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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

How small businesses can prosper in Kenya as times get harder

The first article in a long series that will revolutionize your small business sales and volume of customers. Ensure you never miss a single article.

If you operate a small business in Kenya and indeed most of East Africa you already know that things are tough. Money is tight and getting tighter, customers have either become unpredictable or disappeared altogether.

Cheer up. I have some great news for you. The time for small businesses to shine has come. All you need to do is change your thinking a little.

The first rule you must bear in mind is really important.

People still spend money when times are hard it is just that their buying habits change

How do you behave when you have money and how do you behave when you are low on funds? Think about it for a minute and it will help you a great deal to understand your customers better and to solve many mysteries that may be dogging your small business just now.

These are some of the characteristics of people when cash is tight;

-    The usual wall of resistance that comes up around a person the minute somebody tries to sell them something grows more solid and thicker.

-    Some folks will even get irritated and angry that you dare try to sell them something. I once saw somebody almost punching a poor salesman. This resistance is harder to break for small business entrepreneurs or sales people who approach them.

-   When they pass your shop they will not dare enter or look in your direction if it is a stall for fear of being sold to. And yet in some cases they will be looking for exactly what you are selling.

In my book How to increase your sales and customers 10-fold in 30 days I give countless ideas on how to get round this problem. The bottom line is that you must change your mindset and adjust to the new realities that are already here.

Basically what you must do is to re-position yourself with the client from being in a position where you are selling them something and become the person who understands their problem and are capable of providing a solution.

People are eager to solve their problems and will gladly speak to somebody who looks like they understand and have the capability to help them. Understand that we all hate to be sold to, more so when times are tough.

In this article I will give you just one technique that can help you instantly do this. Instead of going out to sell put your order book away and instead go out to do some research.

Prepare a simple questionnaire designed to identify the most pressing problems facing your customers that are related to your line of business. Make it as thorough as possible so that you really get it. And then go and design a solution and call back the good person who helped you out with your research and give them a great solution. If the solution looks workable to them, they will not need any convincing to buy from you. It is as simple as that.

I have used this technique countless times with great success. It always works.

The initial resistance that I have always received from those I give this idea to is that it is too time-consuming. That one I dealt with quickly by having one of the best sales people go out for a week. One used the old technique and the other used my new one. At the end of the week the results spoke for themselves. The first person had the diary filled with numerous appointments and promises, had countless business cards and people's telephone numbers, BUT NO SALES. The second who had seen much fewer people had solid orders. You will find plenty of real life practical examples to illustrate this point in my book; Increase sales and customers 10-fold in 30 days. Get free details, selected chapters and sneak previews of the detailed book direct in your email inbox.


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