Everyone is self-employed; everyone is in sales

Many of you, if not most of you, are on staff at a church or are actively involved in Kingdom work. In light of that you may think that this blog has nothing to do with you or your role. Before you close this out…let me challenge you to keep reading a little further.

While we can all make a case for the inaccuracy of the title of this blog…let’s expand out thinking. Churches and ministries don’t have “sales”…right? For just a few minutes, let me share a portion of a blog from Bruce Van Horn.  I have never met Bruce but have received permission to repost his blog.  I am not going to quote the entire blog….you can see it HERE.

When I was leading a team for a national church builder, I used to tell our team that they were ALL sales people for the organization.  Some grasped that and some never could wrap their arms around the concept…but I believed it then and am even more convinced of this fact. Let me share a portion of Bruce’s blog:

Did you know that you are self-employed? Well, whether you know it or not, you are!

You might be thinking, “No, I work for a company [church/ministry – Tim Cool added] and I’m not even a shareholder let alone the owner.”

I want you to read this next sentence, then sit still for a minute and let it seep into the crevices of your brain: It does not matter who signs your paycheck or what company you work for or what your job is at that company; everyone is self-employed and everyone is in sales.

You might not like the idea of “selling yourself,” but that really is what we do every day. If you have friends, it is because you have shown them something about yourself that makes them want to be around you. If you have a spouse or a very serious “significant other,” it is because there is something about you that makes that person want to be around and, perhaps, spend the rest of their life with you. Whether you are aware of it or did it intentionally, you convinced those people, or that person, that they should choose you out of all of the other people they know. They “bought” you!

If you think of yourself as self-employed while you are at your “job,” you will see the work you do and the company you work for differently. Your “job” is to provide a product or service that meets the needs of, and adds value to, your customer. When your company hired you, they did so because of what you could provide. During the interview process, you convinced (sold) them to use your service instead of that of other candidates. If they fire you, it is because your product or service did not meet their needs or they no longer need your product or service.

Being in “sales” doesn’t mean begging, pleading, or trying to manipulate people into buying something they don’t need. The most successful salespeople know the value of the product or service they provide and try to find a match between what they sell and those people who need, will benefit from, and are looking what they have to offer.

I know you may be thinking I am twisting words again…that is not my intent.  Let’s break it down in life applications that may make more sense:

  1.  If you work in a church or ministry, you sold someone to hire you.
  2. For most of us, the purpose of our organization is to help others and to further the Kingdom.  This is done through a series of “sales” opportunities from inviting someone to church, to presenting the gospel, to offering discipleship to further the previous life changing “sales.”
  3. Anyone that walks through the doors of your organization is going to make a judgement based on their interaction with those they encounter…so are you representing the value, vision, mission and beliefs of your organization.  You may be the only “salesperson” they encounter which may impact their evaluation of the value proposition…which should be a new life in Christ Jesus.
  4. As a “self-employed” person, you must be self-motivated…know the end goal…live and breathe the values of your personal organization…walk the walk…be positive about your “company” (remember…you are self employed so it is YOUR company).

How does those concepts adjust your mindset and overall approach to your daily life?  If it has no impact…then you missed the point…so call me so we can talk more about it.

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