start: And so is your competition!

Professional Courtesy

In many situations, sales reps feel a sense of obligation to treat another sales professional with more respect. This professional courtesy often makes the task of selling to a sales rep easier that selling to a non-sales professional. 

In fact, sales reps are very often the easiest people to sell to.

This is especially true if your sales skills are fine tuned, well practiced and your approach is professional.

If you find yourself selling to a sales professional, instead of getting nervous about being critiqued, start sharing war stories to build rapport and to establish some common ground.

Some Words of Caution

There is a temptation to be too casual when selling to a fellow sales professional. So casual in fact that your professionalism slips. While there's nothing wrong with building friendships with your clients, you need to keep in mind that your job is to drive revenues by profitably serving your customer. 

This means that you may be in situations where you have to get tough with a client, tell them when they're wrong about something or even go so far as to walk away from a potential deal.

If you have developed a friendship with a client, doing "hard things" may prove to be too difficult, making you choose between doing what's right in your career and maintaining a friendship.

Final Thoughts

Selling to another sales professional can be a stressful event if you let your fears weaken your skills or make you feel compelled to build a friendship over focusing on the business at hand.

Keep your wits about you, remember your training and close that deal!