If you had to vote for one or the other as being smarter, which one would it be? The salesperson or purchasing agent?

The question may seem simple, but it’s anything but that.

I’ve never seen any polls on this nor have I seen any research on the subject, but I know it comes up a lot in discussions.

Salespeople are quick to dismiss purchasing agents as not being very smart.  Conversely, in talking with purchasing agents, I’ve heard them say the same thing about salespeople.

Salespeople are quick to say how purchasing agents are nothing more than obstacles to overcome.  Purchasing agents are quick to say how salespeople are lazy and don’t follow through.

I really don’t care, because in the end, all of the discussion is nothing more than blather that doesn’t do either side any good.

Personally my opinion is salespeople may be smarter intellectually, but are not as smart as buyers when it comes to tactically executing business.  Purchasing agents are far superior than salespeople in knowing how to use their assets and their position to gain the upper hand with salespeople.

It’s the ability of the purchasing agent to more effectively use their position to take control a situation that leaves many salespeople crying foul.

Again, I find this funny, because it’s like the neighborhood kid who has everything but is whining about not being able to keep laying because it is too dark outside.   The kid may have everything but he still can’t control everything.

The solution is not in trying to figure out who is smarter. The solution lies in realizing where each person is coming from and how they can leverage the position they’re in.

Go ahead and keep on whining about the other side not being as smart as you, and the more you whine, the more business I’ll continue to take from you.

Copyright 2014, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.

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