Working for a manufacturer/vendor in some capacity for the past 21 plus years, I never saw ‘sales’ as a contact activity. Worse, I’ve occasionally been in a work environment where what we did was viewed as ‘war’. This was typically epitomized by some manager who would start issuing memos, emails or speeches which included quotes from “The Art Of War” by Chinese military strategist Sun-Tzu. I’ve never felt comfortable with the application of Sun-Tzu’s rules to business. To paraphrase another philosopher on the subject of ‘war’, Colonel Henry Blake, rule number one is people die. Rule number two is you can’t change rule number one. Business isn’t anything like war in that respect though war may be business to some people. A better metaphor is needed.
Business, like war, is something I’ve come to believe we need a lot less of. Too much disposable income has led to a glut of frivolous gadgetry which product marketeers have convinced this nation of sheep, er – consumers they can’t possible live without. Which brings me to my next point; watching a segment of today’s edition of ‘Sunday Morning’ on CBS, I learned that in the next year I will cease to be a member of the 18-49 year old demographic targeted by marketeers and coveted by companies who sell products. Living past 49 was equated to non-existence or death. Since the rules will no longer apply to me and I’ll be off Madison Avenue’s radar screen I think it’s time to come up with a new game and a new set of rules. (no pushing, shoving or killing allowed) Who’s with me?
(*note* I find it interesting that one of Sun-Tzu’s successful disciples, political strategist Lee Atwater, began issuing apologies to all the opponents he attacked and destroyed once Lee found out he had an inoperable brain tumor. I guess war IS having to say you’re sorry.)