My young friend came to me bearing a book and a pen. She was ready to take lessons.
She had been on my neck for months, too many questions begging for answers.
If there is one thing that gets to me about my young friend, it is her desire to learn, her passion for fashion. I will describe her as crazy about her talent.
Sometime in 2015, I noticed she had a thing for fashion. She would pick styles for my aunty and sometimes sit with the tailor to show him the exact thing she wanted him to do.
Every piece she made was outstanding. My aunty wore them to occasions and everybody wanted to know where she got them from.
Your passion speaks out loud and it goes before you.
At the time, my young friend did these things just because she liked to do it. When you asked her back then she would say, I just love to dress people up, I love to make them look good.
When I met her, she was down to earth broke, no money in hand, no money in the bank.
So, I sat her down and asked her one simple questions, do you know you can make money from this thing you are so passionate about?
I went on to teach her about niching as well as outlined the different niches in fashion. then I went on to teach her the various ways she could make money with her passion (Talent if you wish to so refer).
So yesterday, she came to dine with a pen and a notebook, she wanted to learn. She took her place next to me on the double-seat cushion chair with her hand clutching a pen and an empty page opened on her lap she asked, “How do I go about marketing my product/skills?”
I paused for a bit before I started dissecting her question and providing answers.
“So what sub-niche in fashion have you finally settle for”?
“Production. I also do a little bit of consulting. For instance, friends call me to ask about what they could wear for their project defense, ceremonies and all”.
“And what do you do after every call?”
SELL AT THE OPPORTUNITY
I first established the fact that there is nothing wrong with running free consultancy sessions for people and there is also nothing wrong if she decided to charge for her sessions. Whatever it is, do not leave that conversation without selling your brand.
After every consultancy session, offer something related. If for instance, somebody calls to get ideas on clothes she could wear to an official function, after suggesting to her, let her know that you could provide those things for him/her at good enough rates and standard quality.
I also told her when you sell, focus on your customer, not on your brand or product. Let me explain that.
SELL VALUE INSTEAD
My young friend is a fashion designer. Every time she gets an opportunity to sell herself or her product, she shouldn’t go about it telling customers how beautiful and well designed the product is rather she should hammer on how her brand or product will benefit her customer, the value it will bring to them and what they stand to gain and (or) lose if they miss the chance of getting the product.
You must understand that people love to feel good, once you can make them feel good or promise them / assure them of that good feeling, you are halfway through your sales.
Caress their ego, help them imagine it and go ahead and close deals.
DO YOUR CUSTOMER CARE WELL
Finally, I told her to learn to do a proper follow-up. In the business world, it is called customer care.
I gave an example I always use to drive this point home.
One day I walk into a pharmaceutical store to buy anti-malaria prescriptions. As I stood there by the counter waiting to make payments, the attendant requested for my basic details – name, phone number, and email and in a very claim voice she asked, sir are you the one using the drugs? I was getting one for the special one so I told her no it was for somebody else, she then asked if it was a child or an adult, I said adult. Then she again politely asked, “I am sorry to bother you, sir, can I get her phone number and name also?
I hesitated for a moment and when she noticed that she quickly added, its not for any funny reasons, we just want to be able to follow up with the person and monitor the recovery process. We don’t just sell drugs, we also care about everybody that walks in here.
I was impressed and I granted her request.
About forty-eight hours after I walked out of that pharmacy, we received a text message from them pharmacy wanting to know how the person is doing and wish a quick recovery.
Guess what, I haven’t been able to patronize any other pharmacy around town and that story never happened. Imagine it ever happened, won’t you become their most loyal customer?
After narrating that story, I simply told my young friend, do the same to your customers.
My young friend also asked me about Social Media Marketing and Writing.
I will talk about those in a different post.