Communion and the Sales Process

I am in sales and have been for most of my adult life.  Anyone who has worked in sales within an organization has been through sales training.  

Most training can be boiled down to having an outcome in mind; probing the customer so that you can tailor your product to his needs; offering solutions to the needs; handling objections; and closing the sale.  

To get really good at this takes a lot of practice.  The practice can take shape in real interactions or coached role plays.  While painful and tedious, role-playing can be extremely effective and eventually you find that you are constantly role-playing in your head.  

As you enter an interaction, you begin framing the conversation and trying to shape your questions and comments toward a certain outcome, imagining scenarios and objections that you can counter, moving the customer to your end goal.  

While this works great for sales, it is horrible for relationships, at least relationships that are  deep enough to be called communion.  Communion suggests intimacy and openness, not measured responses or scripted questions and answers.  

The bleed over of the sales talk into real relationship is subtle and dangerous.  Rather than real conversation, talks become about generating your own outcome, degrading communion into a transaction.  

A conversation of communion should not be a game of chess, thinking of every potential move the opponent may make, cornering them to yield to your will; but communion is an act of surrender, exposing your weaknesses and desires, giving an opportunity for attack, trusting for a loving embrace.

Now to practice what I preach.  
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