Holy roller marketing can be heavy handed. What valuable lessons can you learn from it and adapt to your bidniz?

Hey You,

It’s Lewis aka Nerd #2.

Paint thinner melts through the old crusted up shit from places you don’t want it. Potent heart-felt selling stories melt away the old crusted up beliefs that keep your perfect prospect from buying.

There’s a list of tales told by some of the greatest salesman known to man that I started remembering and writing down so that you and I could dissect them here in what we’ll call the “Stronger Than Paint Thinner’” series.  

Today I want to reveal a rare story that masterfully sells one of the hardest things ever to sell… the invisible.

This sales presentation is titled “Zig Ziglar’s Spiritual Journey” and it’s 45 minutes designed to strip away the resistance of the perfect prospect – the non-believer – so that their mind can be open to believeing Christ is their savior.

Many a person has attempted to sell me on this guaranteed “reward in the after life of – fast pass to the kingdom ticket” but none has presented it better than Zig.

Now he didn’t make the sale, but he actually got me to buy a bible years ago and no one has ever done that before. And yet, me not being fully persuaded by Zig in no way clouds my judgment as to whether this pitch is a masterpiece or not.

It is. And it’s too bad for this cause because I don’t think it’s even for sale anymore.

I’ve actually listened to this one-sided tape many times being purely entertained by this story selling wizard and now I present it to you with my notes woven into it where I point out the brilliant use of elements you need to include in your selling stories… 

Zig Ziglar’s Spiritual Journey

“Today I’m gonna be sharing with you my spiritual journey. Interestingly enough, this started when I was 10 days old.

I died that day.

10 days earlier the doctor had delivered me to my mother and said, “You have a perfectly healthy baby boy.” 10 days later he laid me on the bed and said to my mother, “He is no more.”

[NERD 2 NOTE: Talk about making the big entrance. Yeesh. This is something that can help any and EVERY presentation in person, print, or pixel]

My grandmother reached down and picked up this lifeless body and they said she started talking to me but you of course know that she was not talking to me. She was talking to her heavenly father.

She was pleading for my life. God responded to that prayer and obviously I did survive.

As a child I watched a widowed mother who lost her husband who left her with six children too small to work, there were 12 of us all told. She lost her daughter a few days later. So it was a pretty tough childhood and I watched my mother’s incredible faith.

Now as a child every week we were in church. As a matter of fact, Mrs. L.S. Jones from down the street drove an old Dodge and she would come in front of our house and sound the horn and I can see my mother to this day as she would do two things simultaneously. She would reach over and pick up her navy blue hat and put it on the bun on the back of her head and she would reach and get her hat pin and in the same motion she would put it all together and say, “Let’s go boys.”

And I’m telling you, we headed for the car. It never occurred to us to not go. We didn’t think we had a choice. And reflecting on it, we didn’t have a choice. It was clearly understood we were going to church.

One Sunday evening we went to B.Y.P.U. and as boys we thought B.Y.P.U. meant Buy Your Preachers Underwear, I mean that’s why we were there. We were in church on Sunday night. We were at prayer meeting on Wednesday night, when the church doors were open, we were there.

I was baptized when I was 12 years old. I was as lost as a human being could get. I don’t know why I was baptized. I didn’t know if it was because my mother wanted me too, the preacher expected me to, or all of my buddies were being baptized but all I know is that I was baptized.

Over the years as nearly as I could tell, I was in church somewhere between 1,500 and 2,000 times. On a number times like when Agrippa talked to Paul I was almost persuaded.

But you see you don’t get in heavens gates by being almost persuaded. You don’t get in there on your mother’s goodness, you don’t get in there because of the good deeds you do, you get in there through the grace of god.

[NERD 2 NOTE: Love the subtle implication here that you’re hosed if you don’t listen up and pay close attention to what I’m talking about here. Brilliant use of consequence]

I well remember one evening I was getting off of work one night, in those days I was in the cookware business putting on demonstrations. I was coming home late one night from I believe Lancaster, South Carolina and I live in Columbia.

And there was a little town called Dent just outside of Columbia. And I remember that evening turning left at Dent, crossing the railroad tracks, and turning right.

I remember that. The next thing I remember I was being flagged down by the military police in Fort Jackson. I had driven straight for about six miles and turned left and the police said I’d passed the out post doing somewhere between 50-60 miles an hour.

I was so deep up into the Fort Jackson compound that they literally had to lead me out. I was absolutely lost. Now there are a lot of people who will say, “You weren’t really asleep.”

Well when I got home that night, the red head said to me, “Honey, I was praying unusually hard for you tonight.” And to those who would say that I didn’t really go to sleep, but I’m totally convinced that not only was I asleep but that I had the greatest chauffeur that any human being could ever have.

God sent my angel and he was driving that car. And he drove it beautifully.

[NERD 2 NOTE] 2nd form of “proof” that god exists. First was grandma praying and him coming back to life as a baby.

Now you would’ve thought that with something like that, that I would’ve really made my commitment but you see I wanted to have some fun in life.

