Michelle Brailsford's Answer:
Well Mary, why not try using a technique I call the Balanced response? First, you say something positive about the 'comments' being made by colleagues. For instance, "I can appreciate that its important for you to want my comments, suggestions or remarks to come from a place of expertise".
Then you take a deep breath. You DO NOT say "but". You say "AND". You then present your concern or issue with the 'put down'. 'And my concern is you seem to feel the sales expertise and people management expertise are less important than technical expertise'. Then, shut up! Let your colleague respond.
Either he will say, "oh no! I value what you do! I couldn't manage people like you!!". In which case you have validation.
Or they will say, "Yes, that is correct. I don't view those skills as equally valuable in this business." In which case, I would try to have data at hand that shows that the best performing companies in your industry are this that have both technical excellence and relationship excellence!