Tuesday, April 24, 2012

How to Successfully Spiritualize Greed, so It will Work and Feel Good

When I was younger, and selling Life Insurance, we had a famous speaker paid to come talk to us about selling, and the way of getting people to get what they wanted with as little pain as possible.  During that day of awesomeness, we had lunch with the speaker.  He told me that he source was the bible, and that anyone who read the bible did not need him.  But, he continued, no one would believe that, so he helped them get what they wanted. To feel good.  It would wear off, it not being God, and they would come back and pay him again.

The phrase that was used, and I hear being used today, over and over again, is:

IF YOU HELP ENOUGH PEOPLE GET WHAT THEY WANT, YOU WILL GET WHAT YOU WANT.

I believed it too. My wife built a business with that in mind.  Since I was disabled, and the only thing I could do, with a little help from my friends and family, was karate, we decided to give back to the world, and we justified it all on this phrase.  After all, if we dedicated our lives to helping others get what they wanted, we would be good people.  Good people win.  White hats.  Cool horses.  Everybody likes the good guys right.

However, I had not met God yet, so anything I heard about doing good, was based on humanism.  So is this phrase.  If you rewrite it, in a logical sequence, you will see that what it really says is:

IF YOU WHAT SOMETHING, JUST HELP OTHERS GET WHAT THEY WANT, AND IT IS YOURS.

That's a little less noble, and it's greed is a little more obvious.  True enough though, is the thought that if you provide a service, something someone wants, you will get paid.  That is the basis for all money systems, and not at all evil.  So if that is all the phrase is about, why does it need to be said at all?

This is what I have found.  Those who use the phrase, use it to justify what they do in business.  As long as they can say, "they are helping others," then no matter how they do that, it is ok with them.  Worse, they also say it is ok with God.

Now, with that I have issues.  Let me give you an example for life insurance.  We learned it in a course called councillor selling and we called it manipulative selling.  You decide what is good for your client. You have the right and knowledge to do this by virtue of your training.  You then proceed to paint a picture for the client that enables them to see why they need and want your product.  In essence, you drive the hearse up to their back door, and let them see what happens when they are gone.  You manipulate them into getting what they "need."  When they get it, you get paid.  QED.

What's wrong with that?  Well, you just talked them into buying something they did not want, did not understand and did not need.  There is an answer for that too.  They are adults.  They don't have to buy anything.  They chose to buy it.

Am I saying that Life Insurance is bad?  Certainly not.  It is good, maybe even necessary, but that is not the point.  Manipulation for someone elses "own good," is the point.

The bible says that it is not about what you want, but rather about what God wants.

In Luke 22:42, Jesus says in prayer, "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done."  Granted he is not talking about manipulating someone out of their money.  He is talking about dying merely because it is God's will.

There is more.  In Exodus 3, Moses tries every trick to get God to send someone else to Egypt.  

In Exodus 3:16 - 18, this is the result. "Now be on your way. Gather the leaders of Israel. Tell them, 'God, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, appeared to me, saying, "I've looked into what's being done to you in Egypt, and I've determined to get you out of the affliction of Egypt and take you to the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, a land brimming over with milk and honey."'

 "Believe me, they will listen to you. 

He went, because it is not about what he wanted, it was about what God wanted.

So how is it that this sales phrase can be tagged to the Lord.

Cause it is true.  What we want, is eternal life, abundant life, hope.  We want that more than anything, and we can get all of that, if we do what God wants.  Have faith.  Simple.

So, I am offended when I hear that the same goals can be had from helping other people get what they want, unless what they want is God.  Pretty sure it is not a car, karate, flowers, a new house ...  cause that is not what God wants.

There are many guide lines for self esteem in selling, in business and in life in the bible, but this is not one of them.  This one is twisted.

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