Monday, November 9, 2009

What Christianity is Learning From Network Marketing, Or is it the Other Way Around?

I was listening to NPR last night, and there was a conversation between Ira Glass and evangelical, Jim Henderson.

Now, Jim Henderson is an evangelical Christian who is trying to get the message across to Christians that going up to someone and barfing 'their' truth about Christianity and then expecting that person to convert to Christianity just isn't working.

In fact, it's turning people away. In fact, they are running away. Fast.

Most of us probably have a story or two about someone attempting to save us. The person or persons are so excited about their religion, that they give us their reasons why we ought to convert, and then look at us, puzzled, as to why we aren't rushing to their church to dive in head first.

They give us pamplets, and booklets, and bring others over to talk with us. And still, they are confused as to why we are slamming doors shut, or just pretending we aren't home.

Boy. That sounds familiar, don'tcha think? Wish I could put my finger on it.

Jim Henderson claims 'what if what we know as evangelism is a far too narrow and un-doable approach to evangelism?'

'What if evangelism meant just being yourself, and not about converting?'

Mr. Henderson go on to say that by just going about every day life, getting to know people, it eventually will lead to the ultimate questions that opens the big door.  F.O.R.M. questions.


Stop the press. Wait a minute. This sounds AWFULLY familiar.....

Let's Recap Mr. Henderson's idea:

1. Stop trying to 'convert'.

2. Be yourself.

3. Develop Relationships which lead to....

4. Questions about Family, Occupation, Recreation and, ultimately, the Message.


MAN, this sounds familiar.

Someone ought to tell network marketers about this.

Anyhoo, so the basis of his message was this:

When people become friends, it changes the rules.

Boy Howdy. I'm gonna write it down again, because it is THE basis to all social relationships, media, connections, and so on. It's WHY social networking is monumentally important.

When people become friends, it changes the rules.

There are 'unwritten' rules that change when you become friends with someone. Giving a stranger literature about your opportunity usually isn't received very openly. Giving a friend literature about your opportunity is more readily accepted.

Trust has been developed. The rules were changed when you developed some sort of relationship with that person.

Now they are more open and receptive to your message.

Here's the key, though. Don't make the relationship based only upon you getting the message to them.

Because if you do, you'll lose the relationship and all the possibilities that go along with it. And there are a shitload of possibilities that can go along with it, but that's another post that I'll save for later.

So, take a tip from Christianity when it comes to prospecting. Become a friend. Get to know the person, allow the walls to come down and the rules will change.


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