Seems like a positive and dynamic way to earn a living. I would enjoy a profession in mainstream sales and marketing if it weren’t so obviously a corrupt form of bamboozling and enticing the public into more pointless consumerism. Yes, a career in sales could be gratifying for genuinely sociable individuals who wish to share an inherent enthusiasm, by selling a product they believe in. A product that is even meaningful.

There is that sinister backdrop where greedy chief executives are focused on an insatiable and gluttonous form of profiteering, to the extent of manipulating even their own sales representatives into being animated about a product. With sophisticated psychological training techniques, the sales representative is taught how to unscrupulously trap the everyday buyer. In many cases the sales staff are hoodwinked themselves by the continual revamping of polished indoctrination.

Of course greed and profiteering is nothing new in the arena of sales and marketing, but surely a deeper sense of spirituality, community, humanitariasm and intelligence may have developed in our human evolution? Perhaps not. There are even spiritual groups and their members who are on the bandwagon too with humerous workshops, books and magical promises of success, happiness and bliss. It’s all for sale.

Avarice knows no bounds.

I myself love marketing while spreading a sense of happiness that ripples from one person to another and is born of the cooperative spirit of altruism. There’s nothing wrong with profit, but the decadence, violence and fraud that surrounds this arena is surely no different to the barbaric days of Sodom and Gomorra. Well nowadays, it is cleverly disguised as something exciting.

While working in Seattle, I made suggestions to numerous people to purchase either a book or an item that would bring enrichment to their life; mostly people trustingly purchased the item I recommended and the sense of mutual caring and warmth was the ultimate reward all round. One ignorant retail assistant who seemed astounded at my capability to sell products commented:

‘Have you ever thought about being in retail’?

Her short sighted view of ‘selling’ did not encompass the understanding of heartfelt enthusiasm and the innate bond that two people can share when money is exchanged for a product. To me it’s an exchange of energy where there’s no need for a slick ploy, a sales pitch or a clever marketing technique. A straightforward connection based on honesty, respect and altruism is enough to sell a product – if the customer wishes to buy it. I believe in recognizing that choice.

Big corporations, pharmaceutical industries, banks, hotels and financial institutions put pressure on their young and upcoming marketing team to sell, sell and sell, for which they are bribed with fat bonuses and trained to pretend they care. The scam is based on how to feign interest in the customer’s well being! I worked in a hotel for a short time, where training techniques included ‘empathy’ for the guest. Frankly, it was all lipservice, because I couldn’t see much authentic empathy extended to guests. Is this not the ultimate con artist and do these corporations really think people are so stupid or needy that they can be duped by flattery, tricks and pressure into buying a product? Maybe!

When I traveled around Switzerland selling and promoting Mary Quant cosmetics I had a lovely time applying and demonstrating the colors and shades of this vibrant makeup line; it was deeply rewarding to see the customers smile with surprise when they looked in a mirror and saw a bright transformation. I was truly enjoying my work. Women felt beautiful and bought the product, it wasn’t just the merchandise they went home with but the feeling of self worth – and that was valuable! I felt happy, the customers were happy with a freshly vibrant appearance and my boss was so happy that she sent letters congratulating me on the surprising sales achievement in numerous rural and traditional shopping centers as well as department stores that normally didn’t thrive on stocking this modern and trendy cosmetic or clothing line. I am sure nowadays rural shopping centers in those areas are very up to date!

Take away the heavy cloud of marketing pressure and instead, imbibe a spirit of joy, caring and authentic interest – and voila – everyone is happy; except perhaps the loathsome greed gene that obsessively and decadently desires more and even more, thereby crushing that naturally bright spark of delight and joyful abundance.

Copyright Charmiene Maxwell-Batten 2011



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Artist's Description

This is a philosophical/journalistic narrative I wrote about the arena of marketing in today’s world. It is a chapter form my book:


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