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Boosting sales in emerging economies: 10 practical tips

boosting sales in emerging economies with these 10 tips from Guide My Growth

Boosting sales when you do business in an emerging economy can be challenging, but it is crucial for the growth and success of your business. As a business advisor and coach, I have helped businesses in emerging economies across Africa, South Asia and South America improve their sales strategies and increase their revenue.

In my consulting, the following topics keep coming back.

1. Fully understand your target market

Before you can start boosting sales, it is essential to understand your target market. This means doing market research to identify your (potential) customers, their needs, preferences, and buying habits.

In emerging economies, this information may be hard to get. In that case, there are three ways to go about this:

  • Do your own research by sending out employees – or contractors – to observe the market
  • Interview your existing customers to get this information

If you already know who your Most Profitable Customers are, it is easier to get this information. In that case, you will focus your interviews on them.

This approach will help you tailor your products and services to meet their needs and increase your chances of making a sale.

2. Focus on your Most Profitable Customers

Often, I see businesses trying to sell their products or services to any and all customers.

The problem with this is that you then lack focus. Plus, your customers don’t know who you cater to.

Once businesses have clarity about their market and the customers on that market, I always advise them to focus on their Most Profitable Customers.

Your Most Profitable Customers are the best customers to help your business grow faster.

If you don’t know how to identify them, I have a free webinar that you can watch to learn how to do this.

3. Develop a strong value proposition

When you are selling to ‘everybody’, it is hard for people to know why they should buy from you instead of from your competitors.

You may decided to compete on price, but frankly, that is the worst possible strategy for any small or medium business! There will always be a competitor who charges a lower price. Moreover, you are reducing your own profits and you are not building any customer loyalty.

When you clearly define the kind of customer that you want to sell to and when you truly understand their needs, it becomes easier to determine your value proposition. Knowing customer needs and knowing what you have to offer gives you your unique selling proposition.

Combine this with a competitor analysis and you have all the building blocks of a strong value proposition for a specific group of customers.

4. Build your brand

If I don’t know you and what you stand for, I can’t buy from you.

It’s that simple.

A strong brand can help increase your visibility and credibility in the market. This can help increase customer loyalty and repeat business.

Develop a brand that resonates with your target market and that distinguishes you from your competitors. This means that you pay attention to the kind of words and images that appeal to your customers.

Again, this is easier to do when you have already identified your Most Profitable Customers because you can use information you get from them to attract more of this particular type of customer.

5. Use digital as well as offline marketing

Digital marketing can