“Capitalist” [salesman] Lester Chun considers his life fortunate “by the Grace of God.” Among God’s talents “invested” in Lester are an indomitable encouraging spirit.
Here is Winston Churchill’s famous secular quote on the huge difference between the values of vocation and avocation:
“You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.”
Dare say blithe [encouraging/joyful contagion] phenom Lester Chun’s confounding afflictive 🙂 reversal upon us all is:
You make a living by God who Graces you, and you make a life by giving God’s blessings among us all.
What does the Bible Say about Salesmanship?
by Mike Holmes
Mike Holmes 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 [emphases hereafter mine]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 enthusiasm 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
(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!
23 Bible Verses about Sales
Revelation 14:12 ESV
Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.
Colossians 4:1 ESV
Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.
John 14:1-31 ESV
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” …
Matthew 22:1-46 ESV
And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.’ But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, …
Matthew 6:1-34 ESV
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. …
Behold, a day is coming for the Lord, when the spoil taken from you will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle. On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley, so that one half of the Mount shall move northward, and the other half southward. And you shall flee to the valley of my mountains, for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azal. And you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him. …
Ezekiel 48:1-35 ESV
“These are the names of the tribes: Beginning at the northern extreme, beside the way of Hethlon to Lebo-hamath, as far as Hazar-enan (which is on the northern border of Damascus over against Hamath), and extending from the east side to the west, Dan, one portion. Adjoining the territory of Dan, from the east side to the west, Asher, one portion. Adjoining the territory of Asher, from the east side to the west, Naphtali, one portion. Adjoining the territory of Naphtali, from the east side to the west, Manasseh, one portion. Adjoining the territory of Manasseh, from the east side to the west, Ephraim, one portion. …
The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity. What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun? A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever. The sun rises, and the sun goes down, and hastens to the place where it rises. …
Proverbs 31:6-7 ESV
Give strong drink to the one who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress; let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more.
Now when David lived in his house, David said to Nathan the prophet, “Behold, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of the covenant of the Lord is under a tent.” And Nathan said to David, “Do all that is in your heart, for God is with you.” But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, “Go and tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord: It is not you who will build me a house to dwell in. For I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up Israel to this day, but I have gone from tent to tent and from dwelling to dwelling. …
Numbers 3:1-51 ESV
These are the generations of Aaron and Moses at the time when the Lord spoke with Moses on Mount Sinai. These are the names of the sons of Aaron: Nadab the firstborn, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. These are the names of the sons of Aaron, the anointed priests, whom he ordained to serve as priests. But Nadab and Abihu died before the Lord when they offered unauthorized fire before the Lord in the wilderness of Sinai, and they had no children. So Eleazar and Ithamar served as priests in the lifetime of Aaron their father. And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, …
Genesis 6:1-22 ESV
When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown. The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. …
And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads. And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear’s, and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority. One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast. And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?” And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. …
And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth. And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it. She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne, …
Then I was given a measuring rod like a staff, and I was told, “Rise and measure the temple of God and the altar and those who worship there, but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months. And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.” These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. And if anyone would harm them, fire pours from their mouth and consumes their foes. If anyone would harm them, this is how he is doomed to be killed. …
For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.
Romans 13:1-7 ESV
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. …
Romans 8:29 ESV
For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
Acts 15:19-20 ESV
Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God, but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood.
John 3:16 ESV
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Mark 16:16 ESV
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
Matthew 6:33 ESV
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Psalm 91:1-16 ESV
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, …
The Best Self-Help Guide Ever Published
It’s amazing how you can’t watch business television for more than a few moments without coming across an advertisement that promises more sales leads, better closing rates, or more repeat customers. For a small fee, you may purchase a series of DVDs, attend a sales networking seminar or take an online course.
When does it all stop?
Worse yet, I bet the business section of your local bookstore is crammed with books with written and rewritten information that promises to help you take your business to the next level.
And just what level is that?
Will you lie, cheat and steal long enough to close down your closest competitor. Will that mean you will only find success until someone else takes up shop and does the same thing to you?
So rely on the Bible and the time-tested truths found in its verses to help you find ways to grow your business, develop a a loyal and expanding customer base and help you reach areas and levels that you never through possible.
Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord.”
The Puritans believed that a person’s calling was the unique skill that God had placed in our hands and in our minds. It was a skill we could use to earn enough money to feed our family and make the world a better place at the same time. What’s is your calling? Does your company, service or product make the world a better place? If not, change what you are selling, making or providing.
If yes, feed on it as this Bible verse commands you to do. Say a daily prayer asking the Lord to guide you and direct you to the people, places and persons who need what you are offering. Soon, sales will increase because you have changed your mindset from selling people to helping them. And with the Lord leading the way, who is is going to stop you?
James 1:2 “Consider it Pure Joy When You Encounter Various Trials”
James wrote in this Bible verse about the trials of one’s faith, but the same is true in the business world. We can’t succeed if we don’t fail first. Sooner or later and more often than not, we will fail or not live up to our potential.
The moment when all is lost will be the moment of the greatest test of our abilities, our resolve and our talent. Then the faith we have in our ability, and faith in the Lord will be all that will be available to us to use to find the strength we need to place in our legs to keep us standing tall in the battlefield.
Look to embrace failure like a long lost friend, because it will come back to visit you when you least expect it. And, like and old friend, failure will teach you and remind of all of the things you once knew and once did — the basics — that made you successful in the first place.
The meaning behind the words contained in the Bible verse, “the mind of a an intelligent man seeks knowledge, but the mind of a fool seeks folly,” are proven everyday in salesrooms across the country. Too many salesmen, and business people feel they can grow their business, uncover more leads and make more sales by exaggerating their product’s benefits or by delivering less than what they promised. This offers short-term success, but long-term failure when the reputation the foolish have created finally catches up to them. Instead, work hard to make your product better. Study your competitors so your knowledge will allow you to defeat them with truth instead of lies.
This is my favorite because this Bible verse lays it all out on the line. The Bible verse, “He who is greedy of gain brings ruin on his own house, but he who hates bribes will live,” basically tells us that those who seek quick gains and instant rewards will ultimately fail. However, those who strive to put in the work to develop their knowledge, increase their skills and develop their talent will win out in the end. They will prosper and survive the business wars.
“Fine words are out of place in a fool; how much more, lying words in a noble!” tells volumes. So many times, businessmen try to survive on the skill of their tongue without the seasoning of knowledge.
Every so often a skilled man lowers to this level, tempted to leave the security of knowledge for the lure of easily spoken uncertain truths.
Meanwhile, one eternal truth is forever true: people we talk to, our customers, our board members, our families and friends, all know when we are lying. If you haven’t prepared yourself to fight on a particular field of battle, then all is lost. Leave the field and save the time your are wasting. Use your time to better prepare for another day, another sale or another project. If you have found success, but are falling to an inferior and under prepared opponent, hold true to your faith, your knowledge and your superior abilities and talents. You will win out in the long run if you live the meaning contained in this Bible verse.