“Even though it takes a lot of doggedness and unusual inner strength to go on with activities when they yield the least result, persistence remains the critical factor in the viability and success of any business”.
The stories of the local sellers are incredible. Most of them have been in business for years and are still staying through to it, either by expanding or simply by not giving up on the very business they so believe in.
Here are 4 lessons about persistence that every 21st century entrepreneur needs to learn from the average local seller.
“No” doesn’t mean “Never”
The local market sellers won’t take your “No, I’m not buying that” as a final answer. They always somehow believe that you’ll come back later, maybe not at the moment, but eventually. Like the local market sellers, the new age entrepreneur should be tenacious. Go back to a potential customer with a better solution even after getting a “No”. A typical example is how the local seller runs after you when you decline an offer. Another is when he tries to convince you of other options if what you requested for isn’t available. You know what comes out of it? Most times, you end up buying it even if it’s not what you initially planned to.
Often times, the better option is to continue
In a typical local market, you have different sellers with stores stocked with similar products. You wonder how they go about sales or if they make their returns on capital. When the sellers were asked how they seem to manage this, they all had something in common to say. “I would rather be doing this because when I think about quitting, I remember the reason why I ventured into this in the first place”. For the 21st century business owner, most stop half way into the business with the believe of ‘there are too many people doing this same thing.’
“I have what you need and I’ll keep letting you know.”
Another interesting way that the local market sellers demonstrates persistence is the act of getting the customer’s attention even if they were not looking. This is what the 21st century entrepreneur will call Marketing/Sales. It’s not cold-calling, it is knowing that a potential customer has a particular need and even when the customer has a different focus, the local seller will aim to get your attention regardless.
Work towards the big day
The typical local market seller understands that not every day will be rosy. If today doesn’t work fine, tomorrow is another day. They stock their shops nonetheless because they have imbibed the good practice that ‘opportunity meets the prepared.’ Few entrepreneurs today understand this concept. What many do is give up when business seems to be slow. Ask the local market seller and you’ll get a pat on your shoulder that the day will come, wait for it while you keep doing what you are doing.
To all the business owners, persistence is the fuel for a long-lasting and successful business. This also applies to those of us in a regular 9-5 routine.