John Henry Patterson is regarded as “one of the greatest salesmen of all time." He purchased the National Cash Register Company after cash registers used in his own store showed a profit of $5,000. Yet, in 1884 there was no market demand for cash registers. Patterson and his salesmen had to "persuade" store owners they needed this product.
Patterson realized his salesmen were unprepared. He said, "One half of our salesmen are so ignorant of their product that they will actually prevent a man from buying, even though he wanted a cash register." Although many of his salesmen resisted, Patterson created a mandatory sales manual and training schools for his employees. Sales doubled the first year, and by 1914, the NCR company was producing 110,000 cash registers per year!
As Christians we are to be witnesses, ambassadors, and one might say "salesmen" to "persuade" others to follow Christ. Yet, how many times have we not known HOW to do this? Are we fearful of questions about our faith because we are unsure of the answers?
The Scripture says "KNOWING." It might help to learn from Patterson who required his salesmen to learn the sales manual by heart. "KNOWING" is going to require some work: Bible reading and Bible study. Just as Patterson's salesmen had to go to training school, the Christian also must take advantage of learning opportunities (Sunday school, youth services, church services).
In today's culture, it is more important than ever that God’s people "be ready always to give an answer … of the hope that is in you" (1 Peter 3:15).