After slowly watching the candle of my youthful idealism flicker dangerously for several years, I have stepped away from the path I was on and jumped in a completely different direction. I suppose the hope was that perhaps I could escape to a safer place before that idealism slipped away completely. So, I did what any soul in danger of such a thing would do--I became a salesman.
When I initially started out, I was surprised to find that the whole sales gig really came quite naturally for me; it was almost as if I had received some sales training before. I chalked it up to having a personality naturally well-suited for this field or simply an easy job for a social person to have. Then it hit me. I had received this training before. In Sunday School.
Let me outline the basic sales process as I'm learning it and the similarities I see to the "evangelism" I was raised to complete:
Introduction--that awkward time when you have 15 seconds to make an impression on this prospect that could determine whether or not you make this sale. You want to be personable and sound like you care to make sure that the person you're talking to feels comfortable, you want them to feel that you are genuinely interested in their wellbeing so that they will open up to you and give you the necessary information you need to make the sale. Of course, if you just happen to be a genuine person, that certainly helps.
Hi _____, I'm working on sharing some really great news I've just received with as many people as possible, I'd like to talk with you for a few minutes about your future.
Discovery--when you ask questions to get as much information as possible from the prospect so you can tie back to their personal needs and concerns in making the sale. This needs to be a personal process. You want to get the prospect thinking about things they are missing so that they are ripe for your closing when you show them exactly how your product will meet their needs.
If you were to die tonight, do you know what would happen? Do you know where you would go?
Pitch--This is where you deliver your message, tell them how the product you are offering fits their needs.
Did you know that Jesus loves you and has provided a way for you to live forever in heaven with God?
Closing--Get some sort of commitment from them, on the spot. This is where you use the emotion of the moment and the fear you've planted in them about what will happen if they don't buy your product and you close the deal. Capitalize on the moment.
Why not pray this simple prayer right now, confess all your sins and get rid of that guilt you've been carrying around for so long. Why wait any longer, make your confession right now, in this moment. Don't be caught without Jesus for another day.
And give money. May you find the joy in sacrificing financial gain for the Lord.
Yep, I was trained for this job.