Josh Hunt
The parable of the NO-GOOD DOG FOOD Company

The NO-GOOD DOG FOOD company was doing, well, NO-GOOD. Sales were down, profits were down, income was down, people were down.

NO-GOOD called in some consultants to come in and analyze the situation. Sure enough, they confirmed the unpleasant truth. NO-GOOD was doing no good. The consultants did some careful analysis and made some suggestions.

It didn't help. NO-GOOD was still doing NO-GOOD.

Marketing experts were called in. Every facet of marketing was considered. Packaging. Distribution. Ads. They even considered changing the name of the NO-GOOD company. This, it seemed, was too radical of a step.

A major national marketing campaign was launched that featured an opening downbeat of a series of Super Bowl ads. These were followed up with other TV ads, billboards, ads in magazines and national newspapers.

It didn't help. NO-GOOD was still doing NO-GOOD

Since the problem had to do with sales, NO-GOOD decided to hire some sales trainers. The top sales trainers from across the nation were hired and paid big bucks to train the sales force in advance sales strategies.

These sales-trainers didn't solve the problem, but they did identify it.

It was at one of these sales meetings that a junior salesmen raised an issue that ended up solving the problems at NO-GOOD. It was not received well at first.

Junior John raised his hand at the back of the hall. The expert sales trainer called on him.

"I know why sales are down."

"You?" said the sales trainer. "You know why sales are down?"

"Yes. I know why sales are down."

"We have had the top consultants in the country working on this and they couldn't figure it out and you, Junior John, know why sales are down."

"Yes, I know why sales are down."

"Well, tell us, Junior John. Why are sales down? Enlighten us!"

"Dogs don't like it."

"What?"

"Dogs don't like it."

"Excuse me? What do you mean dogs don't like it?"

"Dogs don't like it."

"We have had some of the top scientists in the world developing this dog food formula. How can you criticize our dog food?"

"Dogs don't like it."

"Our dog food is nutritionally sound. We have the approval of the American Dog Food Society. We have received dozens of awards. We have been written up in the most prestigious dog food journals in the country."

"Dogs don't like it."

"You know nothing. You are a junior sales rep. You have barely started your training. You know nothing. Someone escort this young man out of here. He knows nothing."

"I know this. Dogs don't like your dog food. And I am happy to leave. But, before I do,  would you like me to prove, once and for all that dogs don't like your dog food?"

"How do you propose to do that?"

"May I come to the stage?"

"Proceed."

With this, Junior John came to the stage. He poured three fresh bowls of NO-GOOD DOG FOOD. He had arranged for this demonstration ahead of time and had arranged for ten hungry dogs to come on stage. All ten dogs entered the stage, sniffed the bowls of freshly poured NO-GOOD DOG FOOD and walked off.

Everyone was stunned.

Then, Junior John did the unthinkable. He pulled out a bag of NO-GOOD's competitor's dog food, NOT-BAD DOG FOOD. He poured three fresh bowls of NOT-BAD DOG FOOD and whistled. The dogs came back out, sniffed the dog food, then began to devour the NOT-BAD DOG FOOD. After a bit, the dogs walked off.

Junior John held up the dog food bowls. They were completely empty. It was clear that all of the dogs preferred NOT-BAD DOG FOOD to the NO-GOOD brand.

The moral to the story is simple. If you have a hard time selling it, it may not be a marketing problem, or a sales problem, it may be a product problem.

The product, in this case is not the gospel. No problems there. The product is the presentation of the gospel. In the words of Jesus, it is the wineskins not the wine.

If new outreach programs would have solved our problems, they would have been solved years ago. In many cases, what we have is not an outreach problem. It is a product problem. It is a presentation problem.

I do two conferences. One is on outreach (Double Your Class), the other is on presentation, (Disciplemaking Teachers). I do far more Double Your Class Conferences than Disciplemaking Teachers. This is because most of us think the problem is an outreach problem. In many cases, it is a presentation problem.

Truth is, one seminar is not enough.

Every teacher would benefit from going through the following courses. If you have not been through all of these, I recommend you do so.

  • Disciplemaking Teachers
  • Seven Laws of the Learner
  • Seven Laws of the Teacher
  • Teaching with Style
  • Preaching for Life Change
  • Communicating with Bold Assurance
  • Teaching the Jesus Way

In the excellent series, Teaching With Style, Bruce Wilkinson points out that his research indicates that the average teacher is about a 4.5 on a scale of 1 to 10. 10 is fantastic; 1 is boring. You might argue that 4.5 is half way decent. Maybe. But, I think we can do better. I want to ask you to commit yourself to lifelong learning so we can all do better.

Take the six courses above over the next couple of years. Your students will be glad you did!

If you are interested in hosting a Disciplemaking Teachers conference, contact me at [email protected]