Sunday, September 18, 2011
Two Ice-cream vendors parked their bicycles in front of our school gate, waiting for people to patronise them. The scorching September sun and/or the way the vendors positioned themselves made their products appealing. The moment I saw them, I had an impulsive nudge to buy a Yoghourt, so I walked towards the nearest one.
“Do you have X Yoghourt?” I asked him, removing my sunglasses, so I could make eye contact. “Yes, I get” he replied in Pidgin English, bringing out one of his yoghourts.
“An X Yoghourt, not this one,” I said, impatiently. Glancing at the other vendor, I noticed he had empty cans of Yoghourts, in different varieties, tied to his bicycle. The type I wanted jumped right into sight. “Oh that is what I mean.” I exclaimed with a smile, walking briskly to his spot.
After paying and collecting my favorite X Yoghourt, I walked away happily with my purchase. But not before clarifying with the former vendor, “This is the type I wanted.” I was perplexed when he replied, “I get na.” meaning he also had the type of yoghourt.
Sometimes, no matter how well “stocked” we are, the opportunities and profits we loose is as a result of our inability to communicate effectively, market accurately and understand the point of view of others efficiently. Although the first ice cream vendor had the same products as the second, he lacked the creative ability to effectively communicate this to potential customers. To him, having a bicycle full of ice cream and a uniform to indicate he is a certified distributor was enough to get him customers. However, we can only imagine how much profit eludes him for everyone customer that walk past him to his creative competitor.
Bringing this down to every day life, as earlier mentioned, sometimes our mistakes and failures are due to oversight. We put our efforts in a task expecting an excellent result and benefitting profit, only to be rewarded with pangs of disappointment and losses.
Have you ever sat for an exam or test, only to get your result and see a lesser mark than expected? I have. And when I compare my script with someone that has a better score, with the intention of learning my mistakes, I usually discover the difference in content is like a minute fraction of an inch. Yes, the trivial we ignore counts for or against.
A healthy competition is okay, but to stay ahead of the curve and have a competitive advantage, be it in the classroom, field or marketplace, we have to go the extra mile. It is not about how talented one is, or how better qualified, you must be able to communicate what you are “selling”, from simple ideas to complex theories and be creative, diligent and assertive in your approach.
You don’t have to be an ice cream vendor to apply this, but this simple life lesson has certainly changed my approach to daily life.
Posted by Jennifer Ehidiamen at 10:09 AM