How to get your enemies to sell for you

by Mark Dresner

Imagine this. Your biggest adversary actually helps you to sell your product, service or ideas.

Sound impossible?

It’s not. And it happens every day in business, politics … and personal situations.

In fact, you may already wield this power unconsciously.

So how DO you use your mortal enemies to achieve your own goals?

An example from current events

Have you read the newspapers lately? Article after article report on the current (terrible) state of the economy.

Millions of jobs lost. Nest eggs lost to a financial market crash. Banks foreclose on homes at an alarming rate.

Who’s to blame? Answer: Wall Street

Wall Street – or anything financial – is the “common enemy” of anyone affected by the latest financial turmoil. Many believe Wall Street’s self-centered greed and devil-may-care attitude caused the downfall of global economies.


At least that’s what many (smart) politicians are saying. Washington has carefully selected an enemy for people to rally against – that further politicians’ agendas.

But this isn’t about politics … so let’s move on.

Using a common enemy to sell

Let’s take a look at a practical business application. Here’s how to use a common enemy to help sell your products and services.

I think you understand the mechanics from our political example. Quite simply you pick a big easy target that’s easy for people to hate or distrust. You paint your enemy as uncaring, out of touch, or inept.

You demonstrate the enemy’s only concern is for profits – at the expense of all else – causing great pain to your customers.

Next, you slay the beast

You’ve created an enemy. Plus you’ve riled up a throng of pitchfork carrying villagers – all ready to march on the villain’s castle.

Now it’s time to slay the beast. Here’s how to do it.

First, position yourself as the solution, antidote or “underdog” to this heartless monster. You’re the David standing up against the evil giant Goliath.

You (and your product) are the lone torchbearer of truth. You’re the one brave soul, whose only aim is to save the customer from this menacing evil.

Get the picture?

You’ve successfully rallied the troops around this formidable enemy and only TOGETHER can you fight them – and win.

And that one single solution is to buy your product or use your service.

A real business example

One place you see this approach used is in selling alternative health remedies.

Sellers portray the big drug companies as greedy – demanding you spend a fortune treating symptoms – never delivering real cures.

Perhaps they begin to believe – in the back of their mind – medical doctors aren’t helping them. They see that traditional medical doctors only want medicate you or cut you open to solve problems.

Furthermore doctors ignore, are scared of, or are just plain ignorant of treating patients with “natural remedies”

See how you’ve created an enemy in the minds of your customer? Actually you’ve focused on things the customer has probably ALREADY been thinking. You’ve just brought it forward.

The white knight?

Then the alternative remedy marketer dashes in. Like a knight in shining armor he saves with an “all natural herbal remedy, used for centuries by wise men in India…”

Of course I’m exaggerating to make a point. But I think you see the power of how this works.

Recap: three steps to getting sales from your enemies:

1. Find a common enemy that customers can clearly identify with.
2. Portray the enemy as uncaring, harmful or inept.
3. Demonstrate that your product is the anti-enemy Рthe solution  to this terrible threat.

Use this powerful technique of creating a common enemy and you’ll have a highly effective weapon in your selling arsenal.

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