Imagine if we could do a better job when engaging with theists. Would you do it? Would you try?
When was the last time you bought a car from a guy you didn’t like? Likely, never. A car is an expensive purchase, requiring lots of research.
When you last bought a car from a salesman, did he sell himself first? Build rapport? Ask lots of questions about your needs? Suggest the best products from which to choose? Overcome your objections as they arose?
His end goal is the same as ours, when you think about it. We’re pitching non-belief as a product or service to a customer who already feels like they have a perfectly good product.
Our job is extraordinarily challenging. We’re not selling a product that’s gone within a week, like a box of cereal. We’re not even selling a car, which may last ten years or longer.
We’re selling a benefit for humanity. We’re selling the ability to save a heap of cash from going into Joel Osteen’s tax-free account to fund his next mouth renovation. Above all, we’re selling a lifetime. This is an expensive product, probably the biggest purchase your customer is ever likely to make, requiring you to have some sales tools up your sleeve. We want to make the sale.
Imagine you’re commission based. If you don’t sell – you don’t eat. A combative, insulting or arrogant attitude doesn’t line your pockets.
We can do better. We can emulate the honest salesman, to up-sell a single concept (for example, from “Why are there still monkeys?” to “Oh, I have a basic grasp of evolution now,”) or aim for the complete sale over a period of time. Total deconversion. —Adam Reakes