Selling as a way to bless customers
From a talk at Faith In Business
Daniel Ghinn is a CEO of a healthcare analytics company and also Chair of Worship.Works which trains and equips people in the workplace to serve God through work. Here are his thoughts on selling:
Our consultancy to the healthcare sector works with major health care companies and organisations. As founder and CEO of the company, this has involved quite a lot of selling. It's something I've been really passionate about and, in particular, how do we see how can God use us in the act of selling?
So how do you see sales or how do you see the act of selling?
It's a good question to ask ourselves. Do we think it is not very pleasant, a bit sleazy? You can't really be trusted as a salesperson? It's interesting because, as Christians, we've got really good news to share, but we're not always very good at sharing that good news as if it's really good news.
Sometime during my 30s, I read a book by Ed Silvoso, called 'Prayer Evangelism'. There is a focus on Luke 10, in which Jesus sends the disciples out in pairs, and it gives them a set of instructions for evangelism and he says, first of all, whatever house you enter, speak peace. In other words, find the man or woman of peace that's there, in that house and that household. He tells them to stay in that house, eat what they set before you, in other words, fellowship with them, get to know them, build relationship. Then he says to them, heal the sick, so find out what they need and meet this felt need through miracles, and then proclaim to them the kingdom of God has come to you. And I loved that as an evangelism model. You didn't just go and preach and teach about the Kingdom of God. You demonstrate and live it out through relationship.
Then I realised that evangelism is itself a lot like sales. In fact, I used to employ a head of sales and his job title was chief evangelist. It's a job title that became known in the Silicon Valley era. If we're selling a good service or products, we've got good news about something positive that will benefit others. When it comes to selling a service or products, there has to be a value exchange that feels good to both parties. A buyer needs to believe that the value they're going to receive is worth at least what they're paying for it and the seller has to believe that they're getting a good return for their work or their product or service. So good sales is when there is no buyer's remorse, no fear that as a buyer, I might have made the wrong decision. They need to go away confident they've made the right decision and happy it represents good value.
So what if we went further - that selling could actually be a good thing? What if it was actually a way to serve, or bless others?
The first thing to do for that to happen is to change our minds about sales and see it primarily as for the benefit of the buyer. We really want to do something good for them. You need to get it right in your heart first - you are really doing this in their interests, not in your own interest as the seller. If you can get that right, then you'll be talking to them as you would if you're reaching out to a friend. Effectively to put love into it.
So, we put love at the heart of sale. So first, find the man or woman of peace. Who in that organisation in that company or place you're looking to sell to, is open to building a great relationship? That's your man or woman of peace. How can we serve them before the sale not just through the thing they buy from us, but how can we serve them right from the start from the first encounter? How can that be a blessing to them? How can it serve them? Do we have, for example, a useful resource, some advice or recommendation that's going to be valuable for them? Do we have something that they really need that we can help with?
We don't just want to close the deal to hit a sales target. We want to do good for them because actually, we love them. And so, putting that love at the heart of it, changes the attitude and approach, as in Luke 10. Instead of meal provided by them, they pay us while we continue to serve them and love them and provide the service. So what they get is a great service and we meet their needs.
It's actually catching, as what happens is that our clients' teams work better together, they solve problems more effectively. And then they come back for more, so we've got a loyal repeat sale client.
When you think about love, the passage is often read out in in wedding ceremonies is 1 Corinthians 13 v4-7. Use that as a guide to sell. Instead of the word 'love', use the word 'selling'. Selling is patient and kind. Selling does not envy or boast. It's not arrogant or rude. It doesn't insist on its own way. It's not irritable or resentful. Selling doesn't rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices in the truth. And the result is, and has been for us, amazing relationships with clients who are impacted way beyond the delivery of the sale itself.
Watch Daniel in the video below from 8 min 30 secs in for 10 mins:
Also at the start of the 25 minute video is Steve Apted, Head of Procurement UK and Ireland who shares ways to bless suppliers beyond the transaction.
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From a talk at Faith In Business, 03/05/2023