Nothing can be more frustrating than hitting the hot Nigerian clime, product in hand, a ready smile and high expectations only to be rebuffed, time and again by potential customers.
The truth is that consumers everywhere have requirements which must be met before persuading them to buy anything. If your marketing or sales strategy is not meeting these needs, it is probably the reason your product is not selling. As consumers, we are not just persuaded by the “price” of a product; we are moved by the benefits of the product and what it can do for us or how it makes us feel.
If you find that you are having difficulty in selling your product, you may want to consider the following as reasons for consumers’ unwillingness to buy, and evaluate how you can do better at marketing your product in a way that converts potentials into eager, repeat business customers.
They are not aware of your product
It’s not magic. Consumers cannot purchase products which they are unaware of. If you are marketing, but consumers still don’t know about your product, it may be time to evaluate why it’s not working. Are you targeting the wrong market per chance? You most probably are. Is your message reaching those who would have an interest in your product? Maybe not. It is important to remember that the solution is not always more marketing, because the problem may lie with the direction of your marketing efforts, and what vehicles you are using to deliver your message.
They do not understand the benefits of your product
Consumers don’t buy products solely based on price. Now, this does not mean price doesn’t matter, actually it does. However, consumers buy based on the benefits your product brings to them, in some cases, regardless of the price. If you asked your customers what the benefits of your product are, would they know? This is important. Your marketing must be centered on the benefits of your product in order for consumers to take an interest in purchasing it. Create a list of the top three benefits of your product and use those in your marketing campaign.
They do not feel your product has perceived value
No one will buy a product which they perceive as having no value. Why should customers value your product? You can use the benefits of your product to create a perceived value and it is that perceived value that helps in the sales of your product. If a customer cannot see the value, they will simply pass on to the next best alternative. You must create that perceived value in your next marketing message or else you could be broke sooner than expected.
They do not see how your product meets their needs
We’ve rambled on about benefits and perceived value, now let’s talk about needs. Do consumers know how your product meets their needs? Does it make their life easier, save them time, make them feel better, taller, thinner, sexier, more revered? If not, then it’s back to the drawing board, and don’t leave until you can actually tell them what needs your product satisfies. You have to tell them, don’t make them guess or come up with the answer on their own. Educate them on why they need your product or else someone will do a better job with their own product.
Your product is not accessible to them
Consumers cannot buy what is not available to them. If they hear about your product but it is not immediately available to be bought, then forget it. Consumers want ease in obtaining and using your product. How can you make your product more accessible to them? Is it putting it in more locations? Distributing your product differently? Perhaps it’s offering your product online (seriously, if you don’t have a business website by now, what are you really in business for? Duh!). Evaluate the accessibility of your product and see if you need to make changes.
No trust, no sale
It’s no longer news that our markets are flooded with inferior goods and products that hardly ever work. We live in a time where people are more conscious about the health and safety of the food and water they buy and consume. Every day, we learn of products and services that were paid for but never delivered. We live in a time of scams and conmen, and most people are increasingly suspicious of anything they buy unless it’s from a brand or business they trust.
Trust and credibility are very essential for success in today’s world of business. If you don’t have them, then you will surely have a liquidity problem.
Not enough ordering options
Give people as many ordering options as possible. Give them every possible way to order from you. Yes, accept credit cards, checks, money orders and other forms of electronic payments. Take orders by phone, e-mail, Web site, fax, mail, and pigeons with notes attached if possible. Make it easy to get their order, and make the sale.
Concrete reasons behind your freebies
Nigerians are some of the most suspicious people on earth. They want to know why you’re giving them a freebie and how long will your freebie remain accessible to them. When using free stuff to lure people, always be upfront with them about your intentions. You might be surprised that even if the product is about to expire, as long as there’s a need and perceived value for your product, people will still buy, and by the carton–load. Remember, “No trust, no sale”.
I am sure this is an over flogged horse, but the truth is that people are inherently lazy and overwhelmed with work, play, the wife and kids, etc. Many potential customers are interested in your product, but they put off buying it till later and eventually forget about it. Woo, court, beg, anything but threaten them to buy now. Throw in a freebie, a discount, ‘limited quantity available’ offer, or some dreamed up deadline if you must, but make the sale!
Poor Customer Service
Trust me on this one, if you get your after sales service wrong, everything else will go right out the window with it. In this day and age, customers must feel the impact of your product long after they have experienced its perceived benefits, and that means having exceptional after-sales personnel with a ready smile and a willingness to truly help the customer. But also remember, the front end counts just as much; employ good people, pay and train them well and teach them, I mean actively teach them, how to be polite, especially to first time customers.
It’s a jungle out there people, and the lions and other predators that are ready to adapt to ever changing circumstances will survive the harsh realities of business… good luck.
About the Author
Whenever he is up nights, Brain Essien faffs around the internet gathering material for detective novels he is not sure when he’ll ever publish. He likes to play investment and brand strategist in the mornings and website architect/builder in the afternoons. On the weekends he likes to throw on a few apparels and gadgets and go bounce people out of their own parties if they become a handful. Besides that, he loves reading detective novels, building muscle, daredevil racing, video games, shadow chess and cooking.
