St. Paul as a Sales Strategist

Business Strategy Series, Vol.10, No.2, 2009, pp.86-89

Business strategists know that there is no royal road to asking the right questions about their
own business. But there is a detour to the ideas that otherwise may never occur to them:
strategy metaphors combine disciplines that at first glance have no relevance for an
individual company, but inspire questions that could be valuable for it. And so the detour
becomes a shortcut.
The apostle Paul and the use of sales strategies is such a metaphor. From the middle of 2008
to 2009, Christians around the world are observing the year of St Paul, who was born in the
year 8 AD in the Greek city of Tarsus.
But St Paul as a sales strategist? Isn’t that a little farfetched? Whenever I mention this at client
events, especially to bank sales managers, the first reaction is puzzled looks. What does the
one have to do with the other? I usually say that both St Paul and banks sold or still sell
abstract ‘‘products’’ – things that are not tangible in the material sense and whose benefits
are not evident directly after purchase – in contrast to impulse buys like a pair of shoes. It is
then at the latest that my audiences begin to look less puzzled than intrigued.

pdf (englisch)

This article is also available in German in the “Vatican Magazine”.

pdf (deutsch)

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