9 Business Lessons to learn from a bus conductor
In the previous episode, we looked into how a typical Lagos bus conductor uses the sales process.
We explained how they use the
- Social Proof
- Discount/pre-launch offer
- Commitment fee
- Lead generation
- Sales Target
- Follow up process
- Understanding the target audience
In this episode, we will continue with the other sales processes the local conductors in Lagos use to drive up sales. There are 9 lessons to learn today. So get ready to be blown away.
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Let’s dive in
1. Persuasion lessons from a bus conductor
Let’s start with a typical bus conductor’s analogy
I noticed that there’s a way a bus conductor will look at me and I’d start thinking, this guy wants to get to his destination quickly. Of course, I aim to get to my stop quickly too, but as humans, I’d always want to stare back and then move to search for other buses, with the mindset of comparing the price, but most times I end up in the very same bus.
These guys are just so good at persuading you without coming off as desperate. You’ll mostly hear them say this line
“My brother! enter the bus, e dey go now”.
Do you know why I’d always enter?
Because after that line, it’s as if the driver and the bus conductor already practiced this method, immediately he finishes saying that the bus will move, and I just wouldn’t want to wait longer at the stop so I’ll board it.
This is the power of precise persuasion without coming off as desperate.
So our first sales process in today’s episode is PERSUASION
In the business world, you need to learn how to persuade. Effective persuasion is a good way to convert leads to sales.
Persuasion is an important sales process, it’s being intentional about the Passengers.
You can persuade without acting desperate.
There are various ways to use the persuasion strategy to drive up sales.
Strategies to persuade leads to take action
One of the best ways to persuade is to make your customer feel the urgency.
A popular catchphrase amongst sellers is “Only 10 slots available”.
This phase works well with an organization or a seller that already has a good reputation because customers wouldn’t want to miss out on the offer.
Another phrase is ” 5 gone, 15 to go”.
- Build trust
Another way to use the persuasion strategy is to build trust. Integrity matters in every business.
A good way to build trust is to give Value. Give three times before you ask once.
When you give value for free, your leads will develop trust in you or your brand. This is why you see a lot of coaches do free classes before they even bother to sell.
People like stories a lot!
Use storytelling in advertising your product. The story should be about your customer’s pain points and ways to solve their issues. Tell a compelling story and you’d be shocked at how massive the turnover will be.
“Persuasion isn’t deceiving people to buy but bringing customers to the knowledge that they need your offer”.
2. How conductors use CTA
Every form of business would eventually have to face off against competition! And this can be better portrayed in the life of a local bus in Lagos.
I noticed there are always a few people moving around the city of Lagos around noon time – usually from 12 pm to 3 pm because people are probably at work by then, and students are probably still in their classrooms too. So there are fewer passengers for the bus conductors. Right
If at that time I tried to approach the bus stop, about two bus conductors will come over each trying to get me to board his own bus.
But guess what? I won’t answer them yet.
I was trying to get a clearer view of the situation of both buses while one of the bus conductors was trying to cajole me into entering his bus but all these were cut short as the other bus conductor directly ushered me into his bus. He will drag me into his bus.
This act in the business world is called Call to Action.
“Action they say speaks louder than voice”
Your call to action as an entrepreneur is also important. It doesn’t have to be unnecessarily long, just a few words can do the magic.
Your call to action must be clear, not ambiguous; you don’t just use any call to action, your call to action must be compelling. like;
- Click now to buy”
- Get the pdf version
- Speak to our team
Your call to action must be unique. Check the color, and the structure, make it unique and don’t forget to position your call to action properly.
Personalized CTAs convert leads more than untargeted CTA. For example
Start my free 30 days vs start your free 30 days has a 90% increase
Ask people to take action. Some people won’t if you don’t ask them to.
Another important sales process you gonna learn is;
3. Competition is inevitable
Another lesson we going to learn as an entrepreneur is
The market is large, we’re supposed to be competitors, not enemies.
Healthy competition is the best land of competition
As said earlier, competition is common in every type of business, unless you are inventing a new type of product or offering a special service and you have the patent right on it.
Competition is an important tactic in the business world. It’s very important as well as inevitable.
Except you have monopolized your offer, competitors will always keep coming.
- IBM was a lion when the chicken Apple was born. Blackberry died in the process
- General Motors was a giant when Tesla was born.
- Nairabet started first in Nigeria. How many betting companies do we have now?
You have to be proactive to survive as an entrepreneur. Never settle for less; always make your product better every day, and don’t forget to be proactive.
Give priority to making your team better as an entrepreneur
Also, learn how to collaborate with people of like-mind, people of the same field as an entrepreneur, and learn how to empower people especially youths as an entrepreneur.
Moreover, every business is definitely going to face competition but compete healthily as an entrepreneur.
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4. The pricing masterclass hosted by a bus conductor
There was a day I was so desperate to get a bus – it was the rush hour period. Unfortunately for me, the bus stop was filled with people. If I was to guess, there were probably over a hundred people at the bus stop going to the same destination.
If an empty bus comes in our direction, over a hundred people will rush towards it, but I noticed that these bus conductors wouldn’t stop their bus for people to board. They’d slow down then move past all the passengers and while the passengers are busily shouting their destination, they’d observe the attitude of the passengers. So, if the majority are going to the same place, then the bus conductor will start calling that particular stop!
I reckon it is the mind games they play so they can increase the price but when I got home and analyzed their actions, the discovery was shocking that the local bus conductors understand leveraging on pricing. Increasing the price when the circumstance is right!
Pricing is another big sales process in the business world.
Some of you underprice your offer because you feel leads will not be able to pay or you think it is too much.
You need to understand the right price for your offer; you need to learn about hiking prices at the necessary time. Economists will say “the higher the price, the higher the quantity to be supplied”.
I read a story on Twitter months ago. This guy increased his price by 1000% and added a little more value to his course.
Guess what? He sold more with these little changes.
How would you wish to make a revenue of 500k?
Will you rather sell a product for ₦10,000 to 50 people or at ₦1000 to 500people?
The most important thing to note as a salesperson is that customers want value!
5. Leverage on price reduction
Another important sales process is leverage on price reduction;
Economists do say and I quote “the lower the price, the higher the quantity demanded”
Understand your market as an entrepreneur. Know what your customers need, understand the economic situation of the country, and leverage on price. It’s easier to sell when the price is low than when it’s high.
Understand the market’s needs and leverage on it.
A friend of mine created a course and priced it at ₦10,000 but it was difficult for him to sell – a premium course for that matter
So he broke the course into 6 offers, ₦2500, ₦4000, ₦15000, etc., and his conversion get better.
Funny enough, the full package used to be 10k but with this, he increased it to ₦15k
It’s widely believed that you sell more goods at lower prices and less at higher prices. I don’t completely agree with this though
6. Take your business to the next level – scaling
Automaton and scaling
Every known business enterprise today started from a place of one or two customers to the now multitude of customers. Having a great outlook is very important in every business.
It is advisable to start small but not stay Small. Imagine if there wasn’t an airplane or a helicopter, it would have been hard to transport goods from one country to another.
Automation helps you scale easily. Imagine if you have to go to a library anytime you need to learn something as small as the meaning of a word.
Look at what Google, smartphones, and Internet have done.
We are now in a global market. Serving the world is easier.
Automation helps you work faster and better; be creative, think of automation because we’re in a global world. Think of how to serve the world better
Think of the problems your competition is facing, and proffer solutions to them.
7. Upsell, downfall and cross-sell
Upselling is like a “push-up”, Making your customers want to need more of the initial bargain, it’s increasing the taste of your customer. You needed to learn upselling as an entrepreneur.
Cross-selling is like adding extra value to what your prospective customers are needing. For example, a typical Nigerian person who wants to eat bread will take it alongside either beans or soft drinks or jam, etc. The beans are the cross-sell here.
Think as an entrepreneur, and ask yourself, apart from what I’m offering, what other thing can go with what i have to offer so that your customers will enjoy it to the maximum?
Imagine eating ordinary bread with anything else, it wouldn’t make sense!
Down selling is the reduction in price and value of your offer. Not everybody will be able to purchase or get what you’re offering at premium prices, so in cases like this, you down-sell. Remove specific things and sell those things alone. Or you can decide not to go as deep as the original version.
8. How conductors use affiliate marketing tactics
As an entrepreneur, affiliating is really important. It’s a kind of connection between a buyer and a customer together. You are the middle man and you get paid for that.
Your job is to connect people to what they need and get a percentage of the sale price.
Affiliate marketing works in several ways but most times, people affiliate for digital products. Realtors and car marketers are affiliate marketers. We also have affiliate marketers selling products on eBay, Jumia, and so on.
If you want to engage in affiliate marketing, you need to learn sales and marketing.
See you in our next episodes
The team behind this Podcast are
- Podcast Host: Quadri Micheal (Mikelomaa)
- Video Producer: Olapade Al-Ameen
- Writing assistant: Joy Eberechi Onuoha and Olajide Oguntimirin Oluwamayorkun
- Team Support: Jimisewa