130 farmers to receive seed funding of N100,000 each
The target of the programme is to adopt farmers in 774 LGAs across the country.
The National Information Technology Development Agency has kick-started a job and wealth creation programme where 130 farmers will each receive seed funding of N100,000. The programme will be supervised by the Federal Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy.
According to a statement from the agency, the National Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture (NAVSA) programme is in line with the government’s drive to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty, and it will start with 130 farmers in Jigawa state.
In line with President @MBuhari's administration drive to lift 100m Nigerians out of poverty, @NITDANigeria, under the supervision of @FMoCDENigeria kick starts job and wealth creation programme by adopting 130 farmers on National Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture (NAVSA). pic.twitter.com/Z4cWdrlQgs
— NITDA Nigeria (@NITDANigeria) June 29, 2020
The target of the programme is to adopt farmers in 774 LGAs across the country, open the platform to all agriculture ecosystem players with access to information, facilitate and improve productivity, reduce the cost of production, and facilitate access to local and international markets.
With all of this in place, it is expected that the farmers will be able to build sustainable business models and digital business opportunities that will create not less than 6 million well-paying jobs in the next 10 years.
“NAVSA Platform is aimed at digitalising agriculture to drive Digital Economy, as part of President Buhari’s agenda to leverage on technology and innovation to revolutionise the agriculture value chain,” the statement read.
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Among other things, the farmers will be empowered with a digital platform, smart devices (tablets), connectivity for data and calls, Digital agripreneurship skills, and enrolment with telecom operators and the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) for identification.
All of these will be given to them at the end of the programme, which will last from July 1 to July 13, 2020.
Business owners will now get CAC certificate with TIN
This will also allow them to easily request loans and credit facilities from financial institutions.
As part of the Ease Of Doing Business Initiative, the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) will now work with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to issue Tax Identification Numbers (TIN) along with the Certificate of Incorporation.
This will save companies and small business owners the troubles of applying separately to the FIRS for their Tax Identification Numbers.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) on Monday, June 29, and seen by Nairametrics.
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The statement reads in part “Certificates of Incorporation of companies registered under part A of the CAMA will henceforth carry Tax Identification Numbers (TIN) issued by the FIRS”.
With this development, companies and business owners can now proceed to open a corporate account upon receiving their Certificate of Incorporation, rather than waiting another week or more for the issuance of Tax Identification Numbers.
This also allows them to easily request loans and credit facilities from financial institutions and dispenses the need to visit the FIRS office.
For the revenue collection agency, the development is set to improve the accuracy of its database of registered businesses operating in the country and can aid it to widen its revenue net.
How FG plans to support Women-owned MSMEs to recover from the pandemic
The impact of the on pandemic micro, small and medium enterprises has been quite massive.
The Federal Government of Nigeria is set to roll out palliatives to assist women-owned medium and small businesses (MSME’s) recover from the impact of the pandemic.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen, in Abuja during the virtual E-launch of the National Survey on the impact of COVID-19 on women-owned businesses in Nigeria, monitored by NAN.
According to Tallen, the survey captured trends and patterns of the losses caused by the pandemic on women-owned businesses, and will now guide the government’s move to revive the affected businesses.
The impact of the pandemic on micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) has been quite massive, and resulted in unforeseen losses for business owners, she noted.
“We are all currently experiencing the effects, which have crippled the supply chain of businesses, with dire consequences on MSMEs, where the majority of women’s owned businesses are situated,” she said.
She noted that the government had commenced the implementation of the findings of the survey, through the ongoing UN Women Assisted Palliative Distribution Project, targeted at poor women in 17 states of the federation.
In addition, the ministry of women affairs is also set to scale-up some projects for women in National Empowerment Fund (NaWEF), Government Empowerment and Enterprise Programme (GEEP) and the Business Development Fund for Women (BUDFOW).
Other areas include the ECOWAS and Access Bank 50 Million Women Speak Platform Project (50MWSPP), the Trust Fund agreement with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) to implement the HP-LIFE entrepreneurship and job creation project.
Tallen said further that the ministry would also engage with the Nigeria for Women Project (NFWP), and conduct a mapping of state-level interventions on COVID-19.
She also encouraged policymakers, development partners, and donor agencies to adopt the report’s recommendation for the immediate and post COVID-19 responses for women entrepreneurs.
“The Ministry is engaging with States, relevant government institutions, NGOs, business groups, PWDs cooperative societies, elderly cooperative groups, and women-focused groups to achieve this.
“I want to encourage our partners to not only stop here but let us together again look at the possibility of conducting a follow-up survey to track the progress of women entrepreneurs recovery.
The survey was conducted by NACCIMA and SME.NG, and it contained recommendations in retooling policies to address both immediate and post COVID-19 strategies as well as the way forward.