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How to get involved in the colporteur ministry
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Whenever I used to consider the colporteur work, a cold chill would run up and down my spine. I couldn’t imagine what I would ever say when the people opened the door!
Later, I learned that this is actually one of the easier parts! It does take a few minutes to learn your sales presentation, or canvass, but once you’ve learned it, you can relax and stand on that doorstep with confidence.
The first impression you make is very important. Before you go out, you should have your introduction memorized so well you can almost say it in your sleep! This will give you confidence and will make the people you meet more comfortable as well. A possible introduction might go something like this:
"Hello! I’m ____________ and this is my friend, ____________. We’re from _____________. We’re working on a special project, and instead of junk food or trinkets, we decided to offer you something more lasting. . . ."
As you say the last sentence, hold the book out to the person. They will, in most cases, take it, and you should let go! While you explain more about the book, it should continue to be in their hands.
Explain more about the book? Yes! In order to represent your product well, you must know something about it! You may first want to quickly point out such features as the table of contents, the pictures, and the Scriptural index. But that’s just the beginning. You will need to convince your customers that they need a copy of the book for themselves!
The best way to do this is to tell why the book is special to you. Your enthusiasm will be more effective than the most eloquent presentation. You may also want to present features that have been proven to be popular with many readers.(Don’t panic! We’ll be listing many of these in next week’s Colporteur Connection.)
Remember: The more you know about your book, the more prepared you will be to meet different situations. If knowing about every book intimidates you, start out more simply. Learn one book well, and concentrate on selling it. Then, as your confidence increases, add more books to your repertoire.
Once you decide on your canvass, it’s time to practice. You will no doubt repeat your canvass to yourself many times, but it’s also a good idea to practice on your parents, friends, and relatives. If you know anyone who has had experience with the colporteur ministry, ask them to listen to your canvass, too. Your partners should not to be too easy on you. Ask them to pose questions and give objections as if they were actual customers.
Don’t wait until you feel your presentation is absolutely perfect. If you do, you probably will never get started! Remember, practice makes perfect. If you want to learn as quickly as possible, start working! This will help you more than any other method. As you go door-to-door, you will become more skillful and confident.
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