Are you embellishing or manipulating to get the sale!

Have you ever noticed that in advertisements, they have a tendency to embellish the truth a bit? I won’t name specifics as I don’t want to create any lawsuit potentials, however, I’m sure you know what I’m saying. Drink “this” and you’ll look like “that” or “work from home and earn $XX,XXX per month!”. Or, maybe it is you simply sitting across the table with someone sharing a coffee attempting to be interested, however, the truth is that you’re “finding a need” or “identifying pain” so that you can share how you can meet that need or solve their pain. Oh, let’s talk about that one for a bit.

Yes, “make a friend, find a need, and transfer a feeling”. Maybe you haven’t heard it directly in these terms, however, I know you’ve likely heard and are performing a similar process. In all of your sales and marketing interactions, in some form or another, you’re attempting to “make a friend, find a need, and transfer a feeling” so that you can address this need. Now, what’s wrong with that? What if I’m truly helping someone? Say I’m in the counseling business, you’re having marriage issues, and I help you resolve your marriage issues, that would be of tremendous value to you…right? If I didn’t go through the process of “friend, need, feeling”, would I have ever been able to assist you in the restoration of your marriage? For that fact, what about sharing the Gospel? Aren’t we going through a similar process when meeting and sharing the story of Jesus? In fact, I recently walked out of church with cards to pass out to my neighbors, friends, etc promoting an upcoming event and inviting them to my church. Now that’s “promotion” and “selling” if I’ve ever seen it.

Let’s camp a bit on that word, “promotion”, or a word I used earlier, “embellishment”. Some time back, I sat with a gentlemen that was sharing that God had convinced him that he had spend over 30 years in sales and had a tendency to “embellish” the truth. Yes, rather than share the good, bad, and ugly, we tend to focus on only the good. For example, how many business opportunities have you been approached by that focus on the wonderful success stories and lifestyles around them to eventually find out that less than 5% of the people achieve these results? Oh, but, rather than focus on the 95%, we shift all our promotion and focus toward the 5%. Is this embellishment? Is there something inherently wrong with this? Hmmmmmmmmm!

Let’s shift focus to our personal psyche when it comes to the sales process. Sometimes a conversation with others about our approach might look like this:
“Chris, do you value your product? Yes, I’ve seen the impact it has on people’s lives. But do you really believe that it’s the reason for that impact? Yes, I do believe it’s the reason. Then people need to see this within you. It’s far less about the process than it is the amount of belief you convey through your energy, passion, and conviction about the product.”

While there is tremendous truth in this statement regarding “belief”, the challenge comes when, due to this belief, we tend to start embellishing the truth in our sale’s process and create ways of manipulating the sale. Now, we may convince ourselves that avoidance of the truth and developing a “spirit of ‘yes'” in the interest of getting people past their objections so that we can have a positive impact on their lives is “OK”; however, is it truly OK?

Well, as I typically do these days, I took this question to the scriptures and looked at the life of Jesus. What was Jesus “selling”? For those who “followed Him”, he promised “eternal life”. One would think with a product of such high value, Jesus would have done anything and everything to get people to engage in His product; however, what did he do? Well let’s read a bit:

“Now when Jesus saw a crowd around him, he gave orders to go over to the other side. And a scribe came up and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” Another of the disciples said to him, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.”” (Matthew 8:18-22 ESV)

Now, does that sound like embellishment or manipulation? While there are numerous other scriptures to support, what you’ll see is that Jesus clearly articulates that there is a huge cost to “following Him”. Rather than try to hide this fact upfront in order to manipulate you and get you in a “spirit of yes”, Jesus chooses to hit people right between the eyes with “Truth”. No embellishment, really not much promotion, just the facts!

Well, never have I claimed to be an expert in sales and I’m sure today’s post will confirm this to be the case. I hope it has caused you to ponder a bit as to whether you’re “embellishing the truth” or “promoting” for the wrong reasons. Just another example of how we really have to know our “why”.

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