We disagree, Jeffrey

Jeffrey Gitomer is one of the leading experts in sales, by any measure. His Little Red Book of Selling and seminars are legendary. But I have to disagree with him this time.

Yesterday, a number of people forwarded me Jeffrey’s latest Sales Caffiene newsletter, in which he recommended that his readers banish the word “We” from their vocabulary as they interact with customers. The people who sent me the newsletter were curious for my reaction, since, as they know, I believe that “We” is one of the most important words to describe a customer relationship.

Unfortunately, Jeffrey sees the word “We” only as a tool for bragging about your own company, as in “We are #1 in our market” and “We’ve been a leader since 1982.” He says that you should avoid the word “We” because it’s more important to talk about your customer, not about yourself.

Yes, of course, it’s more important to talk about your customers than to talk about yourself. But, to me, “We” isn’t about bragging about yourself, because the “We” I’m thinking of doesn’t only include you and the people in your own company. The “We” I am aiming for is one in which your customer can’t think of you without thinking of himself at the same time. In your customer’s mind, your company evolves beyond being “them” or “those guys” to being “We,” because the customer sees the two of you bound in genuine partnership.

So, I’ll agree with Jeffrey in that you shouldn’t brag about how great “We” are, since your customer doesn’t care. But I also want to encourage you to embrace the word “We” … not in the way Jeffrey describes it, but in the way you aim for your customers to view their relationship with you: As a “We” relationship.

If you don’t know Jeffrey Gitomer, check out his site. It’s full of amazing ideas. But this is one on which “We” disagree.

(For a quick description of a We relationship, check out the first audio link on this post.)


  • Jeff
    Aug 07, 2008 - 14:12 pm

    This is a good post. Having been in slaes my whole career, I don’t see why you would NOT use the term ‘we’. In fact, I rmemeber early in my careere that whenever a salesperson said “I” the sales manager would admonsih him/her and remind them to say ‘we’.

    “I” is bragging.
    “We” says that an entire enterprise of people want to serve you…meet your needs…treat you as important.

    I like this blog.
    We will refer to your blog often. 😉

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