What I love about traveling is the chance to spend time in a culture different than your own and getting to know people with a different experience and point of view. It is also interesting to guess and discuss what others do for a living. I was recently traveling in Prague in the Czech Republic, a city with a deep history and heritage hundreds of years older than the first colonies in the United States. As I wandered the city I wondered: what do people here do for a living? Certainly there are people serving tourists and in retail, and of course these are the most visible to someone like me stumbling from place to place overwhelmed by the history around me, but I realized that what everyone there does for a living is what everyone does everywhere else: sales and customer service.
Seriously, are there other jobs in the world (when you really get down to it?). First, you generate leads: either by yelling at a tourist walking along the street, showing them a painting or building your brand outside of the experience itself (how about an advertisement in a book you bought back in the United States?). Once you have the lead you need to convince them of the value of what you are offering – product or service – and differentiate it from what your competition is doing (our meat is 300 grams versus their 200 … certainly they are less pricey but if you are hungry from all your walking…) Last like everywhere else in the world excellent service is a must. We considered going back to several places based on service alone – even in a city where you could spend months and not try every destination or restaurant.
It is like the old saying goes — “It’s the world’s oldest profession —— Sales.” What did you think it was?