“I hate sales.”
That phrase came up again and again while I was working with a group of Christian not-for-profit leaders. As we explored the issue together, it became painfully clear that worldly stinkin’ thinkin’ had crept into their minds. For them, sales meant….
- Prompting people to do something they didn’t want to do.
- Twisting people’s arms.
- Using people for your own good and not theirs.
Images of cold-hearted, self-focused, not-for-the-good-of-others, coercive people dominated our discussion. It was time to move our stinkin’ thinkin’ to Kingdom thinking.
Over my 25 years as an entrepreneur, business and sales professional, one of the bigger challenges to overcome has been the negative sales mindset many Christ-followers have adopted. In my experience, many see “sales” as a dirty word… a “necessary evil” to somehow make their business work. In their thinking, “wouldn’t business be great if I didn’t have to sell”!
But consider these questions:
- What if “selling” could be a beautiful thing?
- What if we looked at engaging in the sales process as a gift of service to the one with whom you are looking to “make a sale”?
- What if you could quit focusing on selling and, instead, help the potential customer buy?
What is your response? How do you view sales?
What follows are five very “Deliberate sales mindsets” I invite you to make your own. If you do, these could be game changers for you and your business! They were for me!
Deliberate sales mindset #1:
THE PROCESS OF SALES IS BEAUTIFUL!
God created work! Yes, we corrupted it as part of the Fall into sin, yet in the original design work was beautiful. Therefore sales, done in a Kingdom way, is also beautiful. (Genesis 2:2, Colossians 3:23, Ephesians 6:5-9)
Do you believe that selling can be a beautiful process? Why or why not?
Deliberate sales mindset #2
FOCUS ON LOVE!
A Christ-following sales leader is called to show Christ’s “love” to the potential buyer. This is non-negotiable for one who is committed to Christ. Either the “Great Commandment” is the “Great Commandment” or it is not. If this is so, an essential focus for the sales person is to ensure that they “love” (Matt 22:34-40).
This kind of love is where I choose to extend myself for the highest good of another.
Deliberate sales mindset #3
CHOOSE TO SERVE!
Your mindset is to serve and not be served. Jesus in Mark 10:45 says it well: “For the son of man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” And we are called to become imitators of Christ (Ephesians 5:1-2).
Deliberate Sales Mindset #4
HUNT FOR VALUE!
If “sales” is beautiful, and you are committed to loving the customer, then you are “free” to hunt for the value that will be meaningful for the customer. You are in pursuit of doing whatever you can to add value to your client’s world.
Within the bounds of your well thought out business model you are free to listen well and ask thoughtful, meaningful questions. Pursue uncovering the value that may be hidden, just waiting to be discovered.
Deliberate Sales Mindset #5
Nothing will kill a sales opportunity faster than approaching it with a “know-it-all” attitude. Pride and ego are “show stoppers” for sales people (let alone everyone else). Think of the times you have encountered an arrogant sales person – I suspect not a great experience.
Again, Jesus paves the way for us. He showed us, in His role, what it meant to operate with humility. (Phil 2:1-3 & 1 Peter 5:5-10)
To bring authentic curiosity, where you are truly interested in what is best for your client, requires humility. Humility communicates that you are learning from this client; they will teach you what they need. You job is to offer a heart and mind that is keen to listen and learn from them.
So let’s move our view of sales from stinkin’ thinkin’ to Kingdom thinking! Either by yourself or with the help of others in a group ask:
Father, what are you teaching me about you, and your view of “sales”? What are you teaching me about my view of sales? How aligned is my view with yours? What actions would you have me take as I “sell”? And, is there someone you want me to share this with?
Pete Kuehni is a partner at DeliberateU, a group offering business leadership mentoring for Christian business owners in their workplace, families and communities, with the goal of increasing their capacity to grow in both faith and business effectiveness. Their conviction is that God uniquely uses the marketplace to extend His kingdom purpose – to serve others while growing in faith, hope and love. You can learn more at DeliberateU.com where this article first appeared under the title “Tired of selling but you need more sales?“