I wanted to be successful. I wanted to make a lot of money and obviously Christians just don’t do those things. Let’s face it, Christians go around with long faces and short pocket books, now everybody knows that. That was the picture I had in my head.

[NERD 2 NOTE] Here’s the part where he relates and says, “I know where you’re at. I been where you’re at. I get it.”

But on July the 4th, 1972 I met an elderly black lady who spent the weekend in our home who we learned she was scripturally inaccurate. She claimed to be an angel. She claimed to be a faith healer. We discovered she was none of those things.

But there were 2 things we absolutely knew and number one was that she loved the lord and she loved me.

She walked into that home talking about Christ. She walked out of that home talking about Christ. And all during that weekend all she talked about was Jesus Christ.

My savior came into my life in a real way that weekend. I’ve always been so grateful that she was not prejudiced.

Now almost immediately my picture of what being a Christian changed. I tell people today that Christians should be like the story of momma skunk and the baby skunk going by the paper mill. One of the babies tried to sniff the air and smelled that pungent paper mill odor and said, “Momma what on Earth is that?” Well the momma took a whiff of that pungent paper mill odor and said, “I don’t know, but we sure got to get some of it.”

I believe that when people are Christian, that somebody oughta have some way of knowing they are Christians. You don’t walk around looking like the cruise director of the Titanic. That is not my picture of what knowing Christ is all about.

And no, I don’t believe you should always be grinning so wide that you could eat a banana sideways. But there’s an absolute joy that comes from knowing Christ that you will not experience anywhere else.

When you know Christ, things are absolutely different.

[NERD 2 NOTE] Here’s where the subtle pitch of exclusivity starts. You’re joining a rare group of people. If you’re not one of us, you’re life is doomed to mediocrity or worse.

Christ said it so many ways, it’s almost as if he were saying to me, “I let you fool around for 45 years of your life. Now I’ve got some things I want you to do so I’m gonna remove any doubt from your mind that your salvation was real.”

Now I’m a give you a little warning. Different people have different salvation experiences. Yours might be totally different from mine. For mine there was no magic moment on that weekend.

I do not remember one minute being lost and the next minute being saved.

But when I awakened on that Monday morning I knew beyond any reasonable doubt that Christ was in my heart. That I’d made my commitment to him, that I was a totally different human being.

[NERD 2 NOTE] Here’s where he builds in believability so he can come across as real and help you see that you don’t need to be hit by lightning or have a near death experience or anything “weird” to be saved. It can “just” happen.

Now the first thing I did on that morning was I wen to my cabinet. Now I was at that time a casual/social drinker. Now when I say casual/social, I mean a maximum of three times a month and that was unusual.

But in those days they used to give you mini-bottles on the airplane when you flew. And if you didn’t drink on the flight, they’d give you two of em. I had a cabinet full of them. I had a case of champagne somebody had given to me along with several other bottles.

When I opened up my cabinet door that morning I then headed to the sink with every one of those bottles and I dumped them down.

Now I don’t believe drinking is gonna send you to hell. I really don’t. I don’t believe smoking will. Smoking just makes you smell like you been there in advance.

But you don’t go to hell because of what you do. You go to hell because of what you don’t. And that simply is believe.

[NERD 2 NOTE] That last sentence is all about authority. He knows you’re going to hell if you’re not on his team. No question about it. This is the kind of certainty that is expressed in any high converting presentation.

A lot of times people ask, “You mean to tell me you poured down all that booze, why didn’t you just give it away?” And I said, “Uh huh. And somebody get drunk and kill themselves and where would I be?” “You think drinking is that bad Zig?” Well lemme ask you a question, “Does it glorify God?”

That’s the question we always ask when we look at a pornographic movie or read pornographic literature, “Does it glorify God? And when you analyze it in that way then it puts a different light on it.

God revealed himself in so many ways.

And I’m gonna tell you now, god used my son who was 7 years old as a harassment committee of one to make absolutely certain that I walked a straight and narrow path.

I well remember our anniversary that November after I’d committed my life to Christ, we went out to a restaurant that was owned by the Red head’s hair dresser. And he knew it was our anniversary and when we got there he gave us a bottle of wine.

Now I knew about my commitment, never again, but I did not have the courage at that point to say to him, “No, we don’t drink.” And so the red head and I had that wine.

I got home and that 7 year old boy said to me, “Dad, did you drink any wine or anything?” and I said, “Yes I did son.” And if I live to be a 1,000 I’ll never forget his exact words. He looked softly at me and said, “Dad I can’t begin to tell ya how disappointed I am in you.”

I looked at my boy and said… 


What is Zig gonna say to his sweet little innocent boy after he called him out on his blunder? Is he gonna give him a down South butt whuppin’ for talking to his father that way? What’s gonna happen?

How else is the lord gonna use Zig’s boy as the harassment committee of one? What does Zig to do to redeem himself? Does Zig go back on the wagon and into a drunken rampage damn near losing everything he treasures including his family?

Come back when I post Part 2 of the series to find out!

Talk Soon,

Lewis LaLanne aka Note Taking Nerd #2