What Do You Sell?

bookcoverjpeg-e1354078407704I’m reading Daniel Pink’s book To Sell Is Human (The Surprising Truth About Moving Others).

I agree with Pink’s basic premise in Part 1: We are all selling something. About 6 years ago someone said to me: “Your job is selling faith.” At the time it was disconcerting, but I now embrace the truth of that wholeheartedly. Faith is not the only thing I sell at church. I also “sell” the power of community, and specifically, the teachings of Jesus Christ.

I sometimes sell (to myself) the importance of eating a salad. Or of going to the gym to work out with weights.

I sometimes sell my cat on the idea of a tummy rub. Her resistance has weakened appreciably.

What do you sell, and who do you sell it to? What about you makes a good seller and what characteristic gets in your way? These are all good questions.

Dan Pink makes the case that “ambiverts” (people who are somewhere between introvert/extravert) do the best job of reading people and relating to them, and therefore do the best job of selling. I think this is true. I also think we have more control over these characteristics than is sometimes thought. (Perhaps one of the unexpectedly positive aspects of being a pastor/preacher is that you have to learn to operate out of both a people-focused self, and a faith-directed self. You have to function as an ambivert, no matter what you were when you began seminary.)

Part 2 of Pink’s book deals with the seller’s mantra – “ABC” — which used to be “Always Be Closing.” Now it is: “Attunement, Buoyancy, Clarity.” Good stuff, definitely worth reading.

I’m in Part 3, which is about pitches. How do we pitch what we’re selling? One section suggests that the best pitches are put in the form of questions. So I’m thinking about the questions that best encapsulate my ministry, both as a preacher and as a writer.

For my pilgrimage book it might be: Does your faith travel?

I’m not quite satisfied with that. Any other suggestions?

I’ve got to go — my husband is trying to sell me on the idea of going for a walk, even though it’s frightfully cold!

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I'm an essayist, memoirist, and Presbyterian pastor. My books are both spiritual memoirs -- "Chasing the Divine in the Holy Land" and "Ruined."

I welcome your comments.

2 thoughts on “What Do You Sell?

    • Today’s walk was the type that’s better in past-perfect. “I have walked.” Plus I ate a salad. My virtue abounds today.

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