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How To Sell To Nigerians: 7 Hacks For Small Businesses In Nigeria


Selling is art, and it differs from one country to another. How you sell to an American is different from how you sell to a Nigerian. Selling to Nigerians comes with its own peculiarities.

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Nigerians see business life beyond commerce. Many small businesses fail early because they don’t understand this. Here are few hacks on how to sell to Nigerians.

  • Build Trust

As a product/service provider, creating trust is very key. Nigerians are natural sceptics. This is not their fault because the country is plagued with fraudsters and dupes. Therefore, small business owners must appear real to their customers. If your primary platform for marketing your product or service is social media, be deliberate to win the trust of your audience by not ghosting them or disappearing for too long. Always be in their faces, marketing yourself.

Secondly, upload stories in relation to your products or services. Tell real-life stories. Never allow your platform to be boring with only a sales thread. Occasionally go live on Facebook or Instagram; with this, people can know that you aren’t a ‘ghost’. You can also engage your audiences in a video call when necessary. Finally, give out a demo or free service/product to build your credibility.

  • Avoid Complex Communication

When marketing your product or service, speak in the language your customers would understand. Learn to blend street and professional language in your communication. The goal is to get to their hearts, and when you do, they will dip their hands into their pockets. Avoid complex or bogus communication at all cost.

  • Understand The Economic Status Of Your Customers

At the heart of business in Nigeria, understanding your customer’s economic status is very key. Always read the economic situation of the country and how it affects your customers. You must have a product or service that meet all classes of people – the poor, the middle, and the wealthy. For example, your business must be modelled in such a way that Nigerians will be able to cut their cloth according to their size.

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  • Define Your Target Audience

Learn to define your target audience. For example, if you deal on baby foods, what should make up the bulk of your customers are women, especially nursing mothers. You have no business building a customer base of unmarried and single people.

  • Make Your Business Flexible In Relation To The Nigerian Economy

Your business must be able to innovate in the face of fluctuating economic situations. For example, in the past, beverages were seen as a commodity for the wealthy because it was a package in large tin containers and was very expensive. Cowbell Milk changed the narrative when it introduced an economic satchel pack that was sold for ₦10. They knew that the larger percentage of Nigerians could not afford large tins of milk. In the first year of its introduction, the Brand had its highest profit since its inception.

  • Keep Customers Abreast On The Latest Gist On Your Product/Service

Give customers the latest info about your product or services. When there is a latest development on your product or another company’s product that you sell, let your customers be aware. Keep them abreast, don’t let them find out elsewhere. With this, you sustain their interests in your business. For example, if you deal in Android phones, inform your customers of the latest release. Tell them what makes it better than the previous ones. Give them the latest gossip to sustain their appetite for your product.

  • Master Their Taste And Preference

Never introduce a new product or change their preferences/tastes abruptly. If a customer loves a particular product, keep offering them that same product and the best of it, if possible. If you attempt to change their taste, they might see you as inconsistent no matter your good intentions. For instance, you deal in different brands of food seasoning, and you noticed that a customer loves a particular brand, which could be for various reasons such as personal love for the brand, the efficiency that comes from using the brand, or for status sake, capitalize on their addictions and grow your business.



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Nnaemeka is an academic scholar with a degree in History and International Studies from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He is also a creative writer, content creator, storyteller, and social analyst.

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