If you’ve ever pondered over the commonality between an impactful sermon and a persuasive sales pitch, you’re on to something. You see, both aim to touch the core of human emotions, beliefs, and decision-making. How does one learn this exceptional art? Well, my exploration of this fine skill led me to write the book, The Master Salesman: Jesus and the Art of Service. This book takes a unique angle on sales by drawing insights from a rather uncommon source in this context—Jesus.
Jesus knew how to introduce ideas about the Kingdom of God and offer something beyond this worldly realm—Salvation. While it may seem far-fetched to compare Jesus’ teachings to sales techniques, there’s a methodology here that resonates strikingly with modern sales systems. What stands out particularly is the way Jesus transferred his unwavering belief in His mission and divine nature to others.
You may not be offering eternal salvation in your sales pitch, but the core principles of effective communication remain consistent. This is where the IDEAS Sales System comes in. IDEAS stands for Introducing, Discovering, Evaluating, Adapting, and Serving. It’s a framework that transforms the transactional nature of sales into a more meaningful, relational experience, similar to how Jesus communicated His teachings.
Let’s begin with Introducing. You identify your customer and make a conscious introduction. Jesus was a master of this. He met people where they were, both emotionally and physically. He didn’t start by talking about Himself. He started with what people already knew or believed and went from there. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus introduces the concept of the Kingdom of Heaven through parables, a familiar storytelling form to His audience. “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field” (Matthew 13:44, NIV).
Next comes Discovering. This stage involves active listening. A crucial but often overlooked part of sales is understanding what your client needs. Jesus was an expert at this too. When a woman who had been suffering from bleeding for 12 years touched His robe, He turned around and asked, “Who touched me?” (Mark 5:30, NIV). Jesus already knew, but He engaged in active listening to understand the woman’s needs better.
Evaluating involves taking the time to understand the customer’s needs deeply. Jesus demonstrated this during His conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well. He evaluated her spiritual thirst before offering her “living water” (John 4:10, NIV). Similarly, we should evaluate our customer’s needs before making our pitch.
Adapting is the art of tailoring your message so that it’s most valuable to the person you’re addressing. Jesus often used parables to communicate complex spiritual truths in a way that was relatable to His listeners. Adapting your sales pitch means customizing your message to meet the unique needs or solve the specific problems of your customer.
Finally, we come to Serving. Jesus said, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28, NIV). Likewise, you need to remember that the goal is not just to sell but to serve. You provide a product or service that solves a problem or fulfills a need.
Incorporating these principles into your sales approach can transform how you connect with people. The IDEAS Sales System is not just a technique; it’s a philosophy that emphasizes the transference of belief. This principle is central to both the IDEAS system and my concept of the Triad of Belief, which involves belief in your industry, product, and yourself. Only then can you transfer that belief to your customer effectively.
If you’re interested in diving deeper into these principles and how they relate to one of history’s most impactful leaders, The Master Salesman: Jesus and the Art of Service is a worthwhile read. It’s not just about sales; it’s about understanding human behavior, enhancing communication, and leading a life aligned with serving others.
Now, I’m no saint, and like many of you, I struggle with faith, with everyday challenges, and with striving to be the person I want to be. However, the journey of improving and refining our skills in sales or any other area is an ongoing process. The key is to keep learning and adapting. So, if you find yourself struggling with these skills or even broader life issues, consider taking a step further through Training, Coaching, and Life Coaching at Closer Classes.
The customer is ready to buy. He needs you to help him believe.
This article delves into the IDEAS Sales System, a framework that transforms the transactional nature of sales into a more relational experience. Drawing on lessons from Jesus’ teachings, the article explains how effective communication and belief transference are crucial in sales and in forming meaningful relationships. A focus is given on how to adapt these principles in modern-day situations.