The Truth About Corporate Prostitution

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I had just finished serving my country judiciously for a year in the sun and in the rain back in 2012 and was just buying time before commencing the Msc adventure. I stayed at home for a little over a week when it dawned on me that doing nothing under my father’s roof was bound to make me lose my senses. Then began my first ever job search. I don’t know if it just a coincidence but it seemed most job vacancies I came across in the papers were marketing jobs particularly in the Banking or Insurance sectors and all had this “unholy” emphasis on females.
“Why the emphasis on females for a marketing job?”, I thought to myself then. But now I know.

The quest to get enough high end customers to deposit their huge sums in their banks coupled with unrealistic targets and the quest to survive in the uncertain labour market has birthed the evil called “Corporate Prostitution”. This is a growing phenomenon where marketers (mostly ladies) in a bid to meet the targets and particularly keep their jobs are consequently forced or led into prostitution with potential customers. Some targets are so outrageous that even if a female marketer were to stand nude on the road with a cardboard around her neck, she would still find it hard to meet. According to a banker friend, her bank recruit bankers (marketers) with clear instructions to generate between N150 million and N300 million within 3-6 months, while those in the operations department have specified targets, like N1 million per month, two savings accounts in one week or three in a month, depending on the branch head and stability of the branch.

Simply put, potential customers (mostly men) are approached by marketers (mostly ladies) to open an account and deposit their hard earned money into the marketer’s bank. The potential customer then demands sex as an incentive from the marketer to open an account. The marketer faced with gigantic targets and an impending sack chooses to play ball in a bid to save her job.

A friend once told me of her plight as a marketer for an insurance company. She spoke of how she and her colleagues go through a lot at the hands of casanova corporate guys and businessmen, who just want their backs on the bed before they even considered buying an insurance premium with her company.

The story of one Uche Okoro (pseudonym) comes to mind. She is a marketer with an old generation bank in Ikeja, Lagos. In her words, “seven years ago when l joined the banking industry, it was obvious that they had a hidden agenda because they did not mince words. ‘Go over there and woo new customers with all that you have’ were the words from our supervisor, who told us that we were lucky to get the job because it was competitive.”
Uche who did not confirm or deny whether as a marketer she has been a victim of corporate prostitution but emphatically said, “There is no university that will teach you how to be an efficient marketer; when you get to the field, you are going to navigate your way to get your desired goal whether by sleeping or not sleeping with anybody.”

Another story of Kemi Asani (pseudonym) just goes to show the lengths and pains ladies go through to meet their targets.
In her own emotion-laden words, “I got the shock of my life on the field because virtually all the targeted clients, who were mostly oil magnates, wanted to sleep with me before having anything to do with her bank. Out of frustration, coupled with the fact that I was running out of time on my target, l decided to give in to a young guy, who introduced himself as an IT consultant to one of the oil companies. He took his time after more pressure from me to agree to move one of his accounts to our bank. Before l knew it, l was warming his bed for almost a week, with a promise that as soon as he was off shore, he would give me a cheque to open a new account with my bank.
I almost fainted when l realized that he had issued me a bounced cheque. To make matters worse, l could not get him on phone and by the time l got back to his hotel, he had given a standing order that I should not be allowed in, that l was one of those disturbing him. Now to how many people would l tell my story and not look silly?” She lamented.

A close friend told me of how her madam at an Estate Management firm told her categorically to “shave your hairy legs so you will look the part when you approach clients”. Shave which legs? How does that affect the price of land or house? I am sure you get the manager’s message clearly.

The above are just a few of the unsavory experiences of female marketers (banks or a host of other firms) whose task it is to market their banks’ products and services and attract customers or get sacked with ignominy for under-performance.

Most banks would feign ignorance when the topic of corporate prostitution comes up but the buck of the blame should rest on the shoulders of the marketers. Why belittle/degrade/dehumanize yourself and even sin against God just to meet one stupid target and keep one rubbish job?
“Life is hard, the economic situation in the country is not improving and the labour market looms precariously by the day” might be one of the excuses a lady might give for compromising her moral standards. But need I remind you what became of Esau after he sold his birthright for a pot of porridge (common porridge). Don’t let hunger (lack of money) make you sell your birthright for that commission/salary/promotion. Be wise.

 

Adapted from the story “Female Bank Marketers: Unholy Targets and the Sleaze” on The Nation Online.

READ FURTHER: Female Bank Marketers Forced To Go The “Pretty Woman” Route by Oluwaseyi Bangudu

10 Business Laws Learnt From Prostitutes: (Performance and Excellence)

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Prostitution is immoral and I am definitely not condoning its practice but all I want you to do is to open your mind and you will be shocked at the business trade secrets you can learn from prostitutes. This is a continuation of the series.
Read the first 8 business laws;
1 & 2) Determined Drive and Confident Approach
3 & 4) Targeting and Territorial Claim
5 & 6) Proper Packaging and Effective Advertising
7 & 8) Perfect Timing and Aggressive Marketing

9. PROMISE OF PERFORMANCE: Prostitutes have a way of promising and delivering on their promises. If a prostitute tells you to pay for “all night” as they call it, then she knows that she is bound by her words to deliver an all night service. She can’t say she’s tired and wants to sleep when her customer paid for an all night service. If a prostitute makes promises like “We will have mad sex all night. It will be ecstatic and it will be so good you won’t be able to stop till morning”, she is bound to deliver on all those promises lest she looses customers.
In business, you need to put the end picture before you from the start. Every business needs to first of all define what their promise of performance is, then move to the starting line to fulfill it. If your business promises good hair, then make sure you never compromise on the standards of the type of hair you deliver. If your business promises delicious cakes then make sure your cakes always look more expensive than they are.
Make sure you don’t promise what you can’t deliver for it is better under-promise and over deliver than over-promise and under deliver.
As soon as you promise performance and you deliver with a plum, you have automatically won something that money cannot buy which is the goodwill of the customer and this goodwill can be a marketing tool you didn’t even pay for.

10. EXCELLENCE: Excellence can be defined as the quality of being outstanding or extremely good. I like to define it as doing things that are common in ways that are uncommon, or getting ordinary things done in extraordinary ways. Excellence is the watch word of an experienced older prostitute.
The profession of a prostitute is the only career in which the maximum income is paid to the newest apprentice. The older a prostitute gets, the lower the income she can derive from her body. An older experienced prostitute is well aware that she cannot compete with the beauty, flair and youth of younger less experienced prostitutes. So she uses excellence in service delivery to make up for her age. If she has a room that men come to sleep with her in, she could make the bed special, make the bed spread more colourful, make her room smell nicer than others. She could even go as far as putting a fridge in her room with drinks for her clients. When she sleeps with the man, she does the ordinary things she used to do in extraordinary ways this time around to keep her clients coming back for more.
Intellect can get you a break but you need excellence to keep it on. In business, excellence will take you places, excellence will open doors for you, excellence will give your products and services the extra pinache.
The quickest way to expanding your business is by delivering ordinary products or services in extra ordinary ways. For example, you are into make up so you make up the bride and her associates (you guys call them brides maids..lol). You made them up so well that people can’t stop admiring their stunning looks. They ask them “please who made you up?, I’ll love them to make my friend up on her wedding day or her event”. Guess who gets the contract? YOU. Charles Gore said “You might not have the privilege of doing extraordinary things but please do the ordinary things extraordinarily well”. Go the extra mile for your clients and they won’t mind going the extra mile to reach you. If you give your clients what they can’t easily get elsewhere, they will keep coming back for more.

 

Reference:
The Prostitutes’ Approach To Business by Albert Femi Oduwole

10 Business Laws Learnt From Prostitutes: (Targeting and Territory)

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Prostitution is immoral and I am definitely not condoning its practice but all I want you to do is to open your mind and you will be shocked at the business trade secrets you can learn from prostitutes. This is a continuation of the series.
Read the first 2 business laws;
1 & 2) Determined Drive and Confident Approach

3. TARGETING: During my youth service days in Bayelsa State, there was this place called Hospital Road in Yenegoa where Bayelsa based prostitutes had their head quarters. I was passing that route home one of those days when I saw flashy cars pass by and girls rush out to get the attention of the men in these cars. I also noticed that men that walked by didn’t get as much attention as the men in the cars. It showed me that even prostitutes are smart enough to know that men pass men, money pass money. This is the power of targeting. Prostitutes have a knack sense of knowing the right places to be (places like functions, events, birthday parties, governorship programs) in order to get the type of men they desire to offer their services. What is your target? Who do you offer your good and services to? Because your target determines your location, your packaging and your presentation.
There are 4 types of customers in business according Fela Durotoye namely;

A. Can’t Afford and Not Willing To Buy: These are people that can’t afford the product and services you offer and are not willing to buy. Don’t waste your time with such people because they are time wasters. They will price and price and not buy anything.
B. Can’t Afford and Willing To Buy: These are people that can’t afford but are willing to buy. These are people that always want to buy on credit to pay back later or pay cheaper than the product or service is worth. For these people give them a discount or part payment (make sure the amount you collect is enough to keep you going should they fail to pay up the rest)
C. Can Afford and Not Willing To Buy: These are people that can afford your products and services but are not willing to buy. These once feel your products and services are not up to their standards. These are people you market, pursue, convince to give you a try and when they eventually do, make sure you render the greatest services to them.
D. Can Afford and Willing To Buy: These are people that can afford and are also willing to buy. These are customers buy not because they need it but because its a habit and there is money to spend. These are you biggest marketers. Make sure you demand at least three contacts from them. For example, you supply her lingerie, ask her for contacts of hers that would want lingerie like she does.
Most businesses are fond of targeting the wrong people. They stick with friends and family who will always under value your products, take things on credit and always owe you. Target the right people.

4. TERRITORIAL CLAIM: I remember visiting my cousin in Abuja and while on our night tour of the streets of the city, I came across places known to be prostitute spots where they are known to reside and transact their business. I was informed that a Government crack down on them made most of them flee from the area but most still hung around such areas waiting for customers to pick them up. No government names a street or corner after prostitutes but when you get to any notable town you hear of the red light district where prostitutes work. In Nigeria, such places include Viviana and Orbalende in Kaduna, Angle 90 in Ibadan, Palm grove in Warri, major night clubs and strip clubs in Victoria Island, Hospital road in Yenegoa. This is what I call territorial conquest.
Every business man must locate his territory and work on conquering it. If you run a laundry business then dream of having the best laundry business in your country. But as we all know we first start small by conquering the laundry business in your street, then expand to your city, then expand to your state. From the start of your business, set territorial conquest goals among others i.e from your street, to your city, to your state etc. It pays to have a global vision, don’t die a local champion.

Continuation:

5 & 6) Proper Packaging and Effective Advertising
7 & 8) Perfect Timing and Aggressive Marketing
9 & 10) Performance and Excellence

 

Reference:
The Prostitutes’ Approach To Business by Albert Femi Oduwole

10 Business Laws Learnt From Prostitutes: (Drive and Confidence)

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I have realized that we can learn more from people we consider menace to the society than they can learn from us. The armed robbers, the prostitutes, the ‘area boys’, the yahoo boys. All these people have so much potential but have invested their mind and value into wrong, immoral and illegal practices. A great man once said “a wise man learns more from a fool than a fool learns from a wise man”. In that same vein, a business executive can learn more from the prostitute’s approach to business than the prostitute will ever learn from the business executive. Prostitution is immoral and I am definitely not condoning its practice but all I want you to do is to open your mind and you will be shocked at the business trade secrets you can learn from prostitutes.
Prostitutes are women that sell their bodies for money by sleeping with men who in turn pay for their services. The prostitute’s business is the world’s oldest business. This is a business that most often goes without complimentary cards, bill boards, paper adverts, banners; yet keeps on thriving. Moliere said “Business is like prostitution. First you do it for love, and then for money.”

So in what ways can we learn from a prostitute’s approach to business;

1. DETERMINED DRIVE: No matter how much we despise what prostitutes do, they are still someone’s daughter, someone’s sister, someone’s aunty, someone’s cousin. They all have a drive to make enough money to take care of themselves. The prostitute knows that without consistent drive her bills, school fees, feeding would not be taken care of. So she walks the street, endures the displeasure of painful sex, endures the shame of prostitution, endures the guilt of such a reckless way of living all in a bid to stop begging for money but working for it. She loiters in the mall, attends parties, visits night clubs and hangs around everywhere. Some of them even work when they are not feeling too well, they work whether happy or sad, come rain come shine, they work whether business is booming or not. This is sheer determination in the face of all adversity. Do we have such determined drive for our businesses? or do we pack up at the slightest setback.
Every morning in Africa a gazelle wakes up and starts to run because it knows it must outrun the lion or it becomes the lion’s meal.
Every morning in Africa a lion wakes up and starts to run because it knows it must catch up with a gazelle or it will starve to death.
So it doesn’t matter if your a gazelle or a lion, when you wake up YOU BETTER START RUNNING. A dream without a drive will surely drown. We can judge a man’s ambition by whether he hates his alarm clock or love it.
Stop making excuses. Prostitutes know excuses would not put food on the table and money in their pockets so they keep on pushing. Like somebody said ‘we are all manufacturers; making goods, making trouble or making excuses’. Benjamin Franklin also said “He who is good at making excuses is never good at making anything else”. Any success worth having is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.

2. CONFIDENT APPROACH: I watch a lot of crime and investigation programs where prostitutes are abducted and killed by serial killers who come disguised as customers. Even in Nigeria where Nollywood has taught us that there are ritual killers everywhere, these girls still enter customer’s cars, go to places they have never been all in the quest for money. How can a woman have this much faith and assurance that her so called customer will not kill her. This is what I call a confident approach.
Bravery is the ability to perform with courage especially when scared half to death (General Omar Bradley). In business, the importance of confidence can never be overemphasized. No matter what you sell, you must sell it with confidence. It has been discovered that what people really buy is the confident emotion of the seller or the advertiser rather than the product itself. So no matter what you have to sell, get confident first then sales will follow.

Continuation:

3 & 4) Targeting and Territorial Claim
5 & 6) Proper Packaging and Effective Advertising
7 & 8) Perfect Timing and Aggressive Marketing
9 & 10) Performance and Excellence

 

Reference:
The Prostitutes’ Approach To Business by Albert Femi Oduwole