Difference Between B2B an B2C

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B2B is short for “business to business.” It indicates sales made to other businesses, rather than sales to individuals. The latter is referred to as “business to consumer” sales, or B2C.

What is B2B Sales?

B2B sales often take the form of one company selling supplies or components to another. For example, a tire manufacturer might sell to a car manufacturer. Wholesalers often sell their products to retailers, who then turn around and sell them to consumers.

Supermarkets are a classic example: they buy food from wholesalers and then sell it at a slightly higher price to individuals.

Business-to-business sales can also include services. Attorneys who take cases for business clients, accountant firms that help companies do their taxes, and technical consultants who set up networks and email are all examples of B2B service providers.

B2B v B2C

Selling B2B is different from B2C selling in a number of ways. First and foremost, as a B2B salesperson you will often be dealing with either professional buyers (who make a living getting the best deal possible out of salespeople) or high-level executives, possibly even including CEOs of major corporations. B2B often calls for a higher level of professionalism than B2C, and you'll need to dress and act more formally to succeed. B2B sales also require you to know how to deal with gatekeepers such as receptionists and assistants.


When dealing with professional buyers, you need to remember that most buyers have received extensive training in how to work with (read: see-through) salespeople. Selling tactics that work well on the uninitiated will fail with buyers, who will see you coming a mile away. Buyers also know exactly how to manipulate salespeople, and often try tricks like stalling to make you more desperate so they can get a better price on the product.


Dealing with executives is a whole other ball game. C-suite decision makers can be very intimidating, and as they're often extremely busy people, they won't appreciate your wasting their time. You need to know all about your product and also do your research ahead of time on the prospect so that you're completely prepared to wow executives with your knowledge during the sales presentation.

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