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Bukie Iwajomo: 7 Reasons No One is Buying what You are Selling

Bukie Iwajomo

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Uche recently quit her Nine-to-five to launch her own health-food business. She makes and packages delicious Tigernut milk, and sells it from her online store and Instagram page. Tiger nut milk sells like hot cake at the moment, however, the only thing hot about Uche’s business is her body temperature that rises nightly… because she stays awake, pondering how she can get people to actually buy her Tigernut Milk.

Unfortunately, Uche is not alone in this predicament. There are a million and one other entrepreneurs who, like Uche, stay up all night trying to plot a path through the confusing sales maze.

Can we just holdup a second and talk about why nobody is buying what you are selling?
It’s not as nerve-racking as you think, I promise.

You are not selling a product: All you’re selling is a list of features
You keep talking about how beautiful, innovative, sophisticated your product is, and all that gibberish. But in reality, no one cares about that. Your potential buyers do not care how sleek your product looks. No, they really don’t care about features- what they care about is the value they get from those features.
All your potential buyers want to know is-
How does it help me?
What does it do for me?
What do I gain from it?
Does it save me money?
Does it help me make more money?
Can it save my life?
How can it help me find happiness?
How does it help me find a wife?
What is in it for me?
Stop communicating the features of your products, start selling the benefits of using it, and the value your customers will get from it.

You are really not selling
This one sounds ridiculous, yes? But it is valid in so many cases. Two out of every five entrepreneurs who complain about poor sales to me actually do not sell their products or services. They whine about not making sales, when they have actually never asked for the sale. They never ask anyone to buy; they don’t tell anyone about their business, yet they wonder why no one is buying.

You would have thought this was plain to see, wouldn’t you? But seriously, is there a magical dust that blows around and brings buyers to your doorstep by this awesome force of magic?

You attend mixers and networking events, trade shows and exhibitions- food and drink fair? You are present. Fashion and design week? Present. Women in business? You’re forever present. You consume all the canapés, sip all the cocktails, take selfies with all the you-know-who’s, yet nobody knows you… or what you do.
You don’t walk up to one person to introduce yourself and business to them. You don’t exchange contacts, or business cards with anyone.
Selling is not only for the folks with ‘sales’ in their job titles. You, my dear entrepreneur, are a salesperson- whether you like it or not. Sell your ‘market’, will you?

You are selling to the wrong crowd
If you give a message to the wrong recipient, you will not get the desired response. That is simple as A B C.
So why are you speaking to the wrong people, and selling to the wrong crowd?
Who are you selling to?
Have you identified your ideal clients?
Are you selling /marketing your ideal clients?
Have you defined your target market?
Do you know where to find them?
You’re always on Instagram, posting pretty photos and exciting captions about your business, but are your customers there on Instagram? You book booths at exhibitions and display your products- but do your potential customers attend those exhibitions?

The folks you’re speaking to, are they interested?
Will they ever be?Are you selling to the wrong crowd?

Find out who your customers are, where they hang out in high numbers, and spend most of their time. Meet and engage with them there.

Don’t cast your pearl before swines. Stop wasting your time preaching to the choir!

Your price is not right
Price your product too low, and they think it’s poor quality.
Price it too high, and they say you’re a thief! So what do you do?

First,  do not engage in the price war, especially with bigger brands who have the money and resources to outrun you and keep going. (A price war is when you drop your prices lower than your competition in order to attract buyers.)

If your strategy is low prices, the customers you will attract are most likely the ones who do not give a flying fadoodle  about good quality. And these folks….they ain’t loyal. Once another brand comes into the market with cheaper pricing than yours, they’ll drop you like it’s hot and move over. Simply because they just don’t care how good, or fantastic your brand is.

The lowest price strategy is more appropriate for consumer goods (FMCG’s)- that is, everyday products like detergents, beverages, toiletries, processed foods and the likes.

Instead, focus on attracting quality customers  who give all that and their five fingers about good products and services. The ones who will become raving fans of your brand, and will toot your horn everywhere they go.

And if you try to place yourself high up there above the rest, claiming ‘luxury’ product or service, you better have a large luxury market waiting for you, large enough to put food on your table. And you better be serving them real luxury, and not the average, run-off-the-mill products and services.

You don’t look like what you’re selling
Imagine this beautiful lady walks up to you and says “Hi, my name is Shaniqua, I am a make up artist, here’s my card…..”  You’re looking at her, and her left eyebrow looks like it was operated on by the ‘wicked witch of the west’ in the Wizard of Oz! Would you smile back and say “Oh yes, I’ve been waiting for you all my life! Come with me, you’ll do my sister’s wedding makeup next month”? No sir!

You see, if you’re still growing your brand to become well known – it does not matter if you like makeup or you don’t, if you are particular about fashion and style or not, if you like to wear weaves or not. Whether  you’re in the business of makeup artistry, fashion or hair, it does not matter- you better look like what you sell. Because your potential customers are thinking – ‘Well If you don’t believe in it enough to be it, or look it, or wear it, why should I?’

You have got to walk the talk, dress the part then ask for the sale.

We do not see your passion
If you love what you do, it will show in the way you talk about it, and in your execution. If you do no love what you do, we will see it.

Passion is what makes you stay up until your customer’s orders are perfect. Passion makes you ensure your dress seam finishes are neat. Passion is why you spend so much money investing in your business and updating your knowledge.

Your passion shows in your product, service and delivery.
Passion attracts.

Fall in love with your business, and your passion will attract your ideal customers.

You have no strategy
You start a business in an over-saturated market, yet you do not have a marketing strategy that can attract customers.

You do not serve your market differently, you do not bring anything new or innovative to the table, you do not stand out from your competition, you do not solve a problem other businesses are yet to solve for your potential customers.

So, tell us, why should anyone buy from you? If you are not able to sincerely answer this question, then you have got to start all over again. People are not willing to spend their money on unimpressive products and services. Innovate or your business will die.

The answer, sometimes, does not lie in the product or service you are selling. It lies in these simple questions: Are you asking for the sale?. Who you are selling it to? And how you are selling it? There just may be no need for sleepless nights, work on these points and note the results.

Photo Credit: Dmitriy Shironosov | Dreamstime.com

Bukie Iwajomo is the chief strategist at SalesForward Consulting. She works with start-ups, personal and consumers brands helping them leverage tech to grow their businesses and build badass brands. Follow her daily marketing tips on Instagram. You can also connect with her on Facebook

24 Comments

  1. Olubunmi

    May 23, 2017 at 6:49 pm

    Good read Tosin
    this is the kind of stuff I need now
    you just got yourself a fan

  2. adirelounge

    May 23, 2017 at 8:20 pm

    Thank you so much for this…

    • Bukie Iwajomo

      Bukie Iwajomo

      May 24, 2017 at 2:27 am

      Thank you for taking time out to read it. All the best with Adirelounge.

  3. Sel

    May 23, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    Wow! This is one the best pieces I’ve read on entrepreneurship. Pls be writing more.

    • Bukie Iwajomo

      Bukie Iwajomo

      May 24, 2017 at 2:30 am

      Thank you Sel! I will do just that- write a whole lot more 🙂 Thanks for the encouragement.

  4. Razor

    May 23, 2017 at 8:48 pm

    Wow! Just what I needed to read. Thanks Bukie

    • Bukie Iwajomo

      Bukie Iwajomo

      May 24, 2017 at 2:29 am

      I’m happy this was helpful. All the best!

  5. Blueberry

    May 23, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    Darling you are a blessing! THIS is WISDOM

    • Bukie Iwajomo

      Bukie Iwajomo

      May 24, 2017 at 2:28 am

      Thank you, Blueberry, you’re far too kind!

  6. faithkel8

    May 24, 2017 at 3:27 am

    Thanks Bukie, I really needed this advice, most of my questions (e.g price fixing, selling a product: vs list of features) have been answered.

    • Bukie Iwajomo

      Bukie Iwajomo

      May 24, 2017 at 6:41 pm

      Oh wow, that’s good to know, faith! Thank you for reading.

  7. Brizola

    May 24, 2017 at 4:44 am

    Thanks you so much Bukky, I am one of those Entrepreneurs awake at 4.am wondering why my sales aren’t doing so well, when I have done everything in the book. TBH I am guilty of some of the points you listed, especially not selling my product. I was scared, still scared of criticism. I do not know why. I just wanted to be behind the scenes selling good products but I just realised people wanted to identify with the face behind the brand, they wanted a face. I have decided to finally come out of my shell and embrace my fears. You also forgot the time factor. Sometimes it just takes time right?

    • Bukie Iwajomo

      Bukie Iwajomo

      May 24, 2017 at 6:44 pm

      Thanks a great deal for the feedback.
      And yes, to the time factor, I probably should have included that, but that would’ve made it 8 reasons….7 sounds so cool 🙂

  8. demash

    May 24, 2017 at 10:00 am

    Mummy L, you write so well. May I ask if you are involved in some sort of busines consultancy service?

    • Bukie Iwajomo

      Bukie Iwajomo

      May 24, 2017 at 6:46 pm

      Thank you! Yes, I run a sales & marketing consultancy,
      Lol at ‘Mummy L’.

  9. Mina

    May 24, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    Great piece I will save it for future reference.

  10. AAsh

    May 24, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    This is good stuff!

    Thanks Bukie….

    • Bukie Iwajomo

      Bukie Iwajomo

      May 25, 2017 at 12:52 am

      Thanks for taking time out to read it, and for the feedback.

  11. Abbyluv

    May 24, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    Thank you very much! As an entrepreneur, one needs to write stuffs like this boldly on his heart. Thank you once again!!

  12. Tayo

    May 24, 2017 at 9:01 pm

    Omg! Bukky these are spot on, i have analysed myself before reading this and noticed you are speaking my mind, will work on this

  13. Debbie O

    May 25, 2017 at 8:41 am

    Wow! Bukie, this is an awesome piece and very practical at that. Now I’ve got answers to some longing questions. Thank you.

  14. Abimbola

    May 25, 2017 at 10:58 am

    Amazing write up?

  15. Lara

    May 25, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    Thank you so much. Need to reevaluate after reading this, it was really helpful. Thank you!

  16. Aisha

    May 25, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    The point “you are not looking like what you sell” got me wondering-I sell cakes, does this point apply to me too?

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