What Is The History Of Salesmanship?


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Shane Richardson Profile
The first clear examples of salesmen, in the sense we think of today, would be in the nineteenth century across much of Europe. At this time, pedlar men and women would travel around different areas selling their goods. These goods could be anything from fresh fruit and vegetables to leather goods and woven baskets. This is quite possibly the earliest example of cold calling and door to door sales.

These traveling sales people were often reliant upon their ability to sell a large quantity of items and a large variety of goods in order to make enough money for food and shelter. Haggling/bartering was common place in this type of sales and often people would exchange their goods rather than pay money.

Moving on from this, the first examples of a more organized and recognized sales movement was in the USA during the early twentieth century. This developed due to a number of factors including a more stable economy, the introduction of credit as well as a new set of laws to protect buyers and sellers in the marketplace.

During this time there were many hundreds of large companies which developed in the USA which focused highly on selling. The economic situation and the newly imposed laws prompted this development and the huge growth of such companies continued through the coming years.

Moving on to more recent developments, we have the actual recognition of the salesman as a very difficult and specific role. A good salesman is worth their weight in gold and companies will pay top salaries to their top sellers. There are many courses in sales now and big companies will send their employees on such sales courses to ensure they maximize their ability.

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