us policewoman

Police Officer Ashley Guindon, shot to death on her first day on the job.

A U.S police officer was shot and killed on her first day at work, a day after she was just sworn in as a police woman. Ashley Guindon was responding to a domestic dispute between a military serviceman and his wife. The military serviceman had murdered his wife and opened fire as police officers approached his house. Two of the policewoman’s colleagues were also injured and are in hospitals but there are no details about their condition.

Read more about this story here; http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-35681240.



President Buhari

President Buhari

A lot has been said about the recent fall of the Naira against the Dollar in the parallel market and the state of the Nigerian economy. People are worried and scared but I don’t think there is any reason to be scared. In fact, I now support President Buhari on his refusal to devalue the Naira. Those who are insisting that he does so, are among the individuals who have been looting our national treasury. The people who have been glamouring for the devaluation of the Naira are people who have been benefiting from the continuous devaluation of the Naira. The President must stand his ground.

The Central Bank of Nigeria banned some items imported into the country on a daily basis. Most of these items can be produced in the country but the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, told Nigerians that the CBN had actually banned the importation of over 700 items. They insisted that most of their members are closing shop because of their inability to import these items. One of these items can be gotten from palm oil. Palm oil was a major exporting product in the former Eastern Nigerian region before the civil war. Nigeria was the largest exporter of the commodity before Oil and Gas stole the show. Indonesia and Malaysia came to our country and took palm kernel seedlings and planted them in their countries. Today, both countries are the largest exporters of the product in the world.What an irony! See where our tribal selfishness has led us to! Now that the federal government have refused to devalue the Naira, thereby making it difficult for importers to import products into Nigeria, will they support the South eastern states to revive the mass production and processing of palm oil? Will Buhari now want Northerners to be the main producers of the product? This was how Obasanjo made it difficult for exporters and importers to do their business by placing high tariffs on other ports and airports so that the lagos ports and lagos and abuja airports were the only places we go export and import items in and out of the country. I wonder.

Going back to the argument at hand, the more we import goods into the country, the more we will deplete our national reserves, thereby killing the Naira, of which our politicians have depleted to the barest minimum, by diverting funds that belong to the nation, for their personal use. This cuts across parties. Also the CBN needs to stop lending money to big corporations like Dangote Group and Co. If you must ensure that the Naira does not die, you need to stop supporting large corporations. If MAN and NACCIMA members can not find forex funds to import items that they would use for their business, why would you make it easily available for Dangote to build his industries?

Nigeria has the largest consumer market in Africa and that is why we are the beautiful bride. Why would we be the largest market in Africa and major corporations would have their African head quarters or major factories built in other African countries, whose populations do not even make up to one-third of our population? Even if they built their factories in Nigeria, will the ethnic quagmire allow them to do so? Look how long it has taken the Ajaokuta Steel mill to be set up.

Although the official rate of the dollar is #198 and over #400 in the parallel (black) market, we can still buy products from foreign countries at the official rate. Even foreign organizations recognize that rate. When you go to the black market you buy at their prize. So if you want to buy a product for $200, you will need to pay #40,000. But if you go to the black market you must have double that amount to do so at #80,000 or more. With the way the world has changed with the internet, you can pay for any item online or with your atm card and spend less money.

The only time we would experience economic difficulties is when the supply for the banned products gets depleted, things will get costly. But if the government and the CBN can encourage local entrepreneurs and farmers to meet the markets needs, there will be no cause for alarm. Buy Nigerian goods to grow the Naira. .



Yesterday we talked about how to sell a product by showing enthusiasm or love for the product or services you are selling. Today, we continue the second part of how to sell a product, by connecting with your buyer. If you do not establish a relationship with your buyer or customer, you might not be able to sell your products/services or even close a deal. Continue reading.

buyers and sellers

  1. Anticipate your customers’ motivations.

You want to be able to answer any questions that customers may have about a product, but even more importantly, you want to anticipate those questions. This shows that you understand customer needs. Make sure that you are able to connect emotionally with customers by addressing those needs.

  • Think about your typical customers. What motivates them? What needs do they have? Are they young? Single? Wealthy? Do they have families?
  • Once you have an idea of your customers in mind, think about how your product can help them meet their needs or reach their desires.

  1. Practice breaking the ice with customers.

If you are working in direct sales, the way you connect with people is critical. Instead of asking the close-ended question “May I help you?,” ask the more positive, open-ended questions like “Are you looking for something for yourself? Or a gift for someone special?” In addition, be ready to make remarks about your product that will interest customers and start deeper conversations. For instance, if you are in clothing retail, you might say: “You know, ugly Christmas sweater parties are really popular right now. Have you ever been to one?”

  1. Convert the customer’s motivations into the product’s characteristics.

In marketing, this is known as “positioning,” and it consists of equating the product with the customer’s hopes and desires. A number of factors are important when positioning a product:

  • Position the product in the best spectrum of the market possible. Don’t pitch the product too high or too low in terms of affordability and luxury.
  • Position the facts about the product according to the person you’re selling it to. You may have a handful of different facts, but it’s up to your skill to know which of those facts best serve each individual sale.

  • Don’t fudge facts or lie outright. Product positioning is about perception, not deception.

  • Position the facts so that they transcend the product itself. This means that the desirable, positive values associated with the product are what sell it. Companies that excel at this include Coca-Cola, Apple, and many designer goods or labels. Think about how your product will connect with a customer’s lifestyle or values, and not simply serve a function.

