The greatest investment God can make in anybody’s life is via information because the quality of your life will never be higher than the quality of your thoughts. You cannot rise above the level of information that you have. Knowledge is vital to the achievement of any level of significance in life. I believe we have chosen not to be people who wait for things to happen or watch things happen but people who make things happen and who eventually happen to things. Excellent footballers do not run to where the ball is, the run to where the ball is going.

Let us start off with the discourse: successful selling. One of the most important skills I believe Nigeria’s need to acquire now is selling. One way or the other, everybody is in the business of selling. We sell literarily everything. Of course, we sell products and services but then we sell ideas too. To our children, we sell values, attitudes and behaviour. Ultimately, everybody sells himself or herself. The degree to which you are effective in marketing yourself will determine how high you will rise, whether you are working for yourself or for someone else. There are intelligent people who cannot package and sell themselves very well – they do not rise. The extent to which you can sell yourself effectively to those who have the power to promote you will determine how high you rise. In every organisation, there are employees who can sell themselves very well to the bosses and there are some who cannot. So, selling skills are fundamental. Everybody needs to know how to sell. Those who can persuade, convince, and influence other people always stand a better chance than those who cannot.

I realise also that ultimately it is sales that drive everything. It is sales that drive production. For example, what is the use of your producing soap or notebook, or anything if you are not selling? You will be frustrated out of production. Sales also determine the number of goods produced. The more sales you make, the higher the volume of goods produced and the more the demand on your stock. It is sales that drive staffing, employment and jobs. If sales are being made, more people will be required to sell and produce, and more people will be required to manage the income and expenditure. All developed economies know that if sales go down, everything goes down because there will be job cuts. The level of sales will not be able to sustain the staff companies have. Sales also drive salaries and wages.

In fact, it is sales that drive the whole economy of a country. These are facts that have been robbed us in this country because we struck oil. In any case, the oil itself must be sold but beyond that, there are many things we have to sell. And it is obvious now as we can see from the Nigerian economy that we have to find other things to sell or else, we are headed for trouble. As the government tries to stimulate production, the next critical thing will be our ability to sell. Without sales, there would not be any reasonable taxes. It is sales that provide dividends for shareholders. Sales are everything.

I was discussing with a friend of mine in the United States when I saw him preparing salaries for the staff and I discovered that they pay every two weeks. So, I asked him why it is a culture in the US to pay salaries fortnightly. In fact, in some countries, it is weekly. He said that it is to enable people to buy goods on time. If a manufacturer produces goods, he needs people to be able to buy them. If he is to wait until the end of the month before they can buy the goods it will cost him money at the banks if he got money from the banks to produce the goods. So, the earlier people can get money with which to buy the goods, the better for the producer and for everybody else. That makes a lot of sense. In our country, most people cannot buy things until the end of the month. Considering the earning power here, it is no surprise that people are broke before the end of the month. And they still must buy the basic things that they need and take transport to work. So, the need to borrow.

As the government initiates a shift from public sector to a private sector based economy, we will have to create goods and services. It will be critical for us to sharpen our selling skills to thrive and prosper.

You will succeed!

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