Wednesday, 1 July 2015

That "Aso-Ebi" Story That Everyone (Especially Entrepreneurs and Small biz owners) Could Learn From


So last week my phone rang, the caller ID was not displayed so I thought it was the network service provider (let's call them NSP for the sake of this article) that was calling me. Those guys really need to do something about these calls. The other day they interrupted a very interesting dream where I was having dinner with the Queen of England. I was really pained but that is a story for another day.

But the phone wouldn't stop ringing. It was at this point I knew it wasn't the NSP (maybe I didn't save the person's contact on my phone). So I answered the call and the conversation went like this;

Caller: Hello, is this Sadiq Daniel?
Me: Yes, who dey talk?
Caller: Ha you have forgotten me so fast?
(At this point I was thinking, who is this? Who can this be? I wanted to scream "WTF are you" but I chilled)
Me: *fakes smile* no please I don't know who this is... Don't be offended.
Caller: It's no biggie really this is Sade (not real name)
Me: Sade, Sade, Sade from where
Caller: Sade from SMC nw, your high school swthrt.
Me: Oh, its been a while how do you do?
Caller: Ehen, I'd be getting married October
Me: Congrats
Caller: I called to invite you to the wedding ceremony
Me: Where will it hold?
Caller: Lagos... But you'd have to buy "Aso-Ebi" oo. It is just #4000
Me: Alright dear, I'd get back to you.

When I ended the call, I couldn't help but laugh. This was someone that I haven't heard from in years. We don't even chat on fb, tweet or do whatsapp. There are so many ways she could have reached me but she didn't. Not until she needed me to buy some goddamn "aso-ebi".

And the same thing applies to most of us. We won't keep in touch with that uncle, aunt of ours or even our parents until we need their financial support and when they don't respond the way we want them to, we keep malice, we back bite and say bad things about them.

I have said this time without numbers that we are in the connection economy. And in the connection economy, the relationship we keep with people really matters.

In the connection economy, feedback is very important. There are so many choices available for your target market to choose from. The traditional "big" is gone. Small is the new big now. They now have the same access (to the market) that the supposed "big Biz's" have.

You think you are No.1? The No.50 is closer to you than you think. One mistake is more than enough to kill your brand. And even if you are going to make any mistake, don't joke with customer relationship, services and feedback.

Don't just sell to your customers and forget about them. Engage with them all the time. There is nothing wrong in surprising your loyal customers with birthday gifts (that will definitely go a long away). Make little things counts.

The fact that you are always there for them will make them love and trust you more. It is always easier to sell to your existing customers than new ones. Leverage this opportunity by keeping in touch on a regular.

Don't wait till when you have a new product to sell or a new update or some version 2.0 of the product they bought years ago is available before you reach out.

In conclusion, we shouldn't stop connecting with people that matters to us. We should learn to be generous enough to keep in touch on a regular and not only when we need help.

PS: "Aso-Ebi" is a party clothe that you buy for a particular occasion (more like the official invite) so you can be recognized and treated differently from those that were not invited (but stormed be party anyways because of food).