This post is going to show you what the Bible has to say about sales.
Whether or not you believe in sales know this:
The truth is this:
- Leaders sell their vision.
- Mom and Dad sell their values to their children.
- A preacher sells a group of people on the merits of following some God-inspired Biblical idea.
- An evangelist sells people on the merits of turning their lives to Christ.
The Bible is Pro-Sales
That above heading will be enough to scare off half the people reading this. “The Bible is Pro-Sales!!! What kind of madness…!!!”
That response is common. Even though sales is the life-blood of well…everything…people view it with disdain. Everyone LOVES to buy–no one wants to be sold!
Before we go into sales let me give you MY definition of sales:
Persuading someone to take advantage of an idea, concept, product or service that is in their best interest.Moi
Its like when the Apostle Paul said:
He said, “Because we know of the consequences we are going to persuade and induce as many people as we can into a relationship with Christ.”
But most people don’t see selling like that. They see it as dispicable and unethical.
Charles Sharpe originally did.
Charles (Charlie) Sharpe was the founder of Ozark National Life Insurance Company–a life insurance company that pioneered the combination of life insurance and mutual funds. He used his business to bring glory to God and later became a Pastor.
Before he got into the insurance business he was in the military and then went into construction. A friend of his named Basil said to him, “Charlie you should get into sales.”
He was genuinely offended:
“I thought salesman were charlans. I responded, ‘Basil, you ought not talk to me like that. I’m a decent person!’ It never occured to me that sales make the world go’ round. Without sales, nothing happens. Without motivating people to take action, the world would be stagnant. I had never considered sales as a career before that day, and to be honest, the thought took some time to sink in.”Charles Sharpe
He went onto break records selling a policy a day for six months before he started his own company.
Many people are praying for an answer that can only be found with MORE SALES or better salesmanship. For instance: J. Gunnar Olson.
Olson had a problem. He was a budding industrialist and was learning to trust God with his business. He was prospering but for some reason sales were slow.
During this period he called himself a “yo-yo Christian.” When things were going well he was happy, when they weren’t he was depressed.
He decided to go on a 14 day fast, crying out to the Lord for direction. On the last day of the fast he got a call from an intercessor–a woman he highly respected.
She had a word from the Lord:
According to him:
“Mike…Mike…that’s all well and good but WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT SALES???
Well…lets start here:
Not blessings are upon the head of him that “donates” it…
Blessings are upon the head of him that SELLETH it.
But let’s dig deeper:
That word selleth is the Hebrew word “shabar” and it means:
- To buy grain
- To sell grain
- To break to pieces
The Pulpit Commentary gives a great insight into the practice:
In other words greedy people would buy supplies when they were plentiful, wait till there was scarcity, and then sell it at exorbitant prices. Those people who withheld what they should’ve sold were seen as accursed. While those who sold when there was a legitimate need were seen as blessed.
Joseph–through divine revelation–cornered the grain market. He then sold grain to the egyptians and other nations at a fair price and was blessed by God. In fact, when they ran out of money he worked out creative ways to sell them what they needed!
Or what about the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31. She was businesswoman:
She knew how to buy AND she knew how to SELL.
What Can The Bible Teach Me About Sales?
To be clear: the Bible doesn’t go into the intracacies of sales. Sales is ever evolving and there are teachers who can go more into the more effective details of it.
But…there are principles in the Word of God that are life-changing. So lets get into them:
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)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!”
Billy Graham learned this not by sheer evangelism but through a brief period in sales.
Before he moved into evangelism, at the age of 17, he was a salesman for the Fuller Brush Company. He was completely sold on the product:
According to his biographer, by the end of the end of the summer he was the most successful salesman in two states.
If you don’t believe it, don’t sell it!
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 or GREAT SERVICE 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 said it this way,
“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. “Acts 4:13 (KJV)
In other words, when the Pharisees saw the enthusiasm of these two men they concluded they were sold on what they were selling.
Are you sold on what YOU’RE selling? How enthusiastic are YOU about 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.
You have to win a soul before you can win a sale.
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.
People Buy with Emotion, and Justify With Logic
Most if not all sales are made with emotion–especially complex (or big sales). Yes, facts and figures are necessary…but at the end of the day it will boil down to how the person feels.
When Peter spoke on the day of Pentecost he did use facts, figures, and logic but he also spoke in a way that spoke to the intuitive or feeling part of his listeners:
Or what about Jesus?
After He was raised from the dead He met two of His disciples. They were discussing the matter of what happened over the last couple of days. They didnt recognize Him though.
When He got ready to reveal Himself He spoke to their hearts not just their intellect:
Yes, appeal to the intellect. But don’t forget to appeal to the feeling side.
What other principles of salesmanship, can we learn from God’s Word?