A while back I was, as you would say, one of those "ask Jesus into your heart" kind of converts. Then I learned about God's Holy Law and God's wrath.
I would say then I really got saved when I understood the Law of God.
Use God's Holy Law first before explaining the Gospel so that the unsaved will have a complete understanding of sin, righteousness and judgment and to break the hard heart so it will be humble for the Pearl?
I've heard it explained that not until someone understands that they have a disease will they then want the cure. I wonder if only saying to the unsaved, "Jesus died for you and was risen three days later--so believe in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior" produces false converts.