A Little Understanding – The Cover-up
Flowers all watered, grass freshly cut, bushes trimmed, windows cleaned, driveway swept, fresh coat of paint (inside and out), carpets steamed, faucets shined, beds made, shelves dusted and de-cluttered, new cabinets, appliances and furniture – should I go on? Nothing is really the way it would be if you lived there. Nothing is the way it was before the owners put it up for sale. There is no attempt to present the important qualities of the home, the attributes that will ensure that the house will be standing for a long time.
The information sheet uses descriptive language to create interest in the outdoor and indoor finishes but there is no reference to the depth of the footings or the fact that every supporting beam and wall complies with the building codes. Set on a half-acre lot surrounded by well-manicured gardens not far from schools, daycare, shopping and other amenities. This is what people are looking for in a home, looking being the most important word.
Because looking is how we buy most things…
…function and durability are rarely a part of our checklist. Add the aroma of fresh baked goods and suddenly four walls and a roof subdivided into living spaces becomes irresistible. Evoking a response through positively engaging one’s senses is the key to presenting any product, from the smallest of items on a shelf in a pleasant shopping environment to the showroom floor of a car dealership. Give me the shopping experience I want and the appealing product I think I need and you’ve got a sale! Sadly, this is our western consumer culture, our society is driven by wants and extras, emotion and instant gratification. If it looks good and makes me feel good then it must be for me…
A Little Understanding – “How-to” Sell Your House Book
…It’s time to talk about the “how-to” book. I will try to ease you into it by talking about the “how-to” sell your home genre of books, but just to warn you, at some point we will have to look at the books aimed at the Christ follower and the collective of Christ followers.
If I were writing a “how-to” book on selling a house, I would sum it up this way;
- Present your house in a way that will appeal to the largest group of people possible.
- Make every room look as big as you can – remove everything but the main pieces of furniture that define the space e.g. bed and dresser, couch and table etc.
- Don’t leave personal items like family pictures and kid’s drawings where they can be viewed (this makes the home look like it’s yours and therefore not meant for someone else).
- No dishes in the sink or dishwasher, no laundry in the hampers or washing machine. Make it look like the house cleans itself.
- Every scrape, crack, nail hole, weed in the garden, stain on the driveway, fading flower on a plant is: covered, pulled, scrubbed or pinched – Make it look like this house doesn’t shift in the winter, nails when pulled don’t leave holes, weeds can’t grow, cars can’t leak and flowers never die.
- Make it look good and smell good and most importantly make it look like the house has never and will never have a problem with its construction.
Notice all the instructions were about making it look good with the goal of convincing the buyer that it is good, without the buyer checking to see if the house is actually good…
…“How-to” books almost without exception are aimed at making what we do, who we are or how something appears, a little better by removing things that are real and yet unappealing, and replacing them with things that appear ideal no matter how unreal they may be. What this results in is a change in focus from the important and in most cases necessary, to the glitz and glamour that appeals much more to our desires.
A Little Understanding – “How-to” Market your Faith Book
I am offended by this title and I hope you are as well, however, it is not that far off of the path many Christ followers and collective of Christ followers have taken. Let’s face it, what else would you call methodically creating an environment that presents an idea or product in such a light that everyone has to have it? If I were writing a “how-to” book on marketing your faith, I would sum it up this way;
- Present your faith in an ambiguous way that will appeal to the largest group of people.
- Make sure that the faith you present appears to have room for all aspects of people’s current lifestyle.
- Make sure they can see this faith system is perfect for them, as if they are all that matters and all their needs, wants and desires, as they perceive them, will be met.
- Everything associated with your faith must be in perfect working order and appear to create no unwanted issues.
- Cover up all signs that there is an ongoing commitment and required effort if you want to be a part of this faith.
- Avoid drawing attention to the not so glitzy and glamourous parts of your faith especially the fact that God is the one who must be in control…
The marketing of anything requires the selling of half-truths.
If you want someone to buy what you are selling, you will have to make it appealing. There is no requirement to present the tension between the gains made and the responsibilities of possessing what is being presented…Even if we ignore the fact that marketing faith in Christ suggests that what Christ offers is incomplete and requires a PR firm to improve His message, logic says that half-truths, when discovered, will cause issues that can’t be escaped by the “seller(s)/marketer(s)” [Christ follower(s)/ Collective of Christ followers]…
Stay tuned A Little Understanding – Landscape and Décor part 2 will be posted in December 2019.
From time to time my blog will include abridged excerpts from my book “Blueprint.” Like any author/blogger, I find it difficult to leave the words I have written in my computer until a publisher can be found. Maybe it’s because someone somewhere needs to read these words now.
For more excerpts and quotes from my book Blueprint find the heading “Categories” on the right side of this page and click on “Blueprint (my book)”
This cannot be a popular message, especially in today’s culture. But it is the truth.
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I have met with resistance when I say these things mostly from pastors and leaders who want to keep doing it this way because they are afraid they won’t know how to lead if you take away the marketing style – I am pretty sure that the Bible says something about the role of the Holy Spirit as guide and councillor but nothing about man in the role as marketing director
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If your adherence to the truth has decreased your own marketability, you should take it as a badge of honor.
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Reading this, I am reminded of the times I’ve seen the Gospel of Jesus Christ presented as an attempt to “sell” someone “a mansion in heaven.”
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Time share so to speak
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