Perish the Thought! Are You Actually a Salesperson?

Many missionaries don’t like the concept of ‘sales.’ They would never look at themselves as ‘salespeople.’ or as presenting their ministry to someone for support as ‘salemanship.’ But is this realistic?

Perhaps what we don’t like are the ‘pushy’ salespeople who try to cram products down our throats. Or slick sales processes that end up wearing us down and pushing us to a ‘yes’ answer.

We had that happen to us many times, especially when purchasing autos.  One time we spent a day at a dealer, traded in two cars, and came out with one that was ‘bare bones.’  That place was on our ‘black list’ ever after!

John Corcoran. president of D’Alessandro Inc., a fundraising and management consulting firm headquartered in New Jersey., suggests sales are NOT the presentation, nor even the simple ‘ask’ when someone says, “Yes, I’d like to support you and your work.’

He says there’s a popular sales definition that says, “The sale begins when the prospect says ‘no’—everything else is just order-taking.”

Do you agree with this?

And what is ‘sales?’ For missionaries we must see this as our ability to gently challenge the ‘no’ with a different viewpoint so they say ‘yes.’

John suggests that usually a reluctance or no answer happens for specific reasons.

* They don’t have enough information to be confident with a ‘yes’ decision.
* They have to discuss the decision with someone else.
* They haven’t been able to ask their questions during our presentation, so it was a one-way ‘selling’ street.

In your interaction-presentation ask questions to discover what might be a reason they would say no, and address that.

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