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6 Helpful Tips for Selling Technology to Churches

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When churches look for new church management software, online giving solutions, or live streaming solutions, they need experts to come alongside them in their ministries. These relationships can foster ministry growth and challenge churches to harness tools to bless their churches and beyond.

Here are six helpful tips for selling technology to churches:

1 – Churches Want Relationships

How do tech companies build these relationships with churches in an effective manner? Taking time to listen to the church’s needs and respond within budget is perhaps one of the best ways companies can serve churches well. Don’t upsell, don’t push the latest upgrade that the church may not need (or be able to afford). Listen to them. Allow them space to share their heart, then, explain how your solution can fit into their ecosystem and help with their vision.

2 – Respect the Senior Pastor

The senior pastor of a church should be the most well-guarded person within the walls of the church. While their approval and support is imperative, many churches allow their music or worship pastor to make decisions regarding A/V related software. The church secretary can review and make choices regarding the church management software, and so on.  Target the relationship-building with someone who deals directly with the product or service you offer. If you only look at communicating with the senior pastor, chances are you might never have the option to start building a relationship.

3 – Good Service is Key

Companies who succeed in the church market are those who want to provide important services that will help churches maximize what they already have. Churches operate within a strict budget. Some departments have discretionary spending, but any big purchases with long-term contracts will require approval from leadership. Companies that provide excellent support will have the advantage, especially as many companies cut back phone support in favor of online only. Worship software with support available on Sunday mornings is a great example of meeting the church’s need with good support.

4 – Be Transparent

If you have something to sell, it’s best to just explain what you are offering by being direct. If the church you are working with is interested, make sure to ask if they want to move forward to the next step. If not, be gracious, say thank you, and politely ask if there is a time in the future you might follow up to see if the church’s situation has changed.

 5 – Respect the Church’s Time

Unless you’re bringing fresh baked cookies or free lunch (and have a prearranged appointment to do so), dropping in to say ‘hi’ and drop off literature is not a good idea. It’s best to send an email, and then perhaps follow up with a second email or phone call; they will reply if they are interested.

6 – Don’t Waste Resources

Direct mailings can sometimes be effective, but most churches throw away printed sales materials. Sending an email with more information, a link to a YouTube video or the like would most likely be more effective. In addition, its best to send communication directly to the ones who actually use whatever it is that you are offering.

What would you add to this list?

Lauren Hunter
Lauren Hunterhttps://laurenhunter.net
Lauren Hunter is a writer who loves the big picture of God’s journey we are all on together. In 2007, she founded ChurchTechToday, a website for pastors and church leaders to harness technology to improve ministry. Married to her high school sweetheart, Lauren lives in Northern California with her husband and their four children. Her latest book is Leaving Christian Science: 10 Stories of New Faith in Jesus Christ. She can be found online at https://laurenhunter.net.

19 COMMENTS

  1. We have been selling mobile apps to churches for over a year now and find that consistent communication is key. We have found that providing useful information on why we do what we do is important and how it will help them
    In their ministry. Email seems to be the best first point of communication.

  2. Two themes stand out for me and resonate very well with our approach at CCB.

    1) Relationships – Nothing matters more than this. In fact, we even strive to ensure we are building the RIGHT relationships. Our solutions are not the best fit for every church and that is OK. If we don’t align well with the goals and objectives of a church, we are happy to refer them elsewhere for the sake of a healthy relationship.

    2) WHY – This is the ball game in my opinion. If a sales process (on either side) is focused only on “what” and “how”, the most important point is missed. Every conversation we have begins with “why”. This helps us understand how each church will define success if they elect to partner with us. It also helps us serve them better by allowing our Care team to be more purposeful when we call and ask them how we’re doing.

    The only other thing I would add is this – INTENT! Your real intent MUST be to serve people and help them make the right decision, even if it is not your product or service. If it is only to close a transaction, most people will discern this and run away……fast! This is the case in almost any setting but especially with churches who base so much of what they do on trust.

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  4. One last comment: I think Ben is correct in that churches are interested in the relationships you have with other churches. We pride ourselves on having over 2,000 clients with a 97% retention rate. Our products are not big-ticket items and usually don’t require a long sales cycle such as a church management system. Meaning, we don’t have the luxury of time to establish a deep relationship before we can sell them a software application they need. Thus, we do just walk in (actually we call) and sell them something……..but the sales advantage we possess is our long-standing deep relationships with other churches which hopefully provides our prospects a sense of comfort.

    • Here’s another great comment that was posted in LinkedIn:
      “As a lead pastor, nothing gets my attention faster than a quick, clear and effective advantage/benefit presentation and cost analysis through a website or youtube video that is sent to me through an eye catching email. If what you are proposing to sell or provide clearly gives us an advantage over what we currently utilize, and can show me that it will be useful and cost effective for us into the future based on current and future technologies/services, then I will contact you to tell me more.”
      Posted by Richard Jones

      –Thanks for your insight, Richard!

  5. As a lead pastor, nothing gets my attention faster that a quick, clear and effective advantage/benefit presentation and cost analysis through a website or youtube video that is sent to me through an eye catching email. If what you are proposing to sell or provide clearly gives us an advantage over what we currently utilize, and can show me that it will be useful and cost effective for us into the future based on current and future technologies/services, then I will contact you to tell me more.

  6. Thanks for all the great responses. What I got most out of talking with church pastors, worship leaders, and others involved in the ministry was that relationships are key. Don’t expect to just walk in and sell them something. Long-term relationships are the key to success in this important market.

  7. I think relationships and results are key. Churches want to know other churches that you’ve worked with, and they want evidence that whatever you offer produces results they are currently able to achieve on their own. It’s a niche and you have to be committed to that niche.

  8. Great tips. We have been successfully selling into the church space for over 10 years. I agree with Conor’s comment that churches want relationships, but I also encourage my Sales and Marketing team that we’re not selling to a church……i.e., a building………but a person that probably has a Facebook account, banks online, owns a smart phone, and bought a gift at some point from Amazon. My point is not to use the assumption (excuse?) that “churches don’t buy that way”. Right, churches don’t buy anything…….but people that work at churches do.

  9. Being transparent is an important aspect that I am glad some one else had similar thoughts on. The worst thing to do is sell a church some thing that you know as a vendor can not be implemented correctly or there is another vendor that would be better suited to their needs. When this is not done it creates skepticism in the market for churches and they do not trust vendors in the future which is understandable.

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  11. Great tips. We don’t send mass mailers either. We rely heavy on relationships and word of mouth. The other tool that we couldn’t live without is social media.

    • Yes, I would say that social media is HUGE for all of in the church technology market (as well as most other industries). I’ve never advertised or even really promoted my consulting services, and have always been blessed with business, many of which learned about what I do through social media and this blog.

      Blessings,
      Lauren

  12. Great article Jeff! You hit the nail on the head.

    In my experience people buy WHY you do, not WHAT you do. We have technically been “selling” technology to churches since our inception and I think the reason we have been so successful is because of WHY we do what we do. BombBomb’s Purpose or “WHY” is to “Help People Build Relationships” we do this by building technology that is Simple, Easy to Use and Powerful.

    When you take the long view, build relationships, do the right thing, be humble and share you will win. Remember this is a marathon not a sprint.

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