6 lessons the Ekiti elections can teach the Nigerian Business Owner

Saturday June 21, 2014 was a turning point for leadership in Ekiti State, Nigeria. Former impeached governor, Peter Fayose defeated incumbent John Fayemi in the governorship elections.

Unlike previous elections conducted, there were no cases of violence and more importantly ballot snatching which would have been an indication that the results were manipulated. The election was free and fair and the people made their choice.


Prior to the elections on Saturday, both candidates had in their various campaign statements articulated why the people should vote for them. Fayemi listed infrastructural development, good governance and innovative policies as his key achievements and enjoined the electorate to give him a second chance.

Fayose on the other hand, likened his candidacy to choosing a friend to represent you. He sold himself as grassroots man who understood the plight of the common man and had their best interests at heart. This ideology resonated with the masses and on this basis he won the elections. Whether you agree with his philosophy or not is a matter for another day. 

However there are some key lessons from this that can be applied in business:

1. Quality is most times a matter of perception. Your customers will buy the product that best satisfies their need at a particular need and not necessarily what you deem is best for them

2. Regardless of how good your product or service is, if you do not communicate the benefits in a manner that strikes a chord with customers, they will not buy.

3. Change is difficult for people to embrace. If you want to introduce an innovative product into the market, first devote time to sensitizing your customers on the benefits as compared to the status quo and build interest gradually.

4. When selling to a large group of people. Identify the ‘buyers’. These are the people who have the power to influence and  make the buying decisions. If you have them on your side, you have the majority.

5. Know your market and adapt your products to suit their needs. Customers sometimes do not know what they want but they most certainly know what they don’t want.

6.The fact that customers did not buy your product does not mean it is a bad product. It could be for a variety of reasons. Perhaps the market was not ready; the packaging was not right or the price too steep etc. 

A good business owner will always find new ways of reaching customers without compromising on key principles. 

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