As I slipped into the passenger side of the green Ford Taurus on that cold December day, the VP of Advertising for the Dayton Daily News said, “Did you bring today’s paper?”
“No.” I sheepishly replied.
“Always bring the paper. How are you going to show them what you want them to buy?”
We would be late for our appointment if I returned to the office to get the newspaper. Suffice it to say, we didn’t make a sale that day, and I didn’t make a good impression on my new boss. However, I never forgot to bring the paper again.
So why am I telling you this story? Because spreading the gospel is a lot like sales. What “product” are we “selling”? SALVATION.
Here are some parallels between my job in sales and my call to spread the gospel.
The main reason I was a successful salesperson is because I believed in what I was selling. I knew that if the advertising campaign was run correctly, then it would be a good investment for the advertiser. Truth be told, when I began to sell digital ads on social media sites, I wasn’t as successful. I simply don’t have the same passion for digital ads as I did for print ads.
Do we believe in our product? Are we passionate about it? If we’re not truly converted, how can we reach others and bring them to the truth of the gospel?
One of the ways we show others that we truly believe in the gospel is by living like a child of the King should live. Matthew 18:3 clearly states that unless we live like little children in the sight of our Father, we won’t find our place in heaven. “Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” We should show that we believe in God with both our words and deeds.
Prepare for It
Getting back to the forgotten newspaper…I wasn’t prepared for the sale. Are we prepared to share the gospel? Studying the scriptures and fasting and praying are some of the most useful tools we have at our disposal. 2 Timothy 2:15 gives us instruction on how to prepare ourselves for our “sales meetings.”
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” If I didn’t know the circulation, demographics of our readers, and more, I wouldn’t have the information necessary to help my customer make a wise decision. We should do our best to know the scripture that is used to back up our faith and doctrine, which is easily found on the church website. Another great resource is the What We Believe pamphlet.
Ask for It
Mr. VP of Advertising taught me much about selling. One of his mottos was “Always ask for the sale.”
I shamefully admit that on more than one occasion, there has been someone new in my life, whether it be a co-worker or a neighbor, that I intended to invite to church. However, the next time I saw them, they told me about a new church they found. What a missed opportunity it was, and what a failure I felt like! It was imperative that I invited my customers to advertise and end every conversation with “When would you like to begin advertising?”
Keep It Positive
It also was never a good thing for me to talk negatively about other publications. Doing so would only ruffle feathers and cause a potential customer to get defensive. There is no need for us to speak negative things about other organizations. It’s not becoming and holds no place in our testimony.
Stick With It
I also understood the importance of providing good customer service. People may not immediately accept an invitation. It’s not the easiest thing to find good customer service these days. (Who can relate to saying “Representative” on a phone call over and over after attempting to follow the prompts that have “recently changed”?)
Do you treat others as you would want to be treated? In John 13:34-35, Jesus clearly states our job description.
“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
Have you ever heard the phrase “That’s above my pay grade”? No spiritual task is above our pay grade. We are all on the same level and are all working to gain entry into the same retirement home. So don’t give up on someone. Follow God’s prompting and be sure to leave the door open.
Testify to It
In Mark 5:19-20, Jesus says this to the man that He cleansed from the unclean spirit. “Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.” And the man departed “and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.”
Which of us didn’t have an unclean spirit before we were baptized? So, this is our commission. To tell our friends of this beautiful gospel that we have been blessed to be a part of.
So tomorrow as you prepare for your sales meetings, remember this simple formula:
Pray ∙ Prepare ∙ Proceed
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.