Africa’s leading digital entrepreneur and Chairman, Zinox Group, Leo Stan Ekeh has disclosed that Nigeria is blessed with global salesmen and women in the public, private, political and religious spheres in a knowledge century where a typical salesman or woman is expected to have some critical qualities to achieve global success and make an impact in the society, even as he cited religious icons such as Enoch Adeboye, the late Benson Idahosa and Bishop Mathew Kukah as examples of great Nigerian salesmen.
He made this disclosure in a captivating keynote address delivered at the Nigeria Sales Conference, a mega sales expo held at the Welcome Centre, Ikeja recently.
Ekeh described the critical qualities of a globally-certified salesman to include in-depth knowledge of what he is selling, humility, honesty, empathy, clear communication skill, hunger to deliver, confidence, positive mindset, patience and defined lifestyle, amongst others.
According to him, practical salesmen emerged in America with style two centuries ago and a lot of them found space in the political sphere before few of them embraced evangelism, while noting that it was their lifestyle, particularly their dress sense, communication skill and knowledge of their businesses that distinguished these men and women in the society and earned them more pay than the ordinary in the society, while ensuring they were celebrated in their companies through bonuses and commissions.
“For the politicians, they psychologically infected voters and won elections and for the religiously converted, they started evangelism and founded churches and most of their members saw them almost as Christ Jesus because of their power of influence.
“For the Pastors, their bonuses came through more spiritual power, blessings and expansion of God’s work on earth. They all contribute to the growth of an economy. It is not just money that builds a society, you need men of character most of them cultured today through credible Islamic and Christian platforms.
“In this knowledge century, quality salesmen and women enhance the brand equity of their products and institutions,” he declared.
Continuing, Ekeh noted: “A good example is in the religious sector in Nigeria, where you have unusual salesmen like Pastor Enoch Adeboye of the Redeemed Christian Church of God who delivers slowly with a golden antique voice that is spirit-filled; the late Archbishop Benson Idahosa described as the father of Nigerian Pentecostal Movement, who brought style to the Pentecostal denomination and then Catholic Bishop Mathew Kukah whose civilized sermons easily converts the unbelievers.
“These men of God, if they were politicians or corporate egg-heads would be extraordinary leaders with clear vision and capacity. They are not money focused but God is using them as points of contact to build men and women of character in our society and by extension creating quality wealth,” he lectured.
Ekeh warned salesmen and women at the conference that the next few years will see the disappearance of the word – salesmen or women, giving way to their description as Marketers, because marketers go the extra mile on research before selling and this is now made very easy and at no extra cost with the use of technology, mostly through the power of the Internet, making it very important for everyone in the business to upgrade.
“Multi-skilled and structured sales men and women will occupy 85 percent of the political, corporate and religious leadership positions in the second quarter of this century because they have the knowledge, energy and hunger to achieve and it will be prosperity to all,” he concluded.