Sales is an art, a dance between identifying needs and meeting them with the right solutions. At its core, it’s about connecting, understanding, and serving. But how can salespeople truly elevate their craft? For inspiration, we might turn to a source that might seem unconventional at first: Jesus’ life and teachings. In my book, The Master Salesman: Jesus and the Art of Service, I dive into how Jesus’ approach to interacting with people offers invaluable lessons for modern salespeople.
A striking example of Jesus’ unparalleled adaptability can be observed in His final moments on the cross. As he hung between two criminals, one mocked Him, while the other saw something more profound. This criminal, amidst his pain and imminent death, sought hope, saying to Jesus, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Luke 23:42 ESV). Instead of a sermon or a reprimand, Jesus offered a response tailored to the man’s profound need, stating, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43 ESV).
This interaction highlights Jesus’ astute recognition of the urgency and depth of a plea and His ability to provide a compassionate, immediate assurance. The heart of this lesson? The power of adaptability and the necessity of genuine empathy in the face of urgent needs.
For sales professionals, this narrative is a reminder of the importance of truly listening. It’s not always about the pitch or the product; sometimes, it’s about hearing the unspoken words, sensing the urgency, and responding with empathy. And while sales might seem worlds apart from divine interactions, the underlying principles remain:
- Understand the Person: Just as Jesus understood the profound desperation of the criminal beside Him, salespeople must seek to grasp the unique contexts and pain points of their clients. Whether it’s through the IDEAS Sales System—which emphasizes discovering and evaluating client needs—or another method, the key is to truly listen.
- Adapt with Empathy: Every client is different. Their needs, urgencies, and expectations vary. Drawing from the “Adapting” principle of the IDEAS Sales System, it’s essential to craft our message to address the specific needs of each customer. This isn’t about changing the product but altering our approach, ensuring it resonates and provides genuine solutions.
- Offer Assurance: Sometimes, what the client seeks is assurance—whether about the product’s efficacy, the reliability of the service, or the authenticity of the relationship. Just as Jesus offered the hope of paradise, salespeople must extend assurances tailored to their client’s anxieties.
However, this isn’t just about sales. It’s about life. It’s about those moments when someone turns to us, seeking understanding, support, and sometimes, a lifeline. Whether in sales or daily interactions, embracing the principles of understanding, adaptability, and assurance can transform outcomes.
This is the ethos behind my book, The Master Salesman: Jesus and the Art of Service. I delve into the principles that made Jesus, in my eyes, the best salesman. His “product” was salvation, and His “industry” was the Kingdom of God. His belief in Himself and His mission was unwavering. And His ultimate goal? To transfer these beliefs to humanity.
Interested in taking these lessons further? Consider diving into the Triad of Belief—a sales principle underscoring the significance of belief in one’s industry, product, and oneself. After all, as my slogan says: Your customer wants to buy. He needs you to help him believe. And if you’re keen to elevate your sales journey, consider joining us at Closer Classes for comprehensive training and coaching.
The customer is ready to buy. He needs you to help him believe.
Jesus’ interaction with a criminal on the cross underscores the significance of adaptability and empathy, especially in moments of urgency. For salespeople, recognizing and addressing urgent needs with understanding and assurance can transform client relationships and outcomes. Drawing parallels between Jesus’ teachings and modern sales techniques can offer valuable insights for professionals and individuals alike.