Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere,”1 Doing that well takes salesmanship. You need to sell people on Jesus and His incredible free offer: salvation.
As any psychologist or salesperson can tell you, it’s part of human nature for people to think mainly in terms of what’s good for them or those they care about. That’s why every sales pitch is designed to answer one basic question: What is this product going to do for me? The prospective buyer must be convinced that he or she needs whatever product or service is being offered. That’s the secret of selling anything.
In witnessing, as in all salesmanship, a good salesperson must be able to see things from other people’s points of view and talk in terms of their wants, needs, and desires. Find out what they want and help them get it. Spell out the benefits. Explain how their lives can change for the better by receiving Jesus. Tell them how He improved yours in ways that they’ll want to experience too.
Here are a few benefits that will probably be near the top of most people’s list of things they most want or need:
Universal need, universal answer
What everybody needs is love—love they have never known before, true love, sincere love, genuine love, the truly great love of their life, the love of all loves from the lover of all lovers, who alone can satisfy that deepest yearning of every human soul for total love and complete understanding.
People’s hearts are the same the world over. Their longings, loves, hunger for God and His truth, for joy and happiness and peace of mind are God-created and universal. People can never be happy with a heavy heart, a troubled mind, a discouraged spirit, and an unsaved soul. The human soul can never be completely satisfied with anything but utter union with the great and loving Spirit that created it. Flesh can satisfy flesh, but only Spirit can satisfy spirit.
Do you want the key to every heart?—Try love! It never fails, because God is love, and it’s impossible for Him to fail!
Ah, sweet mystery of life, at last I’ve found thee!
Ah, at last I’ve found the reason for it all!
Ah, ‘tis love and love alone the whole world yearns for,
And ‘tis love that bids us heed Thy call!2—D.B.B.
As a born-again Christian, you should have love and compassion for everyone, not just your own—young or old, rich or poor, strong or weak, friend or foe, even if you don’t like them— “everyone, everywhere.”3 However, God’s Spirit will lead you especially to those who really need your loving help and who will respond in loving appreciation, just as it will also lead them to you. God goes where there are open and receptive hearts that are hungry. He seeks the low and the humble and the contrite heart, but resists the proud. His Word says, “He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich [or full] He has sent away empty,”4 for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”5
It’s much more difficult for people who are self-satisfied or set in their ways to see that they need the Lord in their lives. “No one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better.‘“6 But for those who are seeking, hungry, unhappy, and yearning for the spiritual, this is their day!
Jesus said that new wine must be put into new wineskins.7 And that’s exactly what He did: He poured His very new wine into very new wineskins who could expand their receptivity sufficiently to take it, accommodate it, and even rejoice in it, for it spoke their language.—D.B.B.
To sell well, be sold yourself.
The key to good salesmanship is to be sold on your product. You must really believe in your product to sell with conviction, and to believe in your product you must first put it to work in your own life and experience the benefits firsthand. When you’re really sold, your sincerity, honesty, and enthusiasm about your product sell it to others.
We should be the greatest salesmen in the world. After all, we have partaken of the best product on earth: God’s love and salvation in Jesus—made in heaven, guaranteed forever, and free! How could anyone pass up a deal like that?— And how could we not be excited about offering it to everyone we can?—D.B.B.