[046] Christian Business: How to Sell Without Feeling Sleazy with Ben Smithee

Christian business podcast: Selling Without Feeling Sleazy

In this episode of Your Purpose is Calling, Dawn speaks with Ben Smithee, sales expert and CEO of the Smithee Group, a digital growth agency in the New York City area.


To begin, Ben clears up the negative reputation of sales by explaining the role that it plays in everyday life. Sales is part of who we are, whether it’s a financial transaction or a job interview. Many people of faith struggle with sales because they feel that growing wealth will dishonor God. Ben disagrees. He states that success at business is an opportunity to be ‘irrationally generous’ and grow the Kingdom in ways that you’ve been uniquely created to do.


Sales can be difficult without a process. Having a plan gets rid of the guesswork and ignores all of the drama that can come from taking rejection personally. Passion doesn’t necessarily equal success. That’s why Ben presents a framework to simplify the process.


The first step is permission. Nothing turns a customer off more than a lack of transparency. Sales should never be a surprise. Instead, assess the problem. Get the customer to agree that it’s there and commit to finding a solution. Don’t let your message get lost by ‘soft-selling.’ Create space between the customer and where they want to be. Then, show them the value of your solution.


Asking for the business should be easy if you’ve prepared. Have confidence and ask ‘what isn’t working for you?’ That will give the customer the opportunity to raise any objections and allow you the chance to show your knowledge. Don’t be discouraged by a ‘no.’ Excellence is the process of improving, not perfection. “We get to do this as many times as we decide to show up and try again,” Ben says. Look at sales in a new light and see how your perception changes.


Main Takeaways

  • You’ve got a problem? Sales is the solution (2:13)
  • Having a process makes success repeatable (8:04)
  • Both input and output are for the Kingdom (13:37)
  • A commitment to value comes before the sale (23:03)
  • Asking for the sale is easy when you’ve done the work (30:43)


Episode Timeline

  • “Everybody is in sales.” (3:20)
  • Our job is about serving others (4:59)
  • Finding needs and presenting solutions (7:13)
  • Sales should never be a surprise (10:33)
  • “Business is math, everything else is drama.” (12:53)
  • We’re called to share and multiply (13:35)
  • Passion doesn’t equal success (15:39)
  • Ben’s sales process (17:30)
    • Permission (18:30)
    • Assess (23:03)
    • ‘Yes’ (23:51)
    • Create (24:54)
    • Help (28:22)
    • Evaluate (29:13)
    • Close (30:36)
    • Knowledge (38:35)
  • Business is an infinite game (42:04)
  • Closing prayer (44:19)

Listen now on iTunes and leave a review to help us reach even more Christian business owners. Be sure to subscribe for more great conversations about marketplace ministry. 

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