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  You can’t be blamed for adopting the selling techniques that the world’s best sales gurus recommend. But here’s the problem: a lot of those tips are primed for cultures that are far removed from ours. So don’t be miffed if they fall flat with your leads, prospects and customers. Nigerians are just built differently from our Western kith and kin (and there’s nothing wrong with this).
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If you’re going to get more people to buy your products or services in this corner of the world, you’ll have to approach selling in a manner that takes the peculiar psychological and behavioural tendencies of Nigerians into account.  In this article, we’ll walk you through some things you should do in order to successfully sell anything to Nigerians.

Be Courteous and Empathetic

You probably know this: Nigerians are big on courtesy. It’s true that most people anywhere in the world want to be treated with respect. Back home, there’s an extra need for this. People are quick to pick up on cues which suggest that you value them. They also appreciate it if you show empathy towards them, and treat their concerns as worth your special attention. Maintain these throughout your selling process, and you will have done a lot of heavy lifting on the way to making them trust your brand.

Tailor Your Communication to Verbal and Non-Verbal Signals

An important part of selling is effective communication. And best results are usually realized when both parties in the conversation leading up to a sale understand each other. This makes it easier for them to get on the same page and settle for a deal. But in the Nigerian context, smart communication isn’t just about listening and responding to words. It’s also about being able to understand non-verbal signals like body language (posture, movement, facial cues, etc.). When your responses take these into account, you’re likely to identify your prospect’s needs quicker and take them down a faster route to becoming paying customers.
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Address Main Concerns Early On

If you already know what concerns first-time buyers typically have about your product or service, you should address them early on in the selling process. Don’t wait for customers to raise them. If you bring them up yourself and proceed to tackle them, you’ll show your prospects that you know what they need. That’s a good sign. It’ll make them trust you more, and increase the likelihood that they’ll eventually purchase your product or use your service.

Show Prospects that they’ll Get Value for their Money

The ‘average Nigerian’ doesn’t always have a lot of cash to splash on things. So they want to get the most value possible for every naira they spend. Go into your sales conversations ready to convince them that they’re getting their money’s worth and more from you. Point out all the benefits your offering will deliver to them. Let them understand all the ways your product or service beats whatever else is available on the market. This requires that you have a deep knowledge of what you’re selling, including how it’ll impact consumers’ lives.

Have a Free Showcase, Demo, Trial, or Tour (if Possible)

As far as Nigerians are concerned, “seeing is believing”. In what is effectively a low-trust society, being able to demonstrate the effectiveness of your product or service before a purchase can drive up the likelihood of making sales by significant margins. The sort of ‘demonstration’ you will have to carry out will depend on the type of item you’re selling. If it’s real estate, a tour of the property in question will suffice. If it’s software, a demo or free trial period could do. This strategy really works if it comes at little or no cost to the prospective buyer.
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Final Words

The selling tips we’ve shared here cover some of our tendencies as Nigerians. Of course, they’ll only yield lasting results if you’re selling a good product. Applying them to your business could positively transform its sales outcomes and enable sustainable growth. Featured Image Source: CNA
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This article was first published on 7th May 2023


Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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