People often ask why in the world I wrote a book that connects Jesus to sales, of all things!
When they see the title, “Sell Like Jesus: 7 Characteristics of Christ for Ethical Sales” some react with joy. I suspect it’s because they are Christian, they sell something, and are grateful to have a glimmer of hope that the sales stereotype can be redeemed.
Others are offended because all they can see is the negative image of the pushy salesperson and they don’t want to associate Jesus with that!
Yet others tell me, “I’m not religious, but I can see how Jesus could be a good role model.”
Here is an excerpt from the preface which explains why I put Jesus together with sales:
The fundamental skill that successful salespeople have in common is effective communication. Jesus, through His conversations with friends and adversaries alike, illustrates how to communicate effectively without compromising what He came to do. Compromise implies concession, meaning that someone gives in (loses) to another’s position. Buyers constantly ask salespeople to compromise, testing their resolve, indifferent to the loss they are asking the salesperson to accept. Giving in to such requests usually ends badly for the salesperson, and, although it may not be immediately obvious, it goes poorly for the buyer in the long-run, too. Salespeople who give in essentially allow the buyer to take advantage of them, which often breeds resentment. (It’s never good to be resentful toward a buyer.) Standing one’s ground defensively as a salesperson usually alienates the buyer, who then walks away. (You can never win a fight with a buyer.) Compromise in sales never brings a successful outcome.
Fortunately, Jesus shows us a different way. He shows us how simultaneously to show respect, build trust, and stand our ground in a way that nurtures relationships and allows them to evolve to their logical outcome. This doesn’t mean He always got his way; far from it. What it does mean is that He always stood His ground, while respecting the other person’s position, never forcing His way on another. He allowed others to decide for themselves, and He accepted their decisions.
Effective communication isn’t just the process you use or the words you say. It is those plus the undergirding of our values and beliefs. When we do the right things for the right reasons, we usually get right results. Looking to the author and finisher of my faith to help me be the best salesperson I could be just made sense. If you’re curious to read more there are autographed copies available through my website, or through your favorite book retailer.