WE CAN learn a lot from books on "sales training." Commission salespeople who don't know what they're doing are forced into another line of work because they don't make any money. They are in a sink-or-swim situation, and they tend to accumulate practical, effective methods for persuading people.
Listen to the coaching below (from the book, The Sales Bible, by Jeffrey H. Gitomer) and apply what he says to our task of trying to educate our reluctant fellow non-Muslims about Islam's prime directive:
Your mom said it best. As a child, when you were fighting or arguing with a sibling or friend, your mom would say, "Billy, you know better than that! Now you make friends with Johnny." Your mother never told you to use the alternative-of-choice close or the sharp-angle close on Johnny. She just said, "Make friends." That may have been one of the most powerful sales lessons you ever got.
It is estimated that more than 50% of sales are made because of friendship. In the South of the United States it's called "The good-old-boy network;" in the North they say it's "Who you know." But it's really just friendship selling.
If you think you're going to get the sale because you have the best product, best service or best price, dream on, Bubba. You're not even half right.
If 50% of sales are made on a friendly basis and you haven't made friends with the prospect (or customer), you're missing 50% of your market.
Friends don't need to sell friends using sales techniques. Think about it. You don't need sales techniques when you ask a friend out, or ask for a favor — you just ask. You don't need more sales techniques, you need more friends.
This does not eliminate your need to be a master salesman. You must know sales techniques to get the other half of the market, and sometimes even your friends need to be sold. So keep listening to those tapes in your car.
How do you "make friends?" You already know the answer to that question. The way to have a good friend is to be a good friend. People are losing too many friends talking about Islam. This has got to stop. It's not good for the cause and it's not good for you.
If you feel like you are in a position between a rock and a hard place — between educating your friend about Islam (and losing her or him as a friend) or keeping your mouth shut just to keep your friendship — you need to start looking for other alternatives. Neither one of those options is acceptable.
I propose you keep your friendships and change the way you talk about Islam so you can talk about it with your friend and keep your friendship. If your friendship is too far gone already, then temporarily stop talking about Islam and mend that friendship. When you begin again to speak of Islam, come to it in an entirely different way. You can find some good ideas here: Tools For Our Educational Mission.