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Coomunication in Business

In: Business and Management

Submitted By lexluther
Words 1837
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Our focus was on the informal sector with particular interest on two groups of traders, Moha, who specializes in ladies’ shoes and Desire DresCode Fashion who sell female clothes. Both the groups are situated at Adams Arcade off Ng’ong Road, near Our Lady of Guadalupe Church.
Moha began his business as an intern two years ago after trying out jobs as a driver and a chef. He learnt through apprenticeship which involved observation of how his mentor acquired, prepared and priced his goods as well as how he treated his customers. At first, capital was very hard to come by and he had to use the skills that he had learnt from apprenticeship to start off.
Moha decided to take up this line of business because he wanted to be his own boss. This was because he found that being employed has restrictions and limits returns. Having his own business gives him the flexibility he needs. He buys his stock from ‘Gikomba’ open air market where he has to handpick shoes of his interest and negotiate for the price.
Desire DresCode Fashion is a group of young men who purchase and sell second hand clothes for women. They started their business about a year ago to empower the youth of the area through self-employment. This group has a schedule where every Thursday, they buy stock in bulk as bales and sort them out for sale. In order to meet the Thursday deadline they employ various methods of persuasion so as to get rid of the current stock and maximize sales. Mission
This is to sell quality shoes and clothes to customers at affordable prices leaving the customers happy and still manage to break even.
Vision
They want to have stable reputable business with a large customer base, preferably in town, that would give them steady and where possible higher incomes.
In order to fulfill the mission and achieve their vision persuasion plays a big role in their businesses. In order be able to break-even they have to sell their goods at higher prices than they bought them but still make sure that the goods are affordable and appealing to the customers. Moha and Desire DresCode Fashion persuade their customers to purchase these goods at those prices set and may reduce prices to persuade them to buy. Even though people tend to look down upon shoes and clothes that are not bought in recognized stores, they offer good quality and durable good. They also have very good customer relations. They intend to sell a customer good quality and durable goods so as to ensure the customers come back to them when in need of the same goods.
Being that the main aim in business is to make profits so as to sustain oneself and their business; both business’ have to work really hard in their sales so as to gain from holding such goods for purchase. Persuasion plays a big role because they have to convince their customers, more so, since their goods are second-hand and have been used elsewhere. This presents a big task to them since many of them are not willing to pay a good price for such products especially with the tough economic times in which everybody needs more money to purchase the essential commodities.
In the long run with effective persuasive skills both companies will go a long way in achieving their visions. This especially comes in handy as they strive to establish a wide clientele.
Customers will need to be convinced to not only be one time customers but also come again for even better quality goods and hopefully refer others, a trait Moha tries to use to get more customers.
Also in looking to attain their vision, they hope to use persuasion to get investors who have capital they can put into their businesses and help them to expand. Lack of expansion capital is a contributing factor as to why they have resorted to looking for spaces where they do not have to pay to set up their operations.

