I recently read Akin Alabi’s book on How To Sell To Nigerians and I must say this is a book that anybody serious about making money in Nigeria and from Nigerians should read.
It explores topics like: How to make Nigerians want your products and services, The kinds of products and services Nigerians like to spend money on, How to easily make Nigerians like you and what you are selling, Why Nigerians are different from the rest of the world and how to deal with us etc
Today we discuss some of the key nuggets I discovered in the book
CREATE AN AWOOF OFFER
Nigerians like Awoof, which is a term used in Nigeria to represent crazy offers and is a normal tactic used by traders to entice buyers to their products. Akin Alabi recommends creating an irresistible offer that seems too good to be true. In his words:
“Nigerians would rather pay more when they feel they are ripping you off than pay less when they feel you are ripping them off.”
This should not be interpreted to mean making outlandish promises that you cannot fulfil but rather the idea is to sweeten the deal you are making to customers. E.g. offer money back guarantees, free delivery, buy one get one free etc
BUILD A LIST OF CUSTOMERS & FOLLOW UP
This fact is not applicable to only Nigerians and it has proved to be an effective tool that unfortunately most business owners ignore. The truth is that not all your customers will buy on the first date they come in contact with your brand. This is why followup is important. Get their phone number, email, Whatsapp number etc and try as much as possible to be in touch. The trick is not to overdo things and become a pest but consistently let them know you are still there and available to serve their needs
Nigerians like to buy from brands they trust and as a business owner you should not play with the trust element. Kudi Konsult is a company that offers a lot of online services one of the key challenges we face is this trust factor which emanates from the loads of scammers people have experienced online. To navigate this problem our company makes extra effort to gain trust by advertising our various locations and also getting our customers to give us reviews online. In whatever space you operate ensure you give your customers assurance, make sure you build the trust of your customers, make sure you have customer validations/reviews, make sure you are traceable, make sure you keep your promises.
PLAY ON THE FEAR FACTOR
Nigerians are known to be very fearful and this comes to play even when making buying decisions. When advertising your products you can experiment with putting some fear factor in the sales pitch. To buttress this point, Akin Alabi used an example of an advert for mobile phone chargers which plays on the fear of the customer.
19 YEAR OLD STUDENT SUFFERS SECOND DEGREE BURNS AFTER PHONE CHARGER EXPLODES (PUNCH, AUGUST 8 2020. PAGE 8)
WARNING: DO NOT BUY ANY MOBILE PHONE CHARGER UNTIL YOU READ THIS
OUR CHARGERS COME WITH 100% MONEY BANK GUARANTEE. IF IT SPOILS WITHIN 6 MONTHS, WE WILL RETURN YOUR MONEY TO YOU.
UNDERSTAND THE NIGERIAN MENTALITY
Nigerians are unique in their own way and as a business owner you need to understand their psyche. Some nuggets shared in the book include the fact that a lot of Nigerians are impatient and do not pay attention to details: A typical Nigerian is interested in the end result and not the process and this is manifested even in the responses to adverts. You take your time to craft an advert and put how customers can place orders but you still get people asking you how they can place an order. The trick is to exercise superhuman patience when dealing with Nigerian customers. Tolerate the dumb questions, take time to explain, repeat yourself over and over.
Almost all businesses today say they want to focus on customers’ needs and delight them with great offerings in order to make them buy. In doing this most businesses just focus on selling their products. They fail to understand that a fine line exists between selling to someone and making someone buy. The ability to sell anything comes down to knowing your buyer and the critical sales methodologies to reach them and this book is a good starting point to knowing your customer
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