DO RELIGION AND BUSINESS MIX?
I was raised with the adage that you don’t talk religion with clients. This is a rule I have broken many, many times, and happily.
I can see the concern of this admonition. Religion is a personal topic, and people believe what they believe. You don’t want to offend anybody, or appear insensitive. You certainly don’t want to judge or criticize somebody you want to sell.
But early on, I realized that these problems are caused when salespeople make the purchase too much about themselves. It’s really not. It’s all about the client and what he or she wants to do. What’s important to them.
Given that, let them talk. Let them have centerstage. They are, after all, writing the check, and you won’t get paid until they do.
In all truth, the purchase of life insurance easily creates a forum to talk about the deep and personal issues of life. People must face their own mortality. They must determine what is important to them. And they must take measures to protect that which is important.
That’s what life insurance does.
I think this is one reason why people of all different religions buy a policy. The product reinforces their values. It is so interesting to me that in my career, I have attracted clients from many different sects and denominations: Orthodox Judaism. Hasidism. Conservative Judaism. Reform Judaism. Catholicism. Evangelical Christianity. Protestantism. Lutheranism. Islam.
I have done business with atheists and secularists. Their dedication to “no religion” is as strong as the dedication others have to religion.
I have worked with people for whom politics is a religion: Conservative. Liberal. Leftist. Right wing.
I have also helped people who have taken traditional religious values, such as family and community, and modified them along non-traditional lines: Single parent. Households with two fathers. Households with two mothers.
(One of these days I have to run a client appreciation event and bring all these folks together. That could be a lot of fun :))
The bottom line is that if you want to do business with people, let them be. Find some kind of common ground, and join forces on that. It makes it much easier to see how delightful and caring people can be. And you can connect in a mutually-beneficial transaction.
To tell you the truth, I think that if people from different persuasions did more business with one another, there would be more peace on earth. More understanding of one another. And more money to be made.
What do you think?