How to Find Customers in Nigeria – Part 1

How to Find Customers in Nigeria – Part 1

This is the first of a 5-Article series on How To Find Customers in Nigeria for your business. You Can Find Customers in Nigeria! For many people in

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This is the first of a 5-Article series on How To Find Customers in Nigeria for your business.

You Can Find Customers in Nigeria!

For many people in Nigeria, the hardest thing with regards to starting a business is finding the right clientele or customers. However, that is somewhat ironic because we are over 180 million in number!

New and old businesses with a limited marketing budget, will have to learn how to find customers differently using free and cheap technology platforms.

It is more important to have customers before having a product. In the business world of today, whoever has the customers is the one that will succeed and not the owners or manufacturers of products or guys offering services.

When you have a great product or service, no matter how hard things with finding new customers are, a few people will buy but that is not good enough. However, every business needs a particular number of customers which we will call a critical mass to be profitable.

Many people thing that customers will locate you, your shop, website or your Facebook page just because you now have a business and you have launched out on these platforms. Do not make this mistake.

You have to go and find your ideal customers.  In fact, you need to make the most important aspect of your business finding and keeping new customers regularly even when your business has become successful.

If finding clients is hard for you to do, try and use some of these time-tested tactics. The first thing though is to have a clear idea of who your ideal customers are.

Define Your Ideal Customer

You also need to define who you are desire to sell to. Now this is totally in your control.
It is the syncing of these two data and identifying the same areas of coincidence that helps you know who your ideal customer is.

Here is a great example of a random description of the profile of an ideal customer of a new stylist-clothier just starting her label and opening her first outlet in Victoria Island.

Let’s call her Jadesola:
• Female
• Professionals and Corporate executives
• Age: 20-55
• Earns: N500, 000 – N12, 000, 000 per month
• Fashion conscious
• Loves to look good and dress elegantly
• Wants to project an appearance of professionalism and confidence
• They are trendy and like to be in vogue

Once Jadesola knows that these are the kind of people that like what she has to offer, then there won’t be any desire to target undergraduates or ladies that are looking to get married or involved in other sports.
This is Jadesola’s niche and all she does is based on the needs of these women.

For a consulting firm that specializes in market domination, the same thing applies.

Their ideal corporate client profile may look something like this:
• Manufacturing and production Companies
• Listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange
• Top Management and Executives
• Age: 35-65
• Revenues of N10,000,000,000 – N100, 000, 000, 000 per annum
• Staff strength of 300 and above
• Looking increase both profit margin and revenue
• Looking to expand their markets to East and West Africa

In this case, any organization they send proposals to has to meet these criteria. SMEs and MSMEs are not their target market.

Create a Customer Acquisition Plan

For Entrepreneur and Small Businesses

Once you know the profile of the customer you want to targets, the next thing is to use the information you have to filter whoever does not fit their profile.

For instance, Jadesola will need to identify the females she desires to serve in the professional world, go and meet them and make them offers they cannot refuse based on what she knows they want.
She will need to let them realize that their current needs cannot be satisfactorily met by generic clothing labels or by buying of the rack. She will need to sell them the idea of a clothing line that knows about every curve on their body and the need to have dedicated personnel that will be there at their beck and call to meet their clothing, make-up and corporate image needs.

For organizations

If you are a company that sells to business organizations, find out what department is in charge of most procurement and acquisitions and are most likely to buy your products or services, and who the decision makers are and their levels of responsibility, when they are likely to make specific purchases or when they draw up their budget.
You will need to find out where they socialize and go there regularly. You will need to find out who can introduce you to them. Many of the business deals in the corporate world are sealed in places of social interaction and leisure and confirmed in the board room.

You also need to determine the length of their buying cycle.
• Is the buying decision of your product a decision that can be made quickly by an individual?
• Is your product or service of a long buying cycle which involves some individuals or unit heads to agree on?

Next, you need to consider how the typical buyer normally finds products or services like your own.
• Do they call for bids and proposal in the media?
• Do they ask for referrals on whom to deal with?
• Do they identify the perceived leaders in the market and just consult them?

You need to know what circles they move in outside of corporate setting.
• What kinds of sports do they engage in – golf, polo, yachting?
• Which sport do they follow – English premiership, Tennis?
• Are they very active on and take advantage of social media?

You need to find out who they likely to listen to or where do they look when they want to buy your type of product or service.
• Are there people they consult or whose opinions they rely on to make a buying decision
• Who do they hold their recommendations in high regard?
• Is there an industry publication they subscribe to?
• Is there an industry association they are stakeholders in?

All these information need to be collected and you need to look for patterns. Then, map out tactics to put yourself and your product or service information where your target market can find it when they want to buy.

Make sure you do not miss Part 2 of the How to Find Customers in Nigeria 5-Article series.

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