It was a challenging day on the 3rd of July 2019 for the Kassuwa Feild Team. This would be their first time ever in the field and no one knew what to expect, the market is extremely unpredictable.
Our team of 8 Catalogue Collectors and their Supervisor began their journey of Vendor Registration in the famous Wuse market, right in the centre of the Capital territory.
There was no road-map or master-plan as to how to do this successfully. We were all improvising and winging it using our people skills and charm, and somehow, even from the 1st day we had a positive response. Here’s how it happened”
STEP 1: PROPER INTRODUCTIONS
There are all sorts of characters passing through Abuja Markets on a daily basis. Making all sorts of false promises to vulnerable vendors. We had to ensure we were properly identified as Joint representatives of both Kassuwa and AMML. To do this, our Data Collectors were fully kitted in our branded apparel, and on our first day the “Market Town Crier” went round with all of the Data Collectors as a group announcing why we were there and what our intentions were. We did this every two hours for the first day and repeated it twice a day for the rest of the week. By doing this, the vendors were not only expecting a visit, but knew that the visit was from an authority they recognised and trusted.
STEP 2: A VALUABLE LESSON IN LISTENING
A strategy we had decided to try out was to listen first, express our sentiment and then share our vlaue propositions applicable to the problems shared. So for every shop we entered, after introductions, our first question was always “How can AMML & KASSUWA help your business, tell me about your challenges?” This provided the opportunity for the vendors to verbally express their displeasure and on several occassions othe vendors in neigbouring shops would join in on the conversation. After this our CDC would attempt to console them for their predicaments, congratulate them on their resilience under challenging circumstances and finally, present our various services that could not only help improve their business but also possibly solve some of the problems they had earlier mentioned.
3. COMPLETE THE REGISTRATION, KEEP THE CONNECTION ALIVE:
The essence of the exercise is data collection and vendor registration so our CDCs were always prepared, clipboard in hand ready to verify the information we had on hand for the vendor and make corrections where necessary. The secondary goal was to ensure that for each vendor, on completion of registration, we are able to capture a minimum of 5 products from that store that meet our product standards.
48 hours later after the vendor profile and Product SKUs have been approved and optimised, the CDC returns to the Vendor to touch base. The vendor is shown their seller profile, their new catalogue (featuring their 5 newly added products) and is given information on how to share their catalogues and storefront over social media and messaging platforms.
At this point we determine the vendor’s level of IT proficiency and decide if the vendor will need continuous support for catalogue management. If they do, then the CDC is expected to touch base with that vendor 3 times a week to help with catalogue management and possibly teach them how to use social media to communicate with customers.
The response from the Vendors has been generally positive. A few people are traumatized by negative online experiences from the past but we try our best to bring them to our side of the court by gradually winning their trust.
We really look forward to hitting our targets in Wuse Market and proceed to our next location, Neighbourhood Centre.
We are hopeful that the same strategies and continuous administrative support from AMML will make the experience as fulfilling as possible.