Christopher Columbus Was a Salesman

Many people do not realize the important role that sales people have played in America. America was discovered by a salesman. Christopher Columbus was looking for India and missed it by about 10,000 miles. Fortunately, he was a better salesman than he was a navigator!

If you question his sales credentials, consider this: He was an Italian in Spain with only one prospect to call on. If he missed the sale, he would have to swim home. That's pressure selling. Once aboard ship, he really had to "sell" in order to sail. Those sailors were going to throw him overboard and he kept saying, "It's just around the corner or over the horizon, let's sail one more day!" Then came that exciting call from the lookout, "Land ho!" and the most profitable sales call in history came to a close.

We were freed by a salesman. Think about it. Washington had to persuade the Colonists to leave their homes, farms, businesses, ship-building activities and fur trapping and go to war against the most powerful nation on earth. He had to be completely honest and tell them that if we won, he probably wouldn't have any money to pay them, and if we lost, they would be hung. That's selling!

I will confess to a certain degree of prejudice because I started selling vegetables on the streets of Yazoo City, Mississippi, when I was eight years old. Later, I sold peanuts in the downtown area. I was a salesman in a grocery store and on a paper route; then I was in direct sales for fifteen years. Today, I'm selling hope and ideas. Actually, everything is selling and everybody sells. Lowell Foletta said it well: "Our sales department is not the whole company, but the whole company is the sales department." So, no matter what your title or job description says, you are a sales person - just like Christopher Columbus. Buy that concept, sell with pride and I will SEE YOU AT THE TOP!


A talented author and speaker, Zig Ziglar has an appeal that transcends barriers of age, culture, and occupation. Since 1970, he has traveled over five million miles across the world delivering powerful life improvement messages, cultivating the energy of change. Since 1970, an extensive array of Ziglar audio, video, books, and training manuals have been utilized by small businesses, Fortune 500 companies, U.S. Government agencies, churches, school districts, prisons, and non-profit associations...

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