Seth Godin, All Marketers Are Liars

The book is misnamed because the author knows how to sell. Let me give it the name I think it deserves: ALL DAY LONG, IN DIVERSE WAYS, WE ARE SELLING.

Although his background is advertising theory and practice, this book is another way to think about the importance of rhetoric, and particularly the pathos and ethos part. Many are repulsed by the idea that people sell all day long, but what is the option?  “Not-selling”? Part of the reason, I think, why school focuses so much on logos or reasoning is that we are so uncertain about what it means to sell our logos with pathos and ethos. We refuse the message of the Scottish Enlightenment–which treats reasoning as a junior partner to our dominant emotional processes. Similarly, we reject behaviorally the message of the picture of humans flowing from book after book about cognitive heuristics.

In other words, is it morally elevated to choose to be a noble ineffective person? Once one says “OK, I am a story-telling seller of myself.”, what are the limits to your selling endeavors?  What are the boundaries of your selling effectiveness? Does the word “authentic have any useful meaning at all?

I have read this book with students, and it has shattered a lot of ice.

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