There’s business bloom to be found in this pandemic gloom. This is what those that have migrated online are finding and mining, and that those that haven’t should quit dithering and start discovering.
Jikaze ndugu. Shida haikupandwa kwako is a Kiswahili proverb. It encourages you to persist in resolving your problems because, and this second part is most illuminating, problems are not rooted on you; you can get them, I can get them. Everyone has problems. Your prospects (potential buyers) problems haven’t gone away with the pandemic and they are eagerly looking for solutions to them that you likely have. That is profound; please reread it. And limited by the pandemic, online is their point of search. You see, the pandemic may have spelt doom to the traditional way of prospecting but spells boom for those that have adapted to the new normal and migrated online.
Specifically, they have discovered that being online turns prospecting, as you and I know it, on its head. Prospecting (identifying suitable persons to buy your product or service) is the cornerstone of successful selling. This pesky virus has limited traditional forms of prospecting which largely depended on in person engagements, and was largely localised. As if to redeem itself from the untold havoc it has wreaked, the virus has also turned prospecting on its ear by revealing hitherto opportunities that were right beneath our noses.
I’m referring here to the reach being online presents. Suddenly, thanks to the virus pushing businesses online, prospecting is not limited to the town you are in. Assuming you are in Nairobi, suddenly Mombasa and Isiolo are fair game. It gets sweeter still: Lusaka, Abuja, Dublin and Lahore are equally within reach. In our webinars we were pleasantly surprised to have participants from India and Zimbabwe, for instance. It is instructive that these were prospects that we hitherto had no contact with. How did they know about us? Via LinkedIn one said; the other saw a flier; neither of them got the information directly from us.
Prospecting in the digital space, reminds me of two (Kenyan) chief executive officers who I once heard echo each other but at different settings. One ran an airline and the other a fintech company. The CEO of the airline quipped in an interview: “We get excited about East Africa with its population of (then) only 100 million. West Africa has multiple times more and is where we are casting our nets.” The other one, at a talk I attended: “We get excited that Safaricom has, what, 30 million subscribers. We ventured into Indonesia and found a market of 124 million people desperately needing our solution.”
The internet allows sellers, selling sandals or owning a shoe shop, to affordably cast their nets wide, and spread like a pandemic. And they do so by driving traffic to their websites by being active on platforms suc h as YouTube, Instagram,, Twitter and Facebook.
Shida haikupandwa kwako.