This was my second summer selling Bibles door-to-door, and after only one week I felt like a miserable failure. I had payments to make on a brand-new dark-green 1965 Volkswagen, and I hoped to make enough for the car and my college tuition. But I had lost all my confidence and resolve.
I was convinced that our big, fancy family Bibles at $29.95 were too expensive to sell. I always accepted a prospect’s first no, and then tried to offer a cheaper item. I became so timid that I bypassed most houses. And the more houses I passed up, the more discouraged I became.
“At this rate, I won’t be able to eat, much less make my car payments,” I mumbled to myself. I checked my wallet and found only a few crumpled dollar bills, enough for a hamburger and some gas. I sat in my car munching a hamburger at a small drive-in and nervously looking at my map for a road I could work. Then I heard someone tapping at my back window. A middle-aged man peered in.
“Are you selling those Bibles?” he asked, gesturing at one of the beautiful Bibles I had stacked in boxes on my lowered backseat.
A customer! I thought. “Do you want to buy one?” I asked.
“No,” he said, “we’ve got one.”
“Great. Do you like it?” With my luck he probably wanted his money back.
“Listen, son,” he said, “that Bible saved our marriage. You see, my wife and I were fighting a lot back then. We were newlyweds and talking about divorce. One day a kid like you came by and caught us both at home. He was selling family Bibles.”
“They were expensive, but my wife wanted one. She thought it might help our marriage. So we bought one and put it on the coffee table. As we filled out our family history, we started to read the Scriptures. After that, we began looking for a church. That was twenty-five years ago and we’re still married.” He leaned over and shook my hand before leaving. “Son, keep up the good work. You’ve got an unbeatable product.”
I put my map down and laid my hamburger aside, thinking of his words. An unbeatable product. If that one Bible could make such a difference in his life, what could it do for others! For me?
That afternoon I returned to my route with renewed zeal. By September I had sold nearly 100 family Bibles. But more important, I discovered that if you believe in something, you can talk about it to anyone. The best example was a satisfied customer, whose story I told all summer long.