I recently read an old sales book called “How to Sell Anything to Anybody” by Joe Girard. In his day, Girard was known as the world’s greatest salesman based on the number of automobiles he sold each year.
There is a chapter in the book titled “The Mooch Is a Human Being”
Back in the day, automobile sales people would refer to some individuals as a mooch. This is the individual that would walk around looking at cars on the lot, consume the time of the sales person with many questions, but not have the financial means or actual desire to make a purchasing decision. The last thing an automobile sales person wants is to waste his sales turn with a mooch.
It is important to understand that automobile sales people basically stand in a line waiting for the next walk-in client. If you were to walk onto a car lot and start viewing cars, the sales person at the front of the line would come out to see you with the hope that you are indeed interested in purchasing that car. If you have no interest, this sales person has wasted his time at the front of the line and goes back to the end waiting for his next turn. With a system like this, it is critical to these sales professionals that their time is spent with people that are interested, willing, and able to make a purchase.
To keep from wasting their time on a mooch, many sales professionals would view the customer from the window and try to make a judgement on their probability of making a purchase. If they did not feel the probability was high, they might say “that person is just a mooch” and let the next sales person waste his or her time with that person.
Joe Girard learned early in his career that making judgments on someone’s probability to purchase from the window was foolish. He learned if you label someone a mooch in your mind, they probably will be a mooch. He also learned if you refuse to put a label on the individual and treat them the same as any other respectable human being that they would often make a purchase even when the other guys thought this person was a mooch. He learned that the limiting factor was not the purchaser, but the salesperson’s mindset going into the conversation.
We Christians are often at fault of making the same foolish mistake when it comes to sharing our faith. We may not use the word “mooch” but we do make judgments from the window. We make judgments on if an individual has a desire to hear about Christ based on the way they look, dress, or talk. We label these individuals as disinterested and often sell the Gospel short by avoiding a potential conversation. Unfortunately, it is the limiting beliefs we put in our minds that cause us to fail when we do try to share our faith with the individuals we just labeled.
I think we can take a lesson from Mr. Girard and remember that we should treat all individuals as respectable human beings with a need and desire for a savior. Remove the labels and limiting beliefs and you may find yourself celebrating the life of a new Christ follower.