Still on marketing jobs in Nigeria, I have heard lots of complaints from sales reps who thinks that the job is so demanding and demeaning, especially when you consider the kind of treatments they are subjected to by their employers. Truth be told, a lot of young professionals are having a hard time as sales reps. A lot of young professionals has been pushed to the wall and have been frustrated out of their jobs.
However, that is not to say that there aren’t people that are doing well in the marketplace as sales representatives (marketers). There are people that are thriving so much in this field of marketing that you can never tempt them with another job. They love what they do. They are highly successful and they have everything good to say about marketing.
My point, therefore, is that, there is nothing wrong with marketing as a job in itself. If at all, there is anything wrong, it is either with the product or the marketer (sales rep.) and most times, it is the marketer that is the problem. The same place people go and come back with terrible experiences and stories, some others will go their and come back with a terrific (good) result. The same hot water that softens the yam, hardens the egg. Same environment, different result. Why is it like that?
Some people are of the opinion that the guys that succeed in the field of marketing have ‘long legs’. Some say that they are naturally born with marketing instinct and skills. Some have also attributed success in marketing to your willingness to indulge in sexual escapades with prospective customers.
It is wrong to assume that every young lady that is enjoying a blistering career in marketing sleeps around. The message we are putting out there especially to the ladies is that a career in marketing is an automatic sign up to corporate prostitution. It is not true.
Selling can be highly rewarding and easy if only you meet a few criteria. I will list a few criteria that must be met before you should consider a job in marketing. That is, if you don’t want your experience to be a living hell like most people profess.
You Must Love the Product
I see a lot of young people take up marketing jobs out of sheer desperation and that is why they keep struggling all through their career. How can you decide to start selling what you are not passionate about? If you don’t love it, you really should not sell it. If you don’t like the banking system and their approach towards product marketing, don’t sell banking products. It is not compulsory to work in a bank.
Whenever we talk about marketing as a profession in Nigeria, people only tend to think in terms of the banking industry or the multi-level marketing ventures. There are so many things to sell around you. You have thousands of options. Choose what you love and sell it. If you are passionate about it, then you will definitely give it your best shot.
Some say that marketing jobs are better left for people that love marketing. It might be true to an extent. However, you must not love marketing to do it. Like it or not, we are all selling something. You are either selling yourself, an idea or a product. So selling is a necessary ‘evil’ that we all have to embrace. But, if you want to make a living out of it or build a career around it, then you can do yourself a big favour by choosing a product you love.
You Must Develop Product & Market Knowledge
It is quite amazing how people sign up to sell a product they barely know. Product knowledge goes beyond just having enough information about your product. It also entails having a substantial amount of information about other alternative product that is in competition with yours. That is how you get to know the competitive edge your product has over the others and that is what you highlight and emphasize on when dealing with a prospective customer.
Secondly, before you decide to sell any product or service, ensure that there is a market for it in Nigeria. Don’t be carried away with the hype the product is receiving or the incentives. Carry out your own peripheral market research and ascertain if there is a viable market for the product in Nigeria. Finally, even if the product has a market in Nigeria, is the market within your reach? That takes us to the next point.
You Must Have Quality Relationships
To me, this is where most young professionals get it wrong. One sure route to career frustration and unhappiness is venturing into selling without a solid and a rich relationship network. People that excel in marketing have a rich pool of contacts. People tend to buy only from people they know and trust.
For instance, if you are marketer for a commercial bank, there is nothing you will tell a stranger that will make the person move an account worth of 10 million Naira to you. If you are selling real estate, there is no amount of words that you can use to convince a prospect to purchase real properties worth millions of Naira through you, if the person does not have a relationship with you. That is the hard truth. People buy you, before they buy what you sell. People most times don’t patronize products or services, they patronize relationship. How is your relationship bank like? That is the question you need to answer before venturing into marketing as a career.
Some people have this kind of solid contact reach by virtue of the family they came from. You and I can build ours irrespective of our family background. There are lots of young people out there who came out of a decent, low income family trying to make a living as marketers in banks, real estate companies, insurance companies, MLM ventures etc. but they are struggling and freaking out at the pressure that comes with chasing targets. Stop the struggle and start building healthy, business relationships. You can join a good church, belong to a social club, join professional organizations, or even a political party. Just focus on spreading your tentacles. Build relationships. One major contact can give you a major break in your career as a sales dude. The importance of relationships is that when they don’t buy, they can recommend you or your product to people that can buy them.
Work on these aforementioned areas and you will find selling a bit less stressful and rewarding.
Have a great day.
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