Friday, January 16, 2009

Stephanie from Stamps.com

I had been catching up on some work this morning when I got a phone call. I didn't recognize the number but was quite certain that it was a phone solicitor since none of my friends call from 1-800's.

Today, I received a call from a new phone solicitor. I guess U.S. Bank sold my name to Stamps.com and now they are very concerned about the postal needs of our business.

Stephanie was very sweet and I answered her questions politely. She asked if she might have my e-mail address because if I tried out the stamp program, she promised somebody would call back in a couple of weeks. "That's awesome!" I thought, "I'll talk to them too!"

I said I had a few questions for her. I prefaced my question with, "Stephanie, may I ask you some questions? My questions don't really have to do with the subject of stamps and may seem unusual." She giggled.

I have found that with phone solicitors you only have a small window of opportunity because they want to get off the phone. Remember, she is trying to sell stamps. I'm about ready to ask her about death, heaven, and hell. If you don't want their brain cells to clench up, give them a warning that the conversation is about to be transitioned to another topic.

I asked her, "Stephanie, have you thought about what happens when you die?" She said, "Uh, no. Not really." I asked, "Do you believe in God?" She said, "Yes." "Do you believe in heaven?" She said, "Yes." I said, "So do you believe you will go to heaven or hell after you die?" She said, "Yes." I asked her, "Where do you think you will go?" She said, "I don't know. I've never really thought about it. I am pretty young."

Let me share something I learned from my past experience working for multi-level marketing companies. There are some basic phone skills that are always going to be helpful no matter who you talk to. Whether you are trying to resolve a dispute with a utility company or talking to a phone solicitor, here are 3 things that will make communication more effective:
  • Always be polite. The key to getting them to have a conversation with you is giving them the courtesy of listening politely to them.

  • Always get their name and use it when speaking to them. Nothing is sweeter to ones ears than hearing one's own name.

  • Smile as you talk with them. No joke, the shape of your mouth and throat changes when you smile and as a result, your words sound different when they come out of your mouth. Try it in front of a mirror if necessary, and you will hear the difference. You can actually hear a smile in someone's voice.
Knowing that the clock was ticking, and not wanting the caller to disengage and disconnect before I'd gotten to share the Gospel, I said, "Stephanie, you said that you believed in God. He has a standard by which He will judge everyone and based on that judgement will determine whether you go to heaven or hell. His standard is so high that if you have ever told just one lie or have stolen even one thing, even if it was small in value, you will be guilty of breaking His law. (speak softly, sincerely, and smile) When you stand before God on Judgement Day, He will judge you based on that standard. Stephanie, I care about where you will end up and if you've never given it much thought that concerns me. This is real."

Since she said she had never really thought about death, she relly isn't thinking about the value of her soul. I continue with trying to establish with them that their soul is valuable and use the analogy of selling your eyes.

I continued with, "Stephanie, would you sell your eyes for a million dollars if the doctor said they could remove them painlessly and replace them with glass eyes so that no one would be able to tell?" She said, "No way!"

I said, "Of course not, Stephanie! Your eyes are precious to you! How much more precious is your soul?! If you think that you are good enough to go to heaven because you've been pretty good, it doesn't work that way. If you had murdered someone, not saying that you have or will, but if you stood before a judge in one of our courtrooms and said, 'Judge, I'm sorry for murdering that person. I promise I won't ever do that again,' you know that no truly good judge would accept such a plea, right? (She said, "Right.") Stephanie, God won't accept you saying that you're really sorry for breaking His standard as the reason He let's you into heaven. Here's the good news, Jesus Christ paid your fine and if you put your faith in him and repent- that means totally stop living in habitual sin, doing the same thing over and over again,- you will go to heaven instead of hell. You will still mess up, but you won't have the same desires to do the same things over and over again. Does this make sense?"

She said, "Uh, yes," very quietly. I asked her, "Do you have a Bible? Read the book of John. It explains why this is necessary. I care about you Stephanie. Death is real and so is eternity. Please consider what I shared with you today. Thank you for letting me share with you today."

If I had had more time, I would have talked longer about repentance and what Christ did as well as help her see her true standing before God right now. But, when the clock is ticking and you only have a few minutes you pray that your words will be God honoring and leave the rest to God.

She was polite and thanked me for talking with her and told me that someone will be calling in a few weeks. I can't wait!

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