Tuesday, January 3, 2017

You Have To Ask For The Order

Any salesperson will tell you, you must ask for the order.

"May I have your order?"  If you cannot look another straight in the eye and ask for the order you want, then you have no business in sales.  Of course you must be a good consumer of good salesmanship, but sales itself is not for you.

A critical step in the sales process, after the approach, is qualification.  Are you talking to a buyer, ready, willing and able to place an order?  If not move on.  An acid test is to simply just ask for the order, when in doubt.

One desired result of the qualification is to limit your audience to people who place orders.  Those who respond self-select as the audience for what you offer.

All this comes to mind as I watch churches today.    Just as in sales, so it is in fund-raising, to get the money, you have to ask.   Church based money scams goes back to Simon, and the sin of Simony, that is selling of spiritual power.  At least then it was money.

Today it is about ex-nihilo credit.  Ex nihilo credit works, for now.  If the Church has a leaky roof, and you ask for "the money" you'll get enough ex nihilo credit moved from one tally to yours, to entice the workman to come fix the roof in trade for those ex nihilo credit tallies being moved to the workmen acocunts.  Ex nihilo credit makes the world go 'round.

But it is ephemeral, and at some point it will go poof! like a ponzi scam.  In the meantime, the party rages on.

But to my point, just as asking for the order is effective and self-selects an audience, so to with churches.  When ex nihilo credit began flooding the world, smart fund-raisers got a % of the action for working church mailing lists for donations.  They were amazingly successful.

At what?  Raising finds, and winnowing the lists down to the self-selected donators. Problem with ex nihilo credit success is the funds are spent on projects that ever need more funds.  Slowly the shift moves from saving souls to raising money.  The church organization becomes geared to constant fundraising, to support all of the ministries it runs.

I am familiar with a very common event.  A religionist meets some disaster, and will get a one line note offering support in the hour of need.

The elaborate letters urging money continue unabated.  (There is always the obligatory "if you cannot give, pray for us" but it never rings authentic when the urge for "money" is so dire.)

A Church is judged by its fundraising, and those who can and will contribute self-select as the object of the church's attention.  The shift is from the joining with the suffering of the individual to the program needing funding.  Jesus united the suffering of humanity with his suffering.

When churches send a seven page letter to people explaining how their suffering has meaning is all a part of the process of making all things new, and send a one paragraph note asking for $12,000 for fix a leaky roof, then I think churches will be back on track.

Ex nihilo credit wrecks churches too.

Feel free to forward this by email to three of your friends.