Us Versus Them

Us Versus Them

I just read a Seth Godin Blog. And as always, he got me thinking.

Seth was discussing how people tend to migrate toward people that are “just like themselves”. He calls these groups’ tribes or communities. Apple enthusiasts have a tribe, as do the Microsoft people.

Godin goes on to say that as time passes, opposing communities develop an “us” versus “them” mentality. And once the us versus them mentality begins; members sometimes have a cultural orientation toward “taking”, not “giving”. In other words, we forget that by helping someone else we are also helping ourselves.

All of this got me thinking about selling and interacting with customers. If you think about it, not only do sales people form a tribe, but customers do too. And many times selling and buying becomes an “us” versus “them” proposition. Sales people claim it isn’t, but just look at the process they use to get a glimpse of the real answer.

Would you use the same process if you charged customers a $100 admission fee to work with you? And if you did, would there still be us versus them dynamic? Think about it like this.

What value do you add to your customer’s experience if your process is full of techniques that serve you and not them? It’s easy to say that you’re there to help, but who does each of your sales techniques help … you or them?