May 7


The Apollos Strategy

By Michael Q. Pink

May 7, 2024

So yesterday I promised to share a kingdom secret about water and how the right understanding of it has proven to increase sales by an average of 500%. Much more if applied as a Level Two strategy.

So here goes…

Paul said, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.”

I talked extensively in recent blogs about what it meant to “plant” your message and how that’s much different from merely scattering your seed. It’s strategic and purposeful. Focused.

I’m going to show you how water and its elements apply to both sales and marketing. Let’s begin with sales…

After you plant the seed of your message in the form of a sales presentation for example, it’s imperative that you water that seed. When planting seed in a garden, it must have water, or the seed will lay dormant.

Think of water in this illustration as follow-up. 48% of sales people never make even one follow up after the initial call. 44% of sales reps give up after just one follow-up call.

Only 2% of sales are made on first contact. 3% are made on the second, 5% on the third, 10% on the fourth, and 80% on the fifth to twelfth contact. Those 80% of sales are secured by only 8% of sales people. You can choose to be in the 8%!

But if you’re going to follow up, what should that look like?

Quality matters!

Take your cue from water itself which is made up of just two elements (Hydrogen and Oxygen) and is represented as H2O, meaning it has two parts Hydrogen to one part Oxygen.

In Scripture, water is represented as two primary things : the Word (“washing of the water by the Word “ Ephesians 5:26) and the Spirit (“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart (belly) will flow rivers of living water.  But this He spoke concerning the Spirit John 7:38-39)

Notice there are 2 parts Hydrogen to 1 part Oxygen. In Scripture there are two different Greek words translated as “Word”… Logos and Rhema. In simplistic terms, the logos is the written, recorded word and the rhema is the spoken, revealed word in a specific context.

For me this means my follow-up is going to be much more than, “Have you made up your mind yet?” It will always include both the logos (logical rationale that will make their decision easier) and rhema that may take the form of a personalized / customized message specific to their circumstance.

Example: In 1994 I had quoted a company with ten salespeople, $4,000 for a day of training. On my follow-up call, after some consideration, they declined, but asked if they could send one of their ten people to another of my events and pay $400 for his participation. They reasoned that if it worked for that guy, then they would bring me in to train the entire sales force.

Instead of walking away from the sale after one follow-up like most would do, I brought the water – in the form of logic and visual demonstration. First, I told them that a survey of one, is no survey (That’s logic).  

They were doing $7 million in revenue and claimed they would do $8 million that year with or without me, so I proposed to travel with their sales reps and help them get sales in exchange for 10% of any increased revenue in excess of $8 million. That’s “pay for results” which also appealed to their sense of logical rationale.

But here’s where it got personalized and customized (before I knew about PowerPoint). I asked Mark Herron, a world class graphic artist to create a graphic illustration of an orchard of apple trees with a man filling a basket with ripe apples. I no longer have that picture, but this gives you the idea…

We turned that into a physical slide, rented a slide projector and said I would come alongside his team to gather up eight million apples, none of which were for me. The imagery was crafted specifically to them which I also believed was inspired by God.

After that, for every apple that came in, I would get a single bite (10% of the apple), and showed a picture with an apple with one bite out of it beside a mountain of eight million beautifully ripe apples. Naturally, I explained, I couldn’t wait until eight million apples (dollars) came in before I got some compensation, so I would need a $5,000 monthly retainer.

I further explained that I wasn’t committing to full time assistance. I was committing to results, and whether I worked one day a week or one day a year, it was my call. They agreed and signed up, earning me far more than the original $4,000 offer I made. That was follow-up with much more than “Have you changed your mind yet?”

Additionally, so many sales are lost because the person trying to make the sale assumes the prospect’s silence means they’re not interested, but in truth, it’s very often because the prospect has other irons in the fire and you’re just not at the top of the list of priorities for them at that moment.

Such was the case when Jack Hayford of Church on the Way and Living Way Ministries took interest in my first book, The Bible Incorporated, and asked me to follow up with his Executive Director.

I was excited for the opportunity, but disappointed when I reached out to his Executive Director and got no response. I made phone calls and sent several letters (before email) and got nothing. But finally, after four months and maybe a dozen polite and informative follow-ups, he responded and ordered 1000 leather bound copies of my new book. He also thanked me for being persistent and keeping it on his radar. They became a great repeat customer!

Don’t assume that silence means they don’t want what you have. It often means they’re distracted and the timing is a wee bit off. Keep following up by adding further supportive information and just being there as the last sales rep standing, so to speak.

When you do that, you’re watering the seed, and by bringing valuable information with each follow-up, you’re putting nutrients in the water, which will help that seed germinate and grow into a great customer, while you find yourself in the ranks of those very few who get 80% of the sales by making five or more follow-up calls.

Tomorrow, I will share with you the role of Oxygen in the H2O and how that can super amplify your results both in sales and also in marketing efforts.

In the meantime, I just want to thank you for taking the time to read my blogs, share them on social media, like and subscribe.

Michael Q. Pink

About the author

Michael is America's leading authority on applying Biblical Wisdom and Natural Law to sales and business and has authored 19 books including The Bible Incorporated, Selling Among Wolves and God's Best Kept Secrets. Using that knowledge, he has helped thousands of professionals and entrepreneurs experience radical transformation in their lives and careers, including helping a start-up with 3 struggling sales reps turn the corner and become the 16th fastest growing company on the INC 500 list. 

  • This is really good stuff. As an entrepreneur of over 20 years, I needed to be reminded of this today!

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

    Join My Exclusive Notification Group

    Be the First To Get Notified Of New Blog Posts