Duane Boyett Queen Creek Campus Pastor.
Anybody who has ever worked in sales knows the expression “Always Be Closing”. It’s the ABC’s of basic salesman training 101. Why is it so important? Because if you don’t close you don’t get paid! People can look at your product, they can try your product, they can want your product, they can even tell you why your product is awesome. But if you don’t close, then it’s just a sales pitch.
A number of years ago I took a sabbatical from my ministry position and I did some work as a financial planner. It was a journey into the world of sales. I joined forces with a guy from my church that I respected greatly. He had been in sales his entire career and had so many sales awards and plaques that there wasn’t enough space on his office walls to hold them. I figured this was the guy I could learn a lot from. I set out with him each day from appointment to appointment. I watched him very closely that first week as he closed deal after deal. I thought, “This isn’t so hard”. Well the next week he let me take the lead and it wasn’t long before I realized just how hard this sales thing was. I remember thinking to myself, “I’ve been in ministry for over a decade, I am a public speaker, I interact with people all the time. Why was this so hard?”
After several mediocre efforts to make a sale (which my friend would eventually come to the rescue) I asked him what I was doing wrong? In his very sincere and loving way he said, “you are trying to put the product ahead of the relationship.” He went on to tell me that people buy you long before they buy your product.
As I thought about this I was reminded of the relationship tension that always surrounded Jesus and the religious leaders of his day.
Matthew 23 verses 1 through 5 says.
Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2 “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4 They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.5 “Everything they do is done for people to see:…
The problem was that the Pharisee’s were selling religion while Jesus was building relationships. Here is the point I want to make with this post. As followers of Jesus we have all been instructed to be disciple makers. To accomplish this we have to lean into relationships and continually look for ways to “always be closing”. Closing in the sense of living a life that draws people toward a relationship with an amazing Savior.