PharmExec Blog

Mark Stevens: God and the Sales Pitch

God Is A SalesmanMark Stevens is at it again. This time, the guy who informed you that Your Marketing Sucks (Crown Business) wants you to know that God Is a Salesman (Hachette Book Group USA/Center Street). And no, he’s not kidding.

Say what you will about his provocative titles—clearly, Stevens is doing something right. He’s the CEO of MSCO, a management and marketing firm. His marquee-name clients include Nike, Starwood, GE, and Estée Lauder, among others.

Pharm Exec recently spoke to Stevens about his creative process, his new book, and his sales philosophy.

Stevens said that on a hike with his dog, he began to consider “the fact that 5 billion people in the world believe in God, but they don’t have any empirical evidence. In everything else in our society, we want to see proof. We say, ‘Show me. Prove to me.’ And with God, it’s not that way.” Because, he says, belief in God requires faith, trust, and loyalty, Stevens determined that these elements comprised an intrinsic part of what he calls “invisible selling.” The philosophy runs through his most recent book and through his online presence at

Stevens recently wrote on his blog, Invisible Selling:

“All of the astounding things in life are invisible: great ideas. Timeless music. Endless love. Unshakable faith. And God. All of the greatest beings in the world worked in the realm of the invisible. Jesus. Einstein. Mozart. Abraham… So often, the best advice, guidance, and mentoring is in seeing what is not visible and understanding how it works. And then applying it to your work. Your success. Your life… Do your customers have faith in you? Have you given it much thought? Or are you too busy creating catalogues and Power Points?”

According to Stevens, the five guiding principles of invisible selling are as follows:

  1. Treat everybody like a family member.
  2. Make a 100 percent guarantee to your client
  3. Remember that it’s not the product that counts, it’s the provider.
  4. Recognize that people buy trust before they buy products or services.
  5. Make people an offer they can’t refuse.

Time will tell whether God Is a Salesman achieves the success of BusinessWeek best seller Your Marketing Sucks. It’s safe to assume, however, that Stevens has faith that it will.

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One Comment

  1. Posted March 14, 2008 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Haven’t yet read the book, but the principles seem sound, particularly if your “product” is a service and if it’s difficult to evaluate its quality by any true objective standards. Trust, understanding, friendliness, and willingness to stand behind what you offer 100% will always attract and keep clients and customers, even if what you’re selling isn’t the newest, smartest, sexiest, etc. Question is, does Stevens have more insight than these commonplaces alone, or is the book simply just a series of catchy soundbites?

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