Our inaugural guest post is written by Mike Holmes. He is the author of the book I Shall Raise Thee Up: Ancient Principles for Lasting Greatness, and he writes a blog by the same name where he discusses business and leadership development from a Biblical perspective.
Mike has written posts for several respected Christian business blogs, and is currently working on his second book entitled Biblical Strategies for Marketing Success. He has been a very active member of our blog community adding interesting insights through his comments and tweets.
And now, without further adieu, here’s Mike …
What does the Bible Say about Salesmanship?
By Mike Holmes
With all the strategies and techniques available to the Christian Entrepreneur (offline and online)…it all means NOTHING if not translated into sales.
Sales is vital; not just to business but everyday life:
- A prospect doesn’t become a happy client without a sale
- The unsaved don’t realize their need for Christ without a sale
- An interview doesn’t become a job offer without a sale
- The single become involved when there is a sale…in fact, it moves to marriage through another sale
Sales is so important that the Bible goes into great details about it.
Yup. You heard me: “great details”! It gives strategies, concepts, what-to-do’s, and what-not-to-do’s. It’s all there.
But before we go “there” let me define “selling.”
I define “selling” as:
“Persuading someone to take advantage of an idea, concept, product, or service that is in their best interest.”
Nothing more, nothing less. A true salesperson is a servant first.
So here they are…some of the Biblical strategies for sales success. Whether you’re interested in becoming a better salesperson, helping your people become better salespeople, or just interested to see what the Bible says this one is for you!
Be sold yourself
To sell something effectively you have to be sold on it yourself. How can you sell something you truly don’t believe in?
The apostle Paul had numerous hardships in being a messenger of Christ. He faced persecution, ridicule, scorn, beatings, imprisonment, and etc. But in spite of all the hardship he still wrote:
But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, ‘I believed in God, so I spoke.’ We know that God, Who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you. - 2 Corinthians 4:13-14 (New Living Translation)
In other words, “I so believe in what I’m selling that I’m willing to endure this kind of rejection. Because what I’m offering will benefit the world!”
SALES=The Transfer of Enthusiasm
Enthusiasm is essential to sales. If you’re not fired up about what you’re offering, why should your prospect be?!
The word itself is Greek in origin; and it means “inspiration or possession of God or a god.”
When the early Christians saw someone convert to Christianity they had no word to describe the overwhelming joy that followed, so they created a word out of two words: “En” and “Theos” which together mean “God within.” In other words, “it means to be so inspired it’s like God Himself dwells within.”
The last four letters of the word IASM are used as an acronym:
That kind of enthusiasm comes with a GREAT PRODUCT that you’re sold on yourself!
If you’re currently selling something you’re not completely sold on do one of two things:
(1) Resell yourself on its merits
(2) Stop selling it!
The Bible says, “He who wins souls is wise” – Proverbs 11:30 (NKJV). This is sooo critical in selling.
If your prospect is not sold on you they will not be sold on your product or service. The worst thing you can do is try to win the sale without winning the soul.
To win a soul is to win the prospect’s trust and friendship—through genuine relationship building. Not through gimmicks, but genuine honesty and integrity. Why ? Because every message is ALWAYS filtered through the messenger. And if people don’t trust the messenger, how can they trust her message or product?
When you succeed in building a genuine (emphasis on “genuine”) relationship you move from a “salesperson” trying to get them “to buy something,” to a “consultant” helping them make “a buying decision.”
Relationship is key.
Sell your service
A sale never ends with the signing of a contract and/or the writing of a check. Your customer needs to understand that you’ll be there for them—as long as you’re in the business they’re warranty is good with you.
The Bible says, “Since God assured us, ‘I’ll never let you down, never walk off and leave you,’ we can boldly quote, ‘God is there, ready to help; I’m fearless no matter what. Who or what can get to me?’” Hebrews 13:5-6 (The Message)
Until it is installed, programmed, finished, and/or understood the sale is not done. Sales and service go hand in hand.
One of the things that separate top producers from lower producers is the top have books of repeat business—in other words they have a clientele. Even though they’ve closed the deal they still service the account. Doing that opens a tremendous stream of client referrals.
Service is still the best form of marketing.
Unfortunately, most salespeople subscribe to a “wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am” philosophy of selling—and though this helps quota it doesn’t create a clientele. In fact, it creates resentment and mistrust.
Your customer needs to understand that you’re there for them not for their money!