If A Baboon Can Do It...

I recently spent a couple of hours in the wonderful company of a baboon troop, one of eleven around South Africa’s Cape Point Peninsula. I was fascinated not only by our cousin’s behaviour, but just as much by the story surrounding the fight to protect them.

It seems that as man encroaches upon their habitat, they’ve become seen as ‘problem animals’. Literally backed into a corner, their raids on human land have been greeted with the ultimate sanction.

Here’s six sales tips from the work of Jenni to protect the Chacma Baboons.


From what I can gather, Jenni’s passion was stirred when a troop of 18 baboons were all shot dead. They were culled because someone got irritated by frequent raids into a village. The raids though, were in fact only being done by a lone single baboon. The shooting of all 18 was therefore needless and savage. Jenni strove to educate the locals and protect the baboons through management, with monitors to keep them away from people. Can you put your latest sales campaign into such a compelling call-to-arms?

Remove Demarcation

Dealing with the National Park authority is an on-going challenge. They feel that anything that happens outside their boundaries isn’t their problem. With baboons though, they appear wrong. The issue is around pine trees. Baboons, as I can now testify, love the pine nuts. Yet an unmanaged campaign to remove all non-indigenous fauna from the park destroyed a favourite food source. This encourages the baboons to congregate on the borders of the National Park, where the trees have not been cut down, but, as you’ve probably guessed, the borders are next to villages. Where does someone’s action in your prospect buying team have implications beyond its borders?


A stroke of fortune occurred when a vocal enemy of the baboons complained when he heard one baboon referred to by a nickname. He was annoyed that they were being humanised. Every baboon was then named. What scope lies for personalising your bid language?

Inaction Consequence

A government officer was procrastinating on a key decision. The unreasonable delay was frustrating the baboon’s friends. This exploded the day somebody needlessly shot a baboon – a shooting that a positive decision would have avoided. They picked up the shot animal, went to the offices, and put it on the desk of the person concerned. How dramatic is the urgency you can show for your proposal?

Special Events

George is almost 21. Although no longer an alpha male, he is still respected in his troop and is enjoying a few years longer than the normal mid-to late-teen lifespan. To celebrate this upcoming big anniversary, a special fundraiser is being held in his honour. What event can grab your prospect’s attention?

Awareness then Action

Fans of “aida” take note. From the very start, the protection team sought to raise awareness alone. Only after a groundswell was created, did they begin to ask for action. They felt that this was the only way and worked well.

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