Hello Distinct, this is Mikelomaa from The Voice Of Tumi Podcast, TVTP. Today, I bring to you a new podcast Season titled
Lessons From The Street
Every episode in this Season 1 will enrich you with valuable lessons you can learn from the street.
The first episode will set the pace. I want you to imagine a typical Lagos bus conductor as an entrepreneur, what came to your mind?
You’ll learn from this episode how a bus conductor uses a sales process.
But before moving into what and how bus conductors get their passengers, we’ll first look at what a sales process Is.
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NB: (This is a detailed summary of the aforementioned podcast).
What you’ll learn today
You will learn what we discovered from observing local bus conductors faring people from Ikeja to other destinations using various sales processes.
You might be wondering how these people use these; that’s what I am about to show you.
What is a sales process?
Some entrepreneurs don’t know what a sales process is. Even some salespeople are oblivious to the process of generating sales.
Most businesses sell goods but they don’t have a defined process – a step-by-step guide to make people move from where they are to buy from them.
Aside from conventional sales, the sales process makes it easier to convert leads to customers.
Without a sales process, a typical salesperson would respond to a customer based on his mood. For example, if I’m having a bad day, it’ll most likely show in my response and that could drive the intending customer away.
A typical Bus conductor display in Nigeria
Let me show you a typical example of how bus conductors in Nigeria use a sales process. I know you might not be from Nigeria, that’s why I will show you how this works here and lessons to learn. Also, sales process principles are the same everywhere.
Now let’s say I’m going to Ikeja and I want to take a bus from Agege, you’ll hear something like
“Ikeja Ikeja Ikeja, Oshodi Ikeja Oshodi Ikeja Oshodi Oshodi Oshodi Ikeja Oshodi Oshodi Maryland Maryland”
This is the bus conductor calling the attention of the potential customers to the various stops along the path to the last stop.
This is how it works here in Nigeria, especially on the public buses in Nigeria.
7 Sales and marketing lessons to learn from a conductor
In this lesson, you will learn at least 20 positive steps, and 4 negative steps some of these conductors use to get passengers. You will learn 7 in this episode.
Let’s dive in
1. How a conductor uses Social proof
If you visit a bus park, you’ll always notice some people sitting in the passenger seat of the bus. Some of these people are not passengers; some of them are other bus drivers acting as passengers just so incoming passengers wouldn’t think the bus is empty or that there are still more spaces left before it is filled.
They do this because no passengers will want to get into an empty bus; no one will want to be the first.
When people start coming in numbers, these people (the bus drivers) would then leave the bus for their respective places.
The bus conductors in using this tactic called social proof.
What is Social Proof?
Social proof was coined in 1984 by author Robert Cialdini in his book “Influence”. Here is what the book says about social proof
People follow the crowd a lot. Humans naturally want to know what others are doing.
A typical example could be a person who checks into his Twitter app and sees a topic trending. He will want to learn about the trend and maybe make his input. He becomes interested in the topic because other people are talking about it.
Business owners and salesmen have to make customers see that truly people are using their products. Show intending buyers that there are existing customers. This goes to show that such a business is providing value.
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Ways to come up with social proofs
Social proof is very important and there are various ways to come up with social proofs to generate more sales;
- Use the influence of expert / Celebrity
Oftentimes in the business world, you’ll hear of businesses signing contracts with various celebrities to act as their brand ambassador.
People, most especially fans of such celebrities tend to believe that whatever their idol uses is of quality and would most likely be willing to buy such products. This is called influencer marketing.
Also, when an expert in an industry approves your products mostly through the digital space like Twitter, Facebook, and the likes, this act brings others to acknowledge your product and this is a very effective way of boosting sales. For example, if a doctor recommends or shares a testimonial about a drug, it will go a long way to influence the buying decision of intending buyers.
- Users testimonies
This consists of positive feedback from actual users, like Amazon reviews, Google reviews, Facebook reviews, and YouTube product reviews. If I love a product, I’ll post about it or leave a review because I know my reviews make a difference.
On Jumia, buyers ask questions about the product that the description can’t answer. So they check out for reviews.
Most people would check reviews about a product, an app, or a service before investing their money, time, or data.
It’s important to always tell users of your product to say something about your product or service and as long as you provide quality, then this is a very good way to build up sales.
Don’t forget to ask for quality testimonials
2. How a conductor uses price reduction to get more passengers
This is another means conductors use to get passengers, whereby they reduce their price for the first set of people that board their bus.
In the business world, this is called a pre-launch offer or discount price.
If you just start a business or you are about to sell a product for the first time, don’t focus on profit. Rather, focus on getting social proof.
If you have to reduce the price of your product to a very ridiculous amount, do it if it won’t affect the cost of production or kill the business.
Both Pepsi and Coca-Cola company had at a point reduced the price of their product to stay clear of the competition. They might be at loss at some point but they did this to take their competitors out of business.
Also, giving a discount offer on a good Friday, your birthday, etc will help you make sales.
3. How conductors collect commitment fee
A typical conductor in Lagos will ask you for money even before you start the journey. They don’t allow you to go halfway before they ask for money.
They do this so the passenger won’t have a cause to leave their bus or change their mind.
Buying decisions is hard. In a minute, someone somewhere wants to buy something and in another minute, he has changed his mind.
Humans are irritational in decision-making. There are times we buy things we don’t necessarily need. We can wake up one day and decide we want something right now and go for it.
This is why you need to get your intending customers to pay a commitment fee as soon as possible.
If you are selling a luxury item, let’s say something expensive, you can break it into a subscription, where they will have to pay a commitment fee or pay based on installment.
Tell them to pay a certain amount to start. Once they pay, they are more likely to become committed and find a way to complete it.
This is good for luxury items but you can also use it in selling your product.
Get your leads to be committed. Find a way to implement a commitment fee strategy.
Another example is when you see an advert for a landed property with the price of fifteen million. The real estate agency could ask you to pay a certain amount first to get you committed to buying the property and then ask you to pay the balance installment.
This drives up sales as it helps both parties, and for the customers, it relieves them of the burden of having to pay a large sum once.
4. How does a conductor follow up
Most times, you see bus conductors running after potential passengers to get them to board their bus. When they see someone, they try to convince the passenger to join their bus by telling the passenger that their price is lesser than what others are offering or they are the only ones going to their (the passenger’s) destination.
In the business world, it is called follow-up.
Most salespeople don’t follow up, and this attitude leads to low sales conversion.
What is a follow-up in sales?
A sales follow-up is what you do after initial contact to encourage the prospective customer to take action. This could be in the form of a telephone call or email.
Let me give you a stat to chew by marketing doughnuts.
Make sure you follow them up to 5 times before you leave them.
While doing a follow-up, what you do is what matters the most. Make sure you’re giving valuable help in the follow-up process.
Nurture them in a way that they will understand that what you have to offer is extremely important but don’t make it look like you’re desperate to sell your products or service.
Talk to me
Do you struggle to sell your offers?
What are the challenges you face as a business owner?
Drop your response in the comment box below or preferably, click the WhatsApp icon showing on your screen.
Also, Personalize the messages you send to them. When you send them a follow-up message, say their name so that they can know that you are talking directly to them.
If they don’t show interest in all the values that you’ve given out, then maybe they aren’t your customers.
5. How Conductors maximize their sales target
These conductors make sure that every row in the bus is occupied. You will hear them say something like
“There is still one space not occupied at the back. Please, you guys should adjust so that the last person can sit”
This is what maximizing sales target is about.
Some businesses don’t even have a sales target. If you don’t have a sales target then there is something that you’re not doing right.
Read the following carefully
- 50% of your prospects are not a good fit for your offer.
- 60% of your customers say no 4 times before saying yes.
- 10% conversion rate is extremely high. In other words, if 100 people come in as prospects and you get at least 6 persons to buy then you’re good.
Do you see why you need to create a strategy?
If you’re targeting 100 persons in 1 month to buy your offer, you need to have about 2000 persons click on your advert. This is just an example.
With your sales target, you will be able to know the strategy to meet the target.
6. How a conductor generates leads
A conductor can sight someone from afar and wait till the person gets close or run down to ask if the person is going his way.
Some salespersons don’t know how to generate leads.
There are four major ways of generating leads;
- Lead magnet
This is what you do to attract your potential customers. Put out free offers and continue to give them free values until you make sales. When you give them free offers, you attract them and keep them eager until you make sales.
A typical example of this is a fisherman who uses food on his hook as bait and then casts his hook into the river. The fish in the river sees the food and jumps right at it not knowing it’s falling prey to a bigger fish outside.
- Paid advert
This is another way to generate leads, by putting your offer out there for people to see. Pay for Instagram ads, Facebook ads, etc. If you know anywhere your target audience is, put your offer there even if you have to pay to access them.
- Organic traffic
Organize free webinars. You can tell participants to share your free offers with their cycle of influence.
Also, engage in forums, Facebook groups and create valuable content consistently.
Creating content and marketing it very well can bring you leads without paying to get them. You should learn more about content marketing.
- Influencer marketing
Pay celebrities to advertise your product.
This is called influencer marketing
With influencer marketing, you can get as many people as possible to buy your offer immediately unlike other methods of acquiring leads.
7. A conductor understands his target audience and their behaviour
Let’s say I want to take public transport but the spot where I’ll have to sit is at the back, I might decide not to board that bus. I would rather wait for another bus but once the conductor notices this, he’ll immediately open the door to the front seat for me if no one is there. This is because a typical bus conductor understands his customer.
A lot of people don’t understand who their target audience is, and they claim to be salespersons or entrepreneurs.
You need to create a buyer persona. This could be done by creating a survey, so you don’t target the wrong persons.
Some of the things you need to know are
- Their income,
- Their demographics,
- Their hobbies,
- Where they go to socialize,
- Their challenges,
- Their vision,
- Their behavior.
Knowing those who really need your offer and their behaviour is very important.
We have come to the end of episode 1.
I will like to hear from you. What did you learn from this episode?
Share using the comment box below or click the WhatsApp icon showing on your screen.
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
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