Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Changing the Conversation on Cold Sales Call

I received a phone call from a financial rep from the Maxim Group located in New York City. The caller was working in their Long Island offices and this was the second time that he called my office. The first time, I failed to initiate a witnessing encounter.

During the call he was trying to get me to buy some shares in Yahoo! After repeatedly telling him that I had no money, he got the message and prepared to hang up. I decided to turn this cold call into a witnessing encounter.

To be honest, I was nervous and was not sure how to break the ice. So, I asked him about his work, how long he was there, etc. I learned that he obtained my contact information from the Brandon Chamber of Commerce list.

Shifting to matters of faith, I said, may I ask you a personal question? He said, sure if you will make a purchase. I reminded him that I do not have money. I then said, I have a blog that addresses spiritual questions and would like to ask you some questions.

First, I asked, how does someone get to Heaven, assuming you believe in Heaven. He replied that is a hard question to answer. You have to live right, don't do anything wrong. He was setting himself up for the good person test.

Next, I asked are you going to Heaven. He said he didn't know, but did not believe he did anything really bad. So, then I took him through the good person test: lie, stole, Lord's name in vain, lust.

At this point, the nervousness was gone and the conversation flowed well. He admitted guilt on all points and he said, what about you, and I said, I am guilty too.
So, I said recognizing that you are a lying, blaspheming, adulterer uhhh, thief (yeah I almost forgot thief) will God find you innocent or guilty.

He went straight to saying that he would forgive me. I used the timely example of OJ and said that last week he asked the judge for forgiveness and it got him nowhere. He argued that God is different from a judge. I pointed out that God is a righteous judge and he will punish the guilty.

He was really emphasizing the forgiveness issue. I noted that he was missing something and said, you have to repent and put your trust in Jesus. I went into more detail on the repentance issue and talked about David's sin with Bathsheba. I then pointed to Ps. 51 (this is becoming my favorite illustration on repentance) and noted David's sincerity in confessing his sin. I then went back to his earlier statement on how he said he was not sure if he was going to Heaven and noted that 1 John 5:11-13, can give him that assurance.

I thought that he got it, but the last things that were said suggested otherwise. As the witness encounter was ending, he still tried to sell me shares of Yahoo! I then noted that 100 years from now, that won't matter. He said you have to live for the now. I responded that 80 years is a very short time in light of eternity.

I hope this encounter will generate interesting water cooler conversation within his Long Island office.

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