James: So you mapped it out, so this is what it’s going to look like. But then you had to execute. And you’re a solo operator at this point, so you just started building it.
Bill: Well, I built the program, and then building the sales part on top. And this is where it gets dicey for me as a pastor.
Bill: Because I don’t want to come across as a salesman. You know, I am passionate about this material. I can’t give it away, because all the technology does have cost to it.
Bill: But, you know, it’s a kind of a fine line.
James: Tell me about that, about you being cautious about sales. I mean, as a sales background person, this fascinates me. Just as a side note, when I got into selling, I went and ordered the books from every religion I could find, because in my mind they are the master salespeople. They convince billions of people to have a certain belief. They don’t have much tangible proof compared to, you know, a car or something, where you can see the thing and test drive it. So I thought they were brilliant salespeople. Like, you come from an industry of the best salespeople on the planet. Why would you be scared of that?
Bill: Well, it’s the perception that you’re in it for the money.
Bill: And that perception is not true of me. There are other things I could be doing, making a lot more money.
James: Is this anything to do with “money is the root of all evil” quote somewhere in the Bible?
Bill: The Bible doesn’t actually say that. It says the love of money is the root of all evil.
Bill: But the Bible is pro healthy fiscal picture for a family or an individual, and not against the acquisition of wealth. It’s, you know, not being greedy or arrogant with it. But there’s still this perception in culture that anybody in ministry is some kind of charlatan and in it for the money.
James: Maybe it’s that guy that had all the private jets.
Bill: Yeah, there’s plenty of that.
James: They’re not helping.
Bill: Right. There are plenty of people I think you could find in any industry who put a bad name on the whole industry.
James: Every industry’s got sharks. Every single industry. And you know, the thing that blew my mind, this was like 1995 and I was my first job selling cars, BMW. And I had a guy come in with one of those little collars, from a religious church of some kind. And he was telling me the trade-in price that he’d been offered by a competitor. And when he was out, having a test drive, we valued his car. And in the backseat was the valuation from the other competitor, face-up, and I could see it, and he’d lied about the amount. I thought, Man, if a priest can lie to me, then any industry has its bandits. Right? And it just also proved, like, as bad as the reputation of people who are in the car industry is, I can tell you, the buyers are somewhat worse in some cases.
Bill: No doubt. I think back to my dad (and I’m Italian), my Italian Dad. I remember as a kid sitting in the living room and a couple of people from a church came to visit. And I was listening. And they were not talking about money, but my dad looked over at me, and he, you know, he rubbed his fingers together, like, yeah, they’re just here for my money. And that was the perception. I still struggle with that.
James: I’d say that’s exactly where it got planted, right there. I think we operate as adults with the programming we got as kids. It’s fascinating.
I would say to you, there is some verse, you might know this because you’re a professor, there’s some verse in the Bible that talks about having abilities and not sharing them with others is sinful. I can’t remember that reference, but it’s something along those lines. And that one helps people sort of share their word out there.
And as you said, your tools have costs. There is an argument to say that you could actually help a lot more people if you were able to arm up your resource base and spread the word more, if you could buy ads. I mean, I have some clients who, some of their biggest clients are in the religious market, and they spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on ads, selling things like religious maps, religious documentaries, those sort of things. They’re a mass-market product. So you’re in the zone.
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