Persuasion
According to (Mackin, 2006) persuasion is the act of changing a person’s behavior or attitude. Therefore, to be good in persuasion you must be able to change a person’s behavior and or attitude towards a given issue. To be persuasive (Cockroft & Cockcroft, 1992)one needs to apply a combination of intuition and calculation to determine how much of your ‘real self’ should be revealed to others in the interaction.
In relation to the business of buying and selling goods, a business must have good persuasion skills. This is because most of these goods can be found at a different place and probably at a different price. Therefore, a trader must be able to convince a customer to purchase the good from him/her instead of somebody else.
According to (Nutt, 2011)there are ways people can be more persuasive in order to attract a customer and these are:
Be the first to give
As a trader one will sell a good to a customer at a certain price that incorporates his/her profit. If this price is too high for the customer, the trader should be the first to quote a lower price so as to meet the customer half way.
Repeat yourself
Saying some things once may not always cut it so traders need to keep repeating things like how good a lady may look in maybe a shoe or a piece of clothing. A trader can also persuade the customer to just try on the shoe or piece of clothing even though they may not purchase it.
Give people an incentive
In order to persuade a customer to buy more goods a trader needs to give him/her an incentive such as if he/she buys two pairs of shoes he/she can get another shoe at half price.
Know your audience
A trader must know his/her customers. If a trader is selling women’s clothes they should know how women act and how far they can push them. If one does not know their audience they will have problems trying to approach them in a persuasive manner.
Create scarcity and Urgency
In order to persuade people to buy something you must be able to convince them at the good they want is scarce and they might not get it if they look for it elsewhere. They may also add that the item is on high demand and they might not find it if they leave it and return to buy it.
Smile
A person who smiles to his/her customers is more l likely to be persuasive than the one who does not smile. One should show his/her customers that he enjoys his work and is happy t serve the customer.
According to (Boe, 2008) there are words that can be used depending on the situation to persuade people more which are:
Fun * Entertaining * Creative * Friendly * Simple * Incredible * Exclusive * Improved * Prestige * New * Ultimate * Spontaneous * Exciting * Enjoyable * Cash * Adventure
Safe * Scientific * Proven * Value * Learn * Guaranteed * Save * Bargain * Economical * Quality * Logical * Reliable * Accurate * Perfect * Security * Precise * Efficient

Importance of persuasion in informal business
As is the case with Moha and Design DresCode Fashion, their businesses are in the informal sector since they are not registered companies. They operate by buying their stock of preference and selling it in an open air market, Adams Arcade.
It is due to this fact that persuasion plays a big role in their line of work for several reasons:- By fact of being an informal business operating in the open air and by the road, both businesses do not have a site which they can confidently say is their own business premises. Initially it was illegal to operate a business by the roadside and they were treated as hawkers with running battles between them and City Council of Nairobi. However, we are informed that they had to send their representatives to negotiate and persuade the local authorities to allow them to operate their businesses. In the end the local authorities allowed them to operate from around 3p.m. on weekdays and from 1p.m. on Saturdays. Business is very competitive and very hard at times as explained by Moha. He purchases goods from ‘Gikomba’ mainly and his suppliers tend to be rigid on their prices at times. Since he does not purchase shoes as wholesale in bulk but one by one, when he encounters a good shoe but he does not agree with the price he also has to persuade the seller to lower his price. This requires good persuasive skills because the suppliers have many clients. Also the suppliers do not agree to purchase on credit so they have to pay as they purchase. Over time they established a rapport with the suppliers and now find it easier to transact with them. Knowing their taste of products very well helps them to persuade their suppliers to sell to them at the price they wish to get. Moha explains that if he went to purchase shoes he is not very conversant with, for example stilettos, at first sight the way he would hold the shoe would be an indicator to the seller that he does not deal in them. The price would then be inflated. It suits him to know about the products he wants to trade in before venturing into it. This helps him to use his persuasion skills better in business negotiations. Persuasion plays a big role in business survival when dealing with customers face to face. Moha’s business of selling shoes does not have a fixed price for the shoes. The price depends on the type of shoe and the condition it is in. Therefore, it becomes essential for the traders to persuade customers that the price for their goods matches the quality. Setting a standard price for dresses makes it easier to persuade customers for Design DresCode Fashion. Their prices are not negotiable and since all goods for the same price, customers do not feel as if they are being reaped off compared to other customers. Design DresCode Fashion also entices their customers by putting an offer to their customers. On Saturdays as a way of clearing weekly stock, they give away one free piece of clothing for every four pieces purchased. They also attract customers by wearing some of the clothes on offer so as to show that their products are good enough to be worn by men.
However, persuasion in this line of business sometimes does not achieve its effectiveness due to various reasons:- Customers tend to be rude and down looking on the trade. This leads to a deadlock between the sellers and the customers and most of the times the sellers like Moha find it hard to persuade customers who have a prejudgment. Customers come up with ridiculously low prices and tend to be rigid. They assume that second hand clothes cannot be above a certain price because they are already used.…...

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