The Danger of "Selling Past the Close"

Sunday

WE ARE IN the business of promoting an idea: The currently prevailing notion that "Islam is a religion" of peace is false. With some people, it is only a matter of education. Those are the fun ones. They are undecided on the issue because they don't know much about it. We provide the information they have been missing, and they are become a new member of the counterjihad.

But with the rest of them, it is not a matter of education; it is a matter of salesmanship. To succeed requires more than simply knowing about Islam. It requires skillfulness in dealing with people. And one big mistake I've made myself and seen others make is "selling past the close" as it is known to salespeople. The term refers to the phenomenon of a salesperson convincing a client to buy a product, but after that point, instead of writing up the sale, the salesperson keeps persuading, keeps selling, which produces growing doubts in the client ("why is the salesperson still trying to convince me?"), so much so, the client changes her mind and decides not to buy. The salesperson sold past the close.

I want us all to remember this. All we need to do is open eyes. All we need to do is dispell a few myths. Reality will then do the work of presenting confirming evidence for their new understanding.

If you go too far, if you push too hard, if you reach too far, trying to convert them to being a committed member of the counterjihad, you will cause a backlash, a recoil, and they will become more firmly entrenched in their old way of thinking.

Aim for something small and specific: Get them to accept as true that intolerance toward non-Muslims and the command to push for Islamic law are central and clear in basic, mainstream Islamic doctrine. It isn't a matter of interpretation. The doctrine is as clear as day. You don't even have to convince them this is true! All you have to do is get them to wonder if it is true, and invite them to find out for themselves.

This makes our job easier in some ways. The only difficulty is restraining our passion enough to resist "selling past the close."

Read more about this principle:

Selling Past the Close on Heavy Hitter Sales

Selling Past the Close by Chris Conrey

1 comments:

Citizen Warrior 12:51 PM  

Someone emailed us this comment:

Thank you. This is an excellent point. And it reminded me of a quote by Samuel Taylor Coleridge:

"Advice is like snow; the softer it falls, the longer it dwells upon, and the deeper it sinks into, the mind."

When trying to educate about Islam, we are giving advice in a way - advising a person to re-think their current beliefs and to dig a little deeper for the truth. Those who really have a strong sense of intellectual integrity need to search on their own anyway. That's especially true if it's also their nature to be kind and fair. As you know, many good people put up a wall if they feel we are speaking out of prejudice or if they think our message is hateful or violent - and rightly so. I always say, because I believe it is true, that Muslims suffer as much or more from their own beliefs as the rest of us.

Three weeks ago an Egyptian husband and Syrian wife and their two children moved in upstairs from me. He has starting working in a Evangelical Christian / Arabic ministry in my county. His grew up in Cairo and when I asked him if he had felt safe in Cairo, he said that things had gotten much worse for Christians in the last year and especially since Christmas and New Years. He who has every right to feel prejudice heartily agreed when I said I believed that many Muslims were "trapped in their religion."

Thanks for your excellent work and wise words!

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