Selling the Truth, by Ben S.

I am not sure on when it happened, or how it happened, all I know is that it happened. I woke up one morning and realized that I didn’t have a plan and I didn’t know what I needed a plan for. Something inside of me was tearing at my chest, not in the form of fear, but in the form of urgency. I started to react instantly and in an almost frantic way because I knew that there was something very important I needed to do. After a couple of weeks I stopped myself and took two steps back to figure out what I was doing and the reason I was doing it.

As a Warrant Officer in the United States Army with four tours overseas in support of the Global War on Terror, I understand the importance of being prepared. Like many others out there, I have read numerous articles on how to be prepared and articles on what to prepare for. I have noticed that everyone has a theory, plan or a way of doing things for short or long term, but I have never come across an article on how to sell this to others that don’t believe.  I hope this helps.

We have all heard the saying “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink”. The same goes here. No matter what you may believe will eventually happen, it is getting others to believe the same thing that will hopefully save them one day. In combat, the easiest way to get a young soldier to understand the importance of being prepared is to just sit and wait. Once that first round or mortar comes any where close to him, he’ll get it. Now don’t confuse this tactic on the inherent responsibility of a leader to force preparation on a solider, this isn’t the point, the point is the icebreaker that causes someone to want to believe in something. So, how do we make the horse drink the water?

In any writing, speech or sale, it is the primary goal of the author, speaker or sales man to believe in what they have to say and to get others to believe in what they are saying.  There are many way of doing this within the article or the speech, but to be successful at this, you need to be coherent in both writing and speaking and have the most substantial facts on your topic.  In reality, not many of us are in that boat, to include myself, so here are some steps and methods that I have chosen to enlist to help sell the truth.

Step One: Zombie Apocalypse Humor

I always break the ice to non-believers, people who live with rose color glasses thinking nothing will ever happen, with the most outlandishly humorous thing out there, the Zombie Apocalypse. First, I go into greatly exaggerated details on all substantial proof that zombies will take over the earth, like the Center for Disease and Control (CDC) posting preparedness steps for the Zombie Apocalypse. The $25 billion in revenue that Zombie movies, video games and artwork based off of the 444 movies made since the early 1900s or the 60 million people that practice a religion that believes in Zombies. Now on that note, I don’t believe in Zombies. Second, I start talking about the arsenal I am building along with the 1 year supply of food, water and first aid that is buried in a bunker that I built out of recycled 18 wheeler trailers. At this point, I have broken the Ice. I can now make light of the whole situation and I am usually joking and crying right along with the person who makes light of any bad situation that could happen.

Step Two: Walk Away Power

I have coined this phrase from Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace Class on how to walk away from something that you really want. Walk away power is the ability to remove yourself from a desire so you do not make an impulse decision that could not be in your best interest. In this case, we really want someone else to believe in the importance to be prepared. After you break the ice, end it there, just for now. You had a good time; you planted the seed and now just wait. This is especially hard because you so desperately wish to continue your goal. While you give it some time, it is ok to prod the fire, and I highly encourage it, by occasionally making joke of the whole conversation. You can do this in passing, before a meeting or even during lunch. A smart move is to do it around others. Imagine that if you over hear someone talking about an investment, do you think that you might be intrigued to find out more? Most would not interrupt a conversation between two people, but rather they might be more likely to pull one of the two to the side and make the inquiry of the over heard conversation, just think, it could be you. If you are the chosen one questioned, guess what step we are back to?

Step Three: Real Life

This opportunity could come at any moment or it could take days to weeks to present itself, but it will, I guarantee it. We live in a sad and destructive world and I do not make light of any horrible situation in which human life is loss or is put into a state of suffering. We have all heard of the saying “History has a way of repeating its self” and it does. These are times where it is key that we use these situations to learn from and to prepare for it possibly happing to us. Lets use Tornados for this example. Tornados happen time and time again and each time life is lost and everything is destroyed. When we turn on the television and see reports of people being interviewed, it seems that same old thing is said by the victim, “Every thing is gone, we have nothing left, and we don’t know what we are going to do”. When a situation like this arises, use it! Open up a dialog on how sad this is, how bad you feel and then ask the non-believer “What would you do?” Let it sit for a few moments, but do not let him or her answer. Interrupt their thought process with what you have done, but it is curtail that you only pick one thing. I cannot stress this enough, one thing and one thing only. Their senses are currently in a overwhelming state and their body is stuck between flight or fright, so you do not want to overwhelm them into remission of doubt with what you have to say. For example, “I have put together an Emergency BUG out Bag that has a week of supplies in it, you know something I can grab on the way to the closet ”.  Here is the second most important part of this step: Refer to Step Two, Walk Away.

Step Four: The Follow Up

You can do this step in one or two ways, go to them or let them come to you. I will mention both, but I will talk mostly about you having to go back to them. When a person comes back to you for more information that you might have, you know that the hook is set and it is time to start reeling them in, but sometimes you need to cast back out to try to get another bite. These methods are once again a waiting game, you don’t want to go to soon and you don’t want to sit around for to long waiting on them. This can cause you to be too pushy, or they could loose interest. If you feel that it might be best to pursue them, bring up the same disaster, use a different angle but most importantly, use the same plan that you are using. For example, “Hey man did you hear? FEMA can’t get food out to those people that were in the tornado. That is why I have a week of food in my Bug Out bag”. I hope that you have noticed that I have referenced a not so common term, “Bug Out Bag”. I do this to deepen the curiosity of your non-believer. Best-case scenario is when they come to you. More than likely they will come bearing more questions, “Hey man, what’s a Bug Out Bag?” or they will come to you with answers, “Hey man, I checked out those Bug out Bags you where talking about, pretty cool, I might get one.” Once you know that step four has been made, move on to the final step.

Step Five: The Believer

I opened this article on my own personal account of what happened to me when I realized that something needed to be done to prepare my family and myself. I want you to notice the date, 2011. I have just gotten on this train of thinking against the grain of society’s mindset of the government is here to take care of me, so I have a lot to learn. I guess that I got lucky and figured it out on my own, but there are many others out there that you know and love that won’t have that privilege. Step five is still a very delicate phase in your new believer (trust me, I have heard some crazy stuff out there and I have been turned off on a few things) so it is important to use moderation on your particular beliefs. The purpose of the Web Site and many others like it, is to create survivors. For people like us, strength in numbers is what is going to make all of us successful, no matter if our theories come into play or not. Your new believer will find out a lot of information on the web, don’t be afraid to steer him or her away from the garbage and let him or her learn from your mistakes. The most important thing I could say about this step is that you need to be there in their time of doubt, encourage and reinforce the reasons on why they choose to make this very important move in life.

You can use this technique for just about any thing that you want to and please feel free to modify it to fit your personality. I cannot guarantee that this is 100% effective for anyone, not even myself. I have been using this format for years, but never noticed it. To date, I have only created just a few new believers, but in my efforts, I have met just as many, if not more believers and new believers. With that said, the word is out, lets take the time and focus on the bottom line up front, new believers, a stronger community, and most important a country that is prepared.