What does the Bible Say about Salesmanship?

by Mike Holmes on February 4, 2010 in Sales & Marketing

What Does the Bible Say about Salesmanship? | marketplace christianity

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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.

The Bible?

Sales?

Huh?!

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:

I
AM
SOLD
MYSELF

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

OR

(2) Stop selling it!

Sell yourself

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!

But what do you think?

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

David Rupert February 4, 2010 at 4:52 pm

Very thorough and impressive work. I love the emphasis on honesty and integrity. In the end, everyone, Christian or not, appreciates these qualities.
My recent post Are we all above average? Really?

Reply

Brad Harmon February 4, 2010 at 10:12 pm

What I love about Biblical business principles are that they are always good business. Great point.

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MikeHolmes February 5, 2010 at 6:02 pm

Thanks David!

I put as much emphasis on it as I could because that's all it really boils down. We buy from people with these qualities who have our best interests in mind :)

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dana February 4, 2010 at 11:13 pm

And now about selling. This blog surely make me more understand how do business base on bible Brad. I am happy to learn more of it. :D
My recent post Blog Goal, Preparations, and Result Review

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Brad Harmon February 4, 2010 at 11:21 pm

Mike did a great job with this blog post. I'm glad you found it helpful.

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MikeHolmes February 5, 2010 at 6:02 pm

Brad has an awesome blog Dana:)

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Brad Harmon February 4, 2010 at 10:11 pm

Mike,

I love the part about selling not ending when they write the check. Good salespeople know that you don't simply hand off your clients to customer service after the sale is made. For an existing client, this is THE BEST opportunity to gain future business from them. Following up after the sale and addressing any concerns is not only good salesmanship, but it's just good business. The people who I am 100% loyal to are those salespeople who let me call them when I have an issue and then they hand it off to the right person – and they call back later to make sure everything was handled well.

Great post. Thank you for guest posting. I hope we will see more from you in the future. ;)

Brad

Reply

MikeHolmes February 5, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Thanks Brad!

One of the thing that amazes me with social media is the talk of "transparency" "integrity' "honesty" and etc. As if these were new things. Granted, they may have gone out of style because of some dishonest people…but they could never cease from being effective. With the recent failures of our own attempts it seems that God's ways are back in style!

My recent post What does the Bible say about salesmanship?

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MikeHolmes February 5, 2010 at 6:00 pm

What I wrote here about sales I wrote from experience. I've been in sales for more than 8 years. I've been at the bottom (the secretary making more than me) and I've been at the top (the top 3% in the region). I've used tactics, tricks, strategies, etc and have watched them come to nothing. But then when I did it God's way and put my client or future client first…things just started to fall into place. I didn't have to hunt down sales…they would come to me…because I did such a good job with an existing client.

God's ways are the best ways…and I'm glad I learned that the hard way:)
My recent post What does the Bible say about salesmanship?

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@krenee76 February 5, 2010 at 6:37 pm

I really needed to read this – so many uncaring affiliates have made the concept of selling seem so dirty. I've slack off promoting things on my Christian blog, because I felt weird about trying to sell something to people who come to my site for inspiration. Some good did come from this because I reduced all sponsors to one product that I really do believe in, that I am enthused about and have benefited from myself – this post of yours helps me feel more confident about having it on my site now. So thanks for sharing this.
I really wish someone would pass this on to those people in the "get rich and make money online in 3 minutes" niche – I'll retweet to my stream and see what happens… :)
My recent post How much do I tithe? How much do I offer my church?

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Brad Harmon February 23, 2010 at 2:31 pm

I still struggle with offering affiliate links, but I am selective in my links so I think this is more a mindset that has been cultivated over many years that sales is an inherently evil process. I know that this is not true, but I still feel as though it is. Taking Michael's advice above should allow us to renew our minds on this subject, but it will likely take a while to undo all the years of cultivation the other way.

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MikeHolmes February 6, 2010 at 11:20 pm

Thanks Kiesha!

It's funny you say that because the Bible talks against 'get rich quick schemes." Because anything worth doing always takes time. Nothing great happens overnight.

I'm glad you enjoyed the post! :)

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bondChristian February 6, 2010 at 11:58 pm

I love your definition of sales:

“Persuading someone to take advantage of an idea, concept, product, or service that is in their best interest.”

I'd probably rephrase it like this:

"Persuading someone that taking advantage of an idea, concept, product, or service is/em> in their best interest."

Of course, to sell the right way is to make sure that the sale is in the customer's best interest. Although I think my definition is more accurate in the true sense of the word "sales," I love yours because it implies that there is no option. Sales means serving.

That's the definition we need to have in our minds. Great job pointing that out.

-Marshall Jones Jr.

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Brad Harmon February 23, 2010 at 2:34 pm

I might even add ….

"Persuading someone of THE TRUTH that taking advantage …"

It's the difference between sales and a con game. Sales is pitching something that is truly in the prospects best interests.

Great point.

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Larry Shoemaker May 8, 2010 at 1:14 am

There are two more things to address. Is the item being sold an improvement or a replacement? Does the sales process rely on substantially deceitful tactics to get started?

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