17,000 BCE – The birth of trade, barter trade to be precise. Trade flourished as clans travelled the 7 seas to distant lands, carrying with them precious metals, stones, silk etc. to be exchanged for what them and their people needed; no monetary instruments. At best, and eventually more common above the exchange of goods, were precious metals (gold/silver) and stone as payment. Eventually governments formed and their regulation on trade birthed the currency we know today. As of today, we have caught a glimpse of what is to come with the rise of the unregulated (now) cryptocurrency – bitcoin, litecoin, ethereum… Not as many transactions, yet a promise.
Our 8-week-old pup coiled up like a worm, as thunder shook the windows and lightning lit up the night sky. He was positively petrified at the unfamiliar. It happened again a few days later. This time it caused him to clamber expeditiously, tail between his legs, to my daughter who cuddled him. Days later, it happened yet again but this time it seemed far more familiar. Now perplexed, he barked and moved towards the source of the sound. He began to understand the plethora of sounds around him and even distinguish a few of them, quickly adapting to his environment.
Hence, we think about the shift from EMOTION and INSTINCT to KNOWLEDGE and UNDERSTANDING. Underscore these 4 words. This will be the most important takeaway from this blog. In the past 3 centuries, beginning in the 18th C, the industrial revolution brought tremendous disruptive and transformative changes to our world.
Seen the movie “How to Train your Dragon”? I trained mine 35 years ago – a garden lizard. Being a curious little boy, I wondered how I was going to capture this majestic creature as it perked it’s handsome head up and gulped. Armed with a stick and a makeshift lasso, my mom’s sewing thread, I waited patiently in the garden with my brother till one peeked out from beneath a tuft of grass. Stealthily sliding the lasso over it’s little head, followed closely by a subtle yank, the little dragon was mine. Of course, no disrespect to animal lovers for I am one. This crude method, as simple as it sounds, came from a curiosity little boy with the thrill of a ride, amongst resolve, instinct, innovation, practice and collaboration.
Ever wondered why you go back, again and again to the same store, doctor, restaurant….is it the variety , the taste, the convenience, the person ? Likely, any or all of the above.
Fundamentally though it’s People behind everything. Whatever attracts you comes from the chemistry of people behind or in the front. In that lies the mystery and art of selling.
When I was 11 and every year thereafter, during my school’s summer breaks , I would immerse myself watching, participating and learning from my grand father and uncle who ran a regional distribution and retailing business of cigarettes , biscuits , chocolates etc., Saturday was the local town market day. The shop would be packed and people would jostle for space. My uncle would know most Customers by name. He would recite it in a particular tone/slang – different for different people, crack a joke or ask some relevant question that put a smile on the Customer’s face and got them talking….lighten the mood.