In Through the Backdoor: Fiction’s Power to Open a Closed Heart (Guest Post by Christopher J. Weeks)

“My heart is stirred by a noble themeas I recite my verse for the king;my tongue is a pen of the skillful writer." (Psalm 45:1) “Human beings are communal and seek to communicate persuasively with one another. Rhetoric is about persuasion...and that old Roman teacher Quintilian defines the rhetor as, “The good man speaking well.” (Jerry Root)   I am the son of a salesman, a traveling salesman, a tremendously successful traveling salesman. And the motto that my father lived by was, “It is better to be a ‘closer’ than an order taker.” This means he would rather persuade a person to buy his product through a great sales pitch and masterful closing technique than have someone buy from him simply because they liked the product. For him, persuasion was the goal, and getting a signature on a contract made his day. The satisfaction of the customer was secondary. Important, but secondary. He would often teach me his techniques around the dinner table: “Chris, if you can get a customer to say ‘no’ you are one step closer to a sale. Because when they say ‘no’ they are actually saying they are ready to negotiate new terms.” Or this little nugget:…

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