When practicing the martial art of Aikido, one of the basic principles is to put yourself in the place of your opponent.  This creates a situation in which you are not colliding with your opponent, but are becoming one and agreeing with their power in order to neutralize the attack.  My Sensei, John Gilmore, when teaching an art will physically put himself facing the same direction as the opponent and happily say aloud, “Shall We Go.”

Translating this concept into words that describe the sales environment is difficult.  The good news is that I found someone who did just that… without even knowing it.

I don’t often get excited about business books.  There are a lot of good ones out there but more often than not 5 pages could do for the 200 that the author gives you.  But I’ve run into a book that so accurately describes what I think customer relationships should be about that I have to give it a plug.  It is called “We: The Ideal Customer Relationship” by Steve Yastrow.

Steve describes how most companies (sales people) will settle for transactional relationships with their customers.  While he does not blame technology, he does blame companies for using technology to cheapen their interactions as opposed to using it to deepen their relationships.

Steve references Martin Buber’s I & Thou frequently.  His writing is very thoughtful and he explores the very underpinnings of relationship.  He shows us the benefits of “We” relationships up against the pitfalls of “Us vs. Them” relationships.  He uses customer stories and specific examples to tighten up his arguments.

This blog is dedicated to “selling in the new world”.  Steve Yastrow is clearly a pioneer in this new world.