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Tag: Southwestern Consulting

Was Jesus the Ultimate Salesperson?

jesus salesman

According to Dave Brown, the founding partner of Southwestern Consulting of Nashville and author of the book, Servant Selling, says Jesus was the ultimate salesperson who ever lived. He was also the best ever at recruiting people:

Jesus was the ultimate salesperson who ever lived. Think about this: Jesus sold people on a revolutionary new way of thinking. He convinced followers to join him in going against the cultural norms of the time; He preached love and forgiveness, ate with the sinners, and challenged the status quo. He also treated people with respect and integrity and was always a servant.

Jesus was also the best-ever at recruiting. People followed Him despite risking imprisonment and death, yet they followed Him. Even to this day, over 2,000 years later, He is still recruiting people. And those He recruited are also still recruiting others.

Deb Brown Maher adds:

After extensive field research and years of firsthand experience, I’ve come to the conclusion that sales professionals and business owners who sell need a clear, compelling example from which to draw inspiration and ideas. And the best example for successful selling comes from a global leader who set foot on earth 2,000 years ago: Jesus of Nazareth. Therefore, we are proud to announce the launch of Sell Like Jesus.

Sell like Jesus uncovers the essence behind communication strategies that Jesus used 2,000 years ago: What they are, why they worked, and how they can be applied in a sales setting today to improve your results. What is clear is that Jesus was a consummate listener, observer and leader — who quite literally changed minds and hearts, and motivated people to act. In other words, he was a spectacularly successful sales professional.

The best salesperson ever? The best recruiter of all time? What evidence do we have for Brown’s and Maher’s claims? None, absolutely none. Charles Manson and Jim Jones recruited far more people in their lifetimes than Jesus. How many followers of Jesus were in an Upper Room in Jerusalem after his death? One hundred and twenty. Thousands may have heard Jesus preach, but few of them followed after him. The growth of Christianity in the first three centuries was quite slow, and this growth was not due to the most amazing salesperson ever, Jesus. It was the Apostle Paul who took his traveling medicine show to the Gentiles; and if anyone should be praised for the growth of Christianity, it is Constantine — the man who institutionalized Christianity and gave state sanction to the sect.

Whatever Jesus was selling 2,000 years ago, it bears little resemblance to what Evangelicals sell today. I doubt Jesus would be pleased with being used as an illustration for good sales and recruiting techniques. I doubt he wanted his words and actions turned into slick, generic sales programs and training exercises.

As far as Jesus being the best-ever recruiter, his recruitment numbers suggest otherwise. By all accounts, Jesus was a failure. In fact, according to the Bible, Jesus knew he would be a failure; that following him was a narrow gate and a straight road, and few people would walk this path. Brown might point to recruitment numbers in the modern era, but are these cultural Christians remotely following after the Jesus who said, let a man deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me? I think not. Denial doesn’t sell, but comfortable buildings, professional bands, shallow boyfriend-girlfriend songs, and felt-needs sermons sure do; sermons that rarely, if ever, call on hearers to deny their materialism and minister to the people the Bible calls “the least of these.”

Much like other Evangelicals, Brown and Maher are making money off of Jesus by manipulating and twisting his teachings and testimony to promote capitalism. Jesus can’t speak for himself — he’s dead — but I can. I may be an atheist, but I can spot bastardized Christianity from a mile away.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Bruce Gerencser