  • For instance, if you are trying to sell a relatively high-end minivan to a wealthy older person, you might mention its luxurious features. Do this by saying things like: “Take a look at that wood trim—it’s just beautiful. And those soft leather seats—they’re so comfortable. They’re perfect for taking a nice sunset drive.”

  • If you were trying to sell the same minivan to a family with three children, however, you would emphasize its more utilitarian features. For example, you could say things like: “The third seat adds lots of room for carting friends around. It also folds down when you need room for hauling groceries, sporting gear, and things like that. And did I mention that side air bags and anti-lock brakes come standard?”

  • seller and buyer

    1. Be honest about your product.

    Long-term lovers of your product will only come about if you’ve been honest with them. This means being transparent in your delivery of product information and also admitting your own lack of knowledge or mistakes you’ve made. Don’t be afraid of honesty; it builds trust.

    • If you ever are not able to answer customers’ questions or supply them with what they need, offer to follow up with them later, as soon as you are able to.
  • Make sure customers know they can come back to you later if they have questions or concerns.

  • If it ever turns out that a product isn’t right for a customer, be honest about it and help the customer find what he or she really needs. Even if you don’t make the sale today, your honesty and generosity will be remembered, and can translate into future sales.

  • For instance, if you are trying to sell a sports car to customer who eventually tells you that he has five young children who he drives to school everyday, you could say something like: “Well maybe you’d be better off with a good minivan or SUV. But if you’re ever in the market for a second vehicle, come back and talk to me and I’ll help you get a good deal.”

    1. Close the sale.

    There are many styles and methods of closing a sale, but one of the most effective has the mnemonic, ABC: “Always Be Closing.” As you confirm your prospective buyer’s interest in the product, put forward trial closes like, “Does this sound like the product you want?” or “So what do you think? Will this meet your needs?”

    1. Give customers time to consider.

    Appearing overly pushy is a turn-off for many buyers. They may want to go home and do a quick online search for more information. Let them do so with your enthusiastic and supportive pitch in mind. If you’ve been truthful, helpful, considerate, and enthusiastic, and the information you’ve given them matches with what they read online, they are likely to come back to your product.

    • Sometimes, it pays to let your customers take the lead. Give them time to consider, and keep quiet while they do. Only offer more information when they request it.
  • Don’t let customers get away without knowing how to contact you. If you are working in a store or on site, make sure customers will know how to find you again (especially if you will be moving around). Make sure to tell customers something like “I’ll be right here at the counter if you need me,” or “Just ask any sales associate to page me if you have any questions.”

  • You can also give customers your contact information so they can get in touch with you if they have questions or want more information. Slip the customer your business card or other contact information and say something: “Call me anytime if you have questions, and you can also find me right here in the store on weekdays.”

  • Use your instincts. If you think a customer is close to buying, stay nearby without being intrusive. You’ll want the customer to be able to find you quickly. The last thing you want is for a potential buyer to decide to purchase and then be unable to find you.



    a bar tender selling to his customer

    a bar tender selling to his customer

    This is a first part of a marketing article for marketers and people who hope to sell their products/services to their target customers. Believe me, finding someone to your services or products, is not easy. You might even loose faith in yourself and become scared of selling more of your products and services.

    Selling a product doesn’t have to be complicated. At it most basic level, a sales program is defined principally by what you sell, who you sell it to, and how you sell it. Beyond that, sales involves staying focused on the details of your product and customers. As a sales program continues, you will want to keep paying attention to changing trends and the needs or desires of your customers. By observing these changes, you will be able to adjust your program and keep your sales strong.


    1. Share your love of the product.

    A good salesperson believes in the product that is being sold, and transfers this enthusiasm to the customer. There are numerous ways to show your love of a product.
    Don’t neglect body language and tone. You will convey energy and enthusiasm if you speak clearly about a product, and show expression when discussing it. On the other hand, if you mumble when customers ask questions about a product, or cross your arms over your chest, then it will appear like you are distant and don’t care about the product.

    Be prepared to discuss how you use the product, or how other satisfied customers have. Specific stories about the product make it relatable to customers. For instance, if you’re selling a shampoo, you can tell a customer something like: “My hair is usually so frizzy, but ever since I’ve started using this it’s been as smooth and straight as it is right now.”

    1. Study your product.

    If you are able to convey knowledge about the product, and to answer questions that customers may have, then they will understand that you really care about the product. If you find the product worthwhile, they are more likely to as well.

    It is absolutely vital to know your product inside out. If you do not know something a customer asks of you, try saying something like “I don’t know the exact answer for that, but I’ll be happy to look into it and get back to you right away. What’s the best way to contact you when I find the answer?”

    a satisfied customer

    a satisfied customer

    1. Emphasize the perks of the product to customers.

    As well as getting good product information to the right people, it is important to translate the product’s features into benefits. This makes it easier for the customer to see why they should purchase the product.

    Think about things like:

    • Will the product make the customer’s life easier?
    • Will the product create a sense of luxury?
    • Is the product something that can be enjoyed by many people?
    • Is the product something that can be used for a long time?

    4. Ensure that the product has been adequately explained.

    If you are not doing direct, person-to-person sales, then you will need to ensure that good product information is supplied via retail packaging, point-of-purchase displays, and any marketing materials. Even if you are selling products directly or making a pitch, having good product information on display will help you convince customers.

    • Make sure that all product information is informative, true, and complete.
    • Make sure that the language on product packaging and marketing materials is clear, direct, and easy to read.
    • Invest the time and money to ensure that your product, packaging, and marketing materials look good—high-quality photos, vivid colors, etc.