Whose Today’s Guest?
Mwila Kasonde Anamela is a dynamic performance-driven professional with growing experience in Sales, marketing, and customer relationship management. She is committed to quality and service excellence with an aptitude for delivering effective solutions that drive company growth and technology innovation.
Challenges Faced by Businesses
- Buying and spending patterns
With cash flow being tight everywhere at the moment, it is no surprise to see that the spending patterns are changing, business owners need to look at the amount of time it takes for customers to pay for goods and services as well as bargain with suppliers on the amount of time they can be given to pay for those goods. Businesses too are reducing their buying and spending patterns too to try and adjust to the current prevailing situation and mitigate the effects on the business.
- Sales teams
Not all businesses have a sales team in place, but for those that do, in times of crisis everything comes to a standstill as the strategies that were being used prior to the crisis can no longer be implemented in a crisis. There is a need to re-strategize and think outside the box e.g., bars have been closed down as a precautionary measure to curb the spread of the virus but it does not mean that the selling of alcohol should stop, bar owners, can begin other ways of taking the alcohol to their clients and still make their sales.
They could incorporate a delivery service to their business and also put in place a practice of getting contact records and reach out to your clients reminding them that your still there and you’re still offering what they want or need.
Understanding Your Customers
Most businesses in Zambia have very poor customer service, there is an adage that states “Customer equals a boss” what this means is the customer is the only person that can bring down an entire company including the owners. If a customer decides to stay home and not come to your shop or buy from that is the equivalent of being fired as there is no money coming in, cash flow is the lifeblood of any business without sales there is no business.
As a business owner you need to develop a way of relating with your customers even during this crisis. Develop new strategies that allow you to get contact information from your customers which you can use to engage with your clients by telling them about promotions, new stock that you think they may be interested in. By doing so you begin to build a relationship with your customers and have customers that you know and are frequently buying from you.
Understanding your customers won’t happen, if your plan is to sit back and wait for them to come to you. You need to learn to push and to graft for the sales you seek. Find strategies and ways of reaching out to them and attract them to your business. It doesn’t matter how small your business is, you need to always ensure that you reach your customers.
When you do attract them you need to understand their needs and how to serve them better. This can be done by getting feedback from your clients on the product or service that you are offering. Many small businesses have Facebook and LinkedIn pages that they can use to interact with their custom.
Get feedback on your product or service from their make use of your social media platforms, create a simple tick on questionnaire that can be answered within a minute or two for customers to answer. Be innovative with how you get your feedback.
Getting Prospects in Tough Times
The best way to achieve this is by embracing technology. Business owners need to develop new ways of reaching out to new potential clients through the use of technology. Amplify your use of social media and create an online presence that allows people to know about your business and what you do as a business, this can be of great benefit to a business as it allows a business to reach out to clients across boarders too rather than limiting oneself to local clients.
Businesses need to build an online presence and in the right way too. Understand the platforms you use an how they can work for you the level of opportunity that an online presence can open for a business is limitless.
Mindset and Approach to Technology
Technology is broad, it is not a one-dimension kind of thing and it is sad to note that their entrepreneurs who think technology is not for them. Such an attitude simply shows that one’s business is closed up in a box. Incorporating technology in a business opens up doors and opportunities that allow a business to grow as mentioned earlier. Technology is for everyone; you don’t need to have a lot of money to invest in it you can start right where you are with social media platforms. Create an online presence with them, that’s a starting point.
- Understand your customers
Always ensure that you know who your customers are, what their needs are and the demographics of these customers. Even in times of crisis this will allow you to have a good customer base that you can keep selling to and you are aware of how best to reach them.
Every has its own strategy and way of selling, as a business owner you need to find the best strategy that suits your business., to determine what strategy is best for your business you need to fully understand who your customers are, that will help you determine the best way to reach them.
- Embrace technology
Know and understand what platforms work best for you, most people complain about how social media platforms are not working for them when in the actual sense they are using the platforms wrongly.
- Train yourself
Keep yourself abreast with what’s happening around you, keep learning new ways of selling, improve on your ways of getting more business traffic during tough times, there several books, YouTube videos that you can turn to, and even short courses that you can take to improve sales strategies. Invest your time in improving yourself.
- Keep in touch with what’s trending
Trends are always changing and people want something different each and every day to evolve with the trend stay up-to-date and keep your sales coming in.
“You can’t hope to use the same sales strategies you used last year today, worse off in a crisis. Re-strategize a think outside the box”
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