Christopher Cunningham understands the pressures involved in performing in a highly competitive career field. He is an award-winning sales representative and field sales trainer for Cordis Endovascular, a Johnson & Johnson Co., and he has a …
Christopher Cunningham understands the pressures involved in performing in a highly competitive career field. He is an award-winning sales representative and field sales trainer for Cordis Endovascular, a Johnson & Johnson Co., and he has a background in corporate administration.
He is also the author of The Salesman’s Little Blue Book of Daily Inspiration, a 160-page book geared toward fostering inner peace in salesmen, retailers and business leaders whose jobs require them to perform consistently at a high level.
As a certified lay speaker for The United Methodist Church with an education in communications and experience in advertising and public relations, Cunningham is uniquely qualified to present inspirational counsel to business and sales people, something he said is greatly needed.
The idea for the book stemmed from a brief crisis in his career, said Cunningham, when he set out to find a book that would provide him with motivation and encouragement. To his dismay, there were no resources available specifically for those employed in sales.
He said faith helped him weather this time in the desert, and he decided to reach out to others in need of encouragement. The Salesman’s Little Blue Book of Daily Inspiration became part of that outreach.
In the book, Cunningham provides prayers and meditations to assist salesmen and business people as they encounter difficult situations at work. It’s laid out as a 21-day devotional guide and includes meditations under topics like “What if my customers don’t like me?” “Does God care about my sales numbers?” and “I compromised my integrity … what do I do now?”
The author hopes the inspiring message in his book will help readers develop a better way to sell and perform while simultaneously discovering a better way to live.
“This is not a self-help book — this is a God-help book,” said Cunningham.
He said he believes Christians are wholly suitable to work in sales, despite the popular view that the occupation conflicts with Christian values. He sees no reason for those who profess faith to abstain from pursuing employment in business or sales.
“There is nothing wrong with ambition … as long as it is checked through God’s filter,” he said.
Prayer has helped him overcome a number of obstacles related to success in his field, he said, adding that like most Christians, he sometimes struggles with the temptation to make decisions independent of God.
“I’ve only been in medical sales for five years,” said Cunningham. “It is a highly competitive field. When I started, a number of my customers were already using other companies products … I had to overcome numerous barriers.”
Dealing with ethical decisions related to pursuing sales can be tough for anyone in the field and Christians are no exception.
“Do I still make mistakes? Absolutely. I make a lot of mistakes, even questionable decisions,” said Cunningham. “I’m not perfect. But I do have a place I can take that.”
The author said in addition to performance pressures, sales professionals are often dogged by stigmas.
“The world measures our success by labels; salesperson, banker, etc., each with previously conceived definitions. In fact; preconceived perceptions exist for many careers: politicians, sales people, rock stars, artists, athletes, even preachers. The stereotypical salesman, for example, is Joe Isuzu saying ‘trust me.’”
Cunningham pointed out that people tend to be leery of those professions, but he said Christians are called to a different standard, and that sets them apart.
“We are called as Christians to do our work as though working for the Lord; therefore, we can present our product or service with confidence.”
Putting God first, he said, has helped him succeed, to better deal with the competition, and it has allowed him to have peace with his career choice. Despite his own personal success, he cautions others that following Jesus is no guarantee of worldly success.
However, he said, it is a guarantee of eternal life.
You can meet Cunningham at his book signing, hosted by Page and Palette, on April 7, between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.