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I Am a Salesperson
by Robert Stevenson

I am proud to be a salesperson because more than any other person I, and millions of others like me, built America.

The people who build a better mousetrap - or better anything - would starve to death if they waited for customers to beat a pathway to their door. Regardless of how good, or how needed the product or service might be, it has to be sold.

Eli Whitney was laughed at when he showed his cotton gin. Edison had to install his electric light free of charge in an office building before anyone would even look at it. The first sewing machine was smashed to pieces by a Boston mob. People scoffed at the idea of railroads. They thought that even traveling thirty miles an hour would stop the circulation of the blood! McCormick strived for fourteen years to get people to use his reaper. Morse had to plead before ten Congresses before they would even look at his telegraph. The public didn't go around demanding these things; they had to be sold!

They needed thousands of salespeople, trailblazers, pioneers, people who could persuade with the same effectiveness as the inventor could invent. Salespeople took these inventions, sold the public on what these products could do, taught customers how to use them, and then taught business people how to make a profit from them.

As a salesperson I've done more to make America what it is today than any other person you know. I was as vital in your great-great-grandparents' day as I am in yours, and I'll be just as vital in your great-greatgrandchildren's day. I have educated more people; created more jobs; taken the drudgery from the laborer's work; given more profits to business people; and have given more people a fuller and richer life than anyone in history.

I've dragged prices down, pushed quality up, and made it possible for you to enjoy the comforts and luxuries of automobiles, radios, electric refrigerators, televisions, and air-conditioned homes and buildings. I've healed the sick, given security to the aged, and put thousands of young men and women through college. I've made it possible for inventors to invent, for factories to hum, and for ships to sail the seven seas.

How much money you find in your pay envelope next week, and whether in the future you will enjoy the luxuries of pre-fabricated homes, stratospheric flying airplanes, and a new world of jet propulsion and atomic power, depends on me. The loaf of bread that you bought today was on a baker's shelf because I made sure the farmer's wheat got to a mill, that the mill made the wheat into flour, and that the flour was delivered to your baker.

Without me the wheels of industry would come to a grinding halt. And with that, jobs, marriages, politics, and freedom of thought would be a thing of the past.

I AM A SALESPERSON, and I'm both proud and grateful that as such I serve my family, my fellow man, and my country.

© Robert Stevenson. All rights reserved.

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