Saturday, November 28, 2015

Fourth Saturday's Loneliest Liberal

Sales contest of civilizations

By James Knudsen

Not long ago [June 27] I mentioned my time in the retail sales world. I didn’t like it. Besides retail sales, I had other customer service jobs following my four-year stint in the Marines, a job I liked slightly more than sales. Presently, we in the United States and other countries that we’ll just call, for the sake of simplicity, The Western World, are in a struggle with various groups that we’ll call, for the sake of simplicity, religious savages. The question is: How to deal with these individuals. The answer is one of my previous vocations.
    During my time as an active-duty Marine, the U.S. Military was involved in its longest war, the Cold War. The objective was to not get into a shooting war with our primary adversary, the U.S.S.R. We succeeded in this. Since the end of that war the objective, it would seem, has been to get into every war possible and start shooting. That’s really a critique of the civilian leadership. Our military really is the best in the world. And much as I’d like to say that the military of my era was even better, I know that isn’t the case. Be it the training, the equipment (hardware), or the tactics (software), today’s troops are far more capable than my comrades and I ever were. Still, the military might of our nation isn’t our strongest suit.
    As depressing as it is to admit, I have even more experience in sales than I do in the military. This, coupled with the fact that I live in the United States of America, where buying and accumulating stuff is considered an Olympic event, I have a thorough understanding of the sales process. And as good as our military is, it’s no match for our sales and marketing division. And that’s an important point to keep in mind.

Consider this clash of civilizations instead as a sales contest. Every time a young person straps on an explosive vest and detonates it, we’ve lost a sale. Now, even taking into account all of the issues facing this nation, it still beats getting your spine ripped out of your torso and ejected through an apartment window with your head still attached to it. Doesn’t it?
    We have a messaging problem, not a messenger problem. If you don’t believe me, turn on your TV late at night and take a look at some of the garbage some incredibly talented messengers are selling. Or just think of all the incredibly stupid stuff Americans haves sold to Americans over the years – Sham-Wow, ThighMaster, Pocket Fisherman, PET ROCKS!!! The Declaration of Independence and the preamble to the Constitution are superior products, so if we’re not moving them, we need to look at our marketing campaign.

This past summer my sister and I rented a studio apartment to a young Egyptian radiologist. I had the opportunity to speak with him a couple of times. After a month of being in the United States, he remarked that he was enjoying his stay immensely. And he noted that people say “Good morning” to him more than in his home country. That version of America is an easy sell.

Not this:

Copyright © 2015 by James Knudsen

1 comment:

  1. I applaud your creative comparisons in these two seemingly totally different activities. Excellent. A good thought provoking read.