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Can We Talk a Minute?

There is a story of a tool company that manufactured drill bits. Faced with financial losses, company executives gathered to discuss the problem: a declining demand for drill bits. The CEO challenged his men: “How can we revive the bit market?” After an embarrassing silence, one member of the team dispelled the fog: “Sir, the market isn’t for bits—it’s for holes!”

The story, though apocryphal, does illustrate a basic but often overlooked truth: “The customer never buys a product. The customer buys the satisfaction of a want” (in the words of Peter Drucker). To put it another way, there are no markets for products–only markets for what products can do. The world knew there was a need for copies of documents.  The Xerox Corporation successfully pioneered the copy-machine industry by leasing copiers at a “per copy” price rather than selling machines outright. They correctly saw the market was for copies, not machines.

Four Implications all of us that seek to “serve people” can learn from successful businesses…. 1)We must constantly evaluate the customer needs; 2) We must design products to meet specific needs; 3) We must redesign products as needs change; 4) We must delete products that no longer meet customer needs.  (Copied).

Jesus was a Masterful Teacher.  He knew what was on the minds of those that came to Him.  He would use parables, illustrations, and life events to relate the deeper truths of eternal principles.  Through knowing the mind of the hearer, the impact of His life on others was transformational.

When Jesus met the woman at the well, His conversation with her is a great teaching tool for all that want to see how to dialogue with a person to gain the privilege of sharing the Gospel. Look at the things Jesus spoke to her to help create interest in her to want to talk to Jesus.

John 4:7 Jesus (a Jew) asked a Samaritan (a hated half-breed) for a drink of water.  Obvious request as they were both at Jacob’s well.

John 4:13He tells her He has living water and those that drink it never thirst again.  He is going to move from the “literal” water to “spiritual” living water.

John 4:16“Go get your husband” (let’s talk about your family).

John 4: 19-24 – She moves toward a religious statement on worship “and which place is the best”. 

John 4:25 – The woman stated, “I believe that the Messiah will come and explain all things to us.”  Jesus told her, “I am the Messiah!”

The mandate of Jesus is for all of us to be seeking opportunities in our daily activities to share the Gospel.  For Him, something as simple as a drink of water from a well has been a story we have told for 2000 years.  Why?  The transformation of this woman’s life caused her to get every man in the city to introduce them to Jesus!  The power of a one-on-one conversation with a person seeking to know Christ can be a life changing experience for the “seeker” and a great source of encouragement for the one being used of God to declare His glory!  To be effective, we need to learn how to relate to a person so that we can communicate eternal truth effectively.