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The second oldest profession?

Eze group SalesHere a short contribution from my colleague Bruce Drexel, Bruce is director of Corporate Affairs at The EZE Group. Here he speaks warmly of, and in praise of his colleagues at  Regency Shores .

It’s commonly agreed which profession could be referred to as ‘the oldest profession’, but there’s a lot of disagreement as to what is the second oldest profession.
Since Joshua sent 2 spies out to reconnoitre the walls of Jericho (where they stayed in the ‘guest house’ of Rahab a follower of the oldest profession), citing this Bible story people have referred to spying as the second oldest profession and a whole raft of commentators have named their chosen profession as the second oldest, from fisherman to cowboys and among them Ronald Reagan, who called politics the second oldest profession.
But no, neither spying nor politics are as basic to human survival, as long lasting or as a necessary grease to the most basic of economies as my profession – selling.
Even the most basic transaction of the most very basic nature, need that extra little push (or tug) of salesmanship. When our neo-lithic ancestor first decided to barter his finely carved antler horn for a beaver pelt and then to his horror found that his neighbour had got 2 beaver pelts for his carved antler horn, the onus has been on our fellow man to get the most value for what he’s got.
Selling is a much maligned profession, but people forget selling is the very basic building block to the world economy. Salesmen have helped not only shape the economy but shape the world. It was salesman or as they were known back then traders, that opened up the planet.
It was the salesman (traders) looking for new products that discovered the continents of America, Africa, Australia. Fur traders did there bit in mapping inhospitable Siberia and the jungles of New Guinea seemingly never to be charted (after countless and well provisioned Victorian expeditions ended in, sometimes cannibalistic, failure) were only opened up by 2 Australian prospectors hoping to barter (sell for profit) their trade goods.
It’s plain to see that, what had been impenetrable to; scientists, explorers and the military, was just new, and as yet unassigned, territory to our intrepid brothers in sales. The mountainous, malaria infested, head-hunter ridden, jungles of New Guinea were seen by Europeans for the first time, just a few years before my birth. This says much for good old fashioned hard work , fearlessness and salesmanship- the 3 go hand in hand. Indeed it took some level of salesmanship not to end up with one’s head shrunk in the New Guinea of the 1920’s.
We have much to thank the salesman for but society and certainly the arts have portrayed a life in sales as a dark stressful calling (just think Death of a Salesman, or Glengarry Glenross and you’ll get the picture). But marketing is a necessity of business life, and when things slow down or people don’t buy what they should be buying, who is called for?
Yes, once again, it’s the salesman to the rescue, take for example Stalinist Russia, even the collectively minded Soviets realised that people never bought life Assurance, although it’s a much needed product and so allowed it’s sale to be the only commission only profession permitted. How many grieving Svetlanas and Irinas have a competent Insurance man to thank for their comfortable widowhood?
As the great salesman and public speaker (I highly recommend you find him on Youtube) Zig Ziglar said “Nothing happens until someone makes a sale.” Wise words indeed, so this whole economy we enjoy, the fruits of exploration, the choice of products and in the final analysis the ability to see the benefits of something, only after it has been explained to you by someone knowledgeable about that product. All of these flow from one thing – the much maligned and sometimes derided salesman.
Bruce Drexel



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