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Monday, August 19, 2013

The A-B-C’s of Selling

The Way WE Work is a Monday morning audio blog from yours truly that offers an encouraging look at the world of work.

There’s something about selling that I’ve always liked. Probably it’s the combination of creating good customer relationships and finding unique approaches to get your point across. I’ve been in sales, or sales management roles, several times in my earlier years.

Retail selling is okay, but professional selling where “more is on the line” is the real challenge. I was a part of Zig Ziglar’s Sunday School class in Dallas, Texas, in the late '80s. Zig often used his seminar material as a means to attract an audience to church, but you would never leave without Zig sharing the Good News on how to get to the real top. By all accounts, Zig was a super salesman.

Joining Zig at the top was Bob Woods. Bob held management positions in sales organizations with several respected companies. We worked together in California on some marketing related projects. Bob was a skilled networker and people were easily drawn to him.

During our time together, Bob taught me a very effective method of thinking about a sales presentation. He’d say, "It’s as simple as A-B-C!" And then he would spell it out …

*Arouse and intensify interest. Next,
*Build value. Then, if you've been effective so far, make direct effort to ...
*Close the sale.

A-B-C.  If you’re in sales, I’d recommend you consider the simplicity of that process. It really helped me. 

A young woman came to my door in Plainfield a few weeks ago and did the first two steps magnificently. Unfortunately, I didn’t need more magazine subscriptions. But she was good.

In sharing the Christian faith, we would be wise to apply some of the same methods effective sales people use to draw us in. Sales … and witnessing ... should never be about manipulation. But giving creative approaches and a compelling offer that includes unbelievable value for eternity makes a pretty powerful Gospel presentation. Look at the way Jesus engaged his audience. Or the apostle Paul on Mars Hill. 

That exchange Jesus had with Nicodemus at night, in secret, had all the elements. Jesus aroused the interest and curiosity of Nicodemus. He built value around securing eternal life. And we are confident Nicodemus placed his faith in Jesus along his life journey. The transaction was complete. Read about it in John, chapter 3. 

Great sales people devote time and energy to refining their skills. A wise Christ follower will find a way to make a compelling presentation as well. 

That should make us want to learn our A-B-Cs.

That’s the way WE work. For Moody Radio, I’m Mark Elfstrand.

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