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‘Adapt to your customers’ needs’


. . . budding entrepreneurs told

Nthatuoa Koeshe

ENTREPRENEURS should not focus on their businesses and products but instead focus on their customers and their needs.

This was said by Vodacom Lesotho Sales Manager Tokiso Nthebe while addressing a forum for startup entrepreneurs organised by the telecommunications giant on Friday.

Mr Nthebe said the sales department played an essential role in the success of any organisation. The unique and important role of the sales department, he said, was to bridge the gap between the potential customer’s needs and the products or services the organisation offers.

Failing to research on the needs of potential customers was among some of the most common mistakes made by budding entrepreneurs, he said.

“Young entrepreneurs fail to understand that it is essential to do their research and know what to sell to their targeted market.”

Another mistake most entrepreneurs made was shoving their products or services down their customers’ throats without taking time to understand what their clients really need.

He said the most essential tools in sales were confidence and presentation.

“Entrepreneurs need to be presentable for customers to believe and trust in their product. People buy a businessperson before buying the product because of presentation.”

Mr Nthebe said an abiding quest to learn new things was key in ensuring an entrepreneur’s success.

“I have realised that entrepreneurs are very proud. They fail to ask for assistance when they need to,” he said, adding that knowledge on financial and legal issues was imperative for the success of their enterprises.

“Most startup businesses won’t be able to afford lawyers and accountants. So, it is very important to always ask for advice from such people as some are willing to help for free.”

Among the budding entrepreneurs attending the clinic was Lerato Hlephe, who is the head of finance and human resources at a new company called Vigilant Motor Maintenance Plan. The company provides vehicle servicing products.

Mr Hlephe told the Sunday Express he attended the clinic to learn how to close a sale.

“Attending this business clinic made me aware of a lot of aspects that I did not know were necessary when it came to sales,” he said.

“One of the many things I learnt at the clinic was how to present myself confidently to potential clients to reassure them that the services I offer are legit.”

Mr Hlephe also said he learnt the importance of persuasion and not letting rejection be an obstacle, but a signal to change the approach.


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