Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The art of selling

Listening to one of my favourite breakfast radio shows, I was impressed at one of the presenters’ prowess in selling advertisers’ products and services. Despite the product being new in the market, he sells it as if he has been using it since he knew how to hold a spoon. This leaves one wondering how he manages to do that.

There is the popular story of the Maasai moran who was ripped off his fortune when he came to the city. As the story goes, the man sold his precious cattle and came to Nairobi city to look for greener pastures. With bulging pockets from all the money he had, he excitedly toured the city puzzled by the tall buildings, many cars and people. He was particularly impressed by the tall city clock along one of the major streets. As he dazed in awe at the phenomenon- big watch- a man approached him and somehow convinced the Maasai moran to buy the clock at a discount. The Maasai Moran thought he had made a kill but later on discovered that he had just been conned.

There is also the story of a learned man who dreamt of making quick money and getting onto the billionaire’s list without much of a hustle. He invested in many business opportunities-some long term and others short term. However, he was not satisfied with the money he made. One day, he met his match. A naïve young man asked him for his help. He wanted to know where he could get someone to buy his gold dust. The get-rich minded man saw this as an opportunity to achieve his lifelong dream.

Without thinking twice, he inspected the gold dust and quickly made an offer to the young man. I always imagine as they walked to the bank to withdraw the money, how our greedy friend was drooling from all the money he would make from the precious mineral. After sealing the deal, our friend rushed to sell the gold dust only to learn that it was valueless dust, he had just lost his hard earned money.

Deceit is not the way to make a sale- I say it should be left to shameless con men. A lecturer once told me that a good marketer can sell anything. Just like the radio presenter, by believing in the product, being confident and having a strong voice can sell anything. Many young people, freshly graduated from institutions of higher learning find it hard to market themselves before potential buyers. If you cannot sell yourself, you cannot sell anything…trust me!

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