It was late 2014 and I had just given birth to my daughter in Nairobi, Kenya. I was about to learn a genius Kenyan sales technique, one I hadn’t quite been aware of when I chose the hospital to have the baby at. That’s right, Kenya, the developing country on the East coast of Africa. When it comes to sales and marketing, Kenyans are guns. Those distressing images you see of slums and orphans on charity campaigns sure are true but what you might not be aware of, a vast population surviving and even thriving with no government welfare because of their sales ability. I am about to share the most important part of this secret in this article.
The area I lived in had high quality brick footpaths outside the shopping malls and new estates. These paths run for 10 – 30 metres then end abruptly at the property perimeter so the pedestrian is forced to walk on a dirt path alongside the older estates and buildings. In heavy rainfall , the dirt turns into mud. Also, street sellers set up makeshift stalls alongside the walking path leaving limited room to pass. If you try to walk on the road itself, it is not uncommon to wind in between a pick up, a motorbike, cars and public transport vehicles (colourfully painted buses mounted on truck frames) all navigating around moon crater sized potholes and uncovered stormwater pit drains. After tripping on the footpath in the picture of protest signs below (in Nairobi’s CBD by the way) I decided buying a pram to push the baby around like we do in Australia would be futile.
The Chinese have made massive inroads into Africa this past decade it seemed after looking at the local department stores and seeing some cheaply priced and cheaply made Chinese import baby carriers. None seemed suitable for a new born and I hadn’t been satisfied with what I had seen in town at the baby shops their either. I turned to Google.
After finding out that a product called “Ring Sling” was extremely popular in the UK (trusted country similar to my homeland) I googled “ring sling Nairobi” and found Toto Wraps. The website was amateur, maybe a free wordpress theme, but I instantly knew this was what I was looking for. [Side note, Toto Wraps Woven has really upped their website and online marketing since then.]
The photos featured whites alongside blacks on the website and biracial babies too. The home page lead with a feel good note about being made locally of quality fabrics from women who would be fairly compensated (tick tick to my positive development conscience). There are what sales people call “objections” for me to overcome at this point. They included location of store and how difficult it would be to get there to pick it up, how difficult it would be to use and wash and how much. I rang the number provided and a well educated but very friendly sounding woman answered all my questions. The only problem was the location of the shop was at the other side of town and… well, getting a taxi there in the traffic jam and back would cost the price of the sling. “We deliver,” the saleswoman offered at my predicament. “150 bob.” I nearly fell off my chair. The price of delivery was just the price of public transport. It was impossible to refuse such a fair deal.
The next morning, a woman arrived with the sling just as my mother and I were boarding a taxi to the local coffee shop. The woman jumped in the back and came out to coffee with us, giving me a full demonstration on how to wear the wrap and launder it. Then she hopped on board back to town.
Here is a picture of the baby in the sling – note – I am not wearing it correctly here as I had the baby sleeping in it during a medical appointment and didn’t want to wake her. My left arm is meant to be through the sling so the baby lies directly against my chest.
There you go. The secret of genius Kenyan sales people is to know what objections a prospective customer may have and tie it into the product benefits.
Are your potential customers (or hirers) objections addressed in your sales copy? Get a free quote today