Your Success Thought on "Them vs Us"
November 8, 2005

I have so much fun working with sales executives, exploding myths that have become a reality in this profession. No matter what you do professionally or socially, you are most likely selling something to someone. Here is one myth I’d like to blast wide open.

‘Them vs. Us’

This myth insinuates that the buyer and seller are on two different playing fields, strategizing against one another. Not so. The buyer has a specific job as does the seller. The buyer’s job is to simply state his need clearly (if he knows what it is) and to be open to creative options or approaches.

The seller’s job (your job) is to: 1) ask questions, 2) listen intently, 3) ask more questions to discover your buyer’s deepest need and motivation, 4) take time to insure that your assessment of their needs is correct (don’t assume) and that you are working together to find a solution, 5) determine whether yours is in fact the best solution and if so, 6) educate your prospective buyer of their options.

Make them excited about your product, service or opportunity. Be honest, sincere, and eager to serve and show that you truly do care. Your buyer doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

If it's that simple, then where does the ‘them vs. us’ fallacy originate? It's all in your attitude, which is as transparent as air to your prospect.

I’ve heard sales execs blindly state: “They want this and I’m just not going to give it to them!” or “They don’t know what they want. They’re all over the board.” or “What they want is impossible for the money.” These statements, even if only in your mind are written all over your face and burst out in your tone of voice. This creates ‘them vs. us’, separate playing fields. Remember, your job is to listen, ask questions and educate, not to prejudge or be impatient.

Being on the same playing field means that you are working together for the mutual goal. Your buyer knows that you are standing in his shoes, seeing his needs from his perspectives, feeling his pain. He trusts you to solve his dilemma.

In Getting to Yes, Roger Ury reminds us that if buyer and seller do not turn up ALL their cards on the table, no one wins in the negotiation. Part of your job is to insure that this happens.

Constantly ask yourself “How can we work more closely together?” Ask them the same question. It’s ‘us working together’ for mutual benefit, not each of us trying to take advantage of the other. Your buyer knows where you stand. You can’t hide it.

If you are selling Girl Scout cookies the buyer may not know she has a need to buy. It’s your job to introduce her to the benefits involved. You create a win/win scenario for the mutual benefit of buyer or seller. Buyer and seller walk away happy.

If you are selling multi-million dollar machinery, it is no different. You listen, ask questions, never assume or prejudge, assess, educate and make the buyer excited. You are in this together.

This week, take a glance at where you may be creating ‘them vs. us’ scenarios. What are the costs? How can you get on the same playing field for the mutual benefit of all involved, creating something greater than currently imagined?

Enjoy your discoveries and have an insightful week.


Ann Golden Eglé, PCC, CPCC
Executive Coach & President
Golden Visions Success Coaching, LLC

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Permission is granted to either reproduce copy or distribute "Your Success Thought for the Week of September 14, 2005" so long as this copyright notice and full information about contacting the author is attached. The author is Ann Golden Eglé, Golden Visions Success Coaching, LLC, 541.385.8887, 1972 NE 3rd St, Suite # 307 Bend, Oregon 97701, www.GoldenVisionsSuccess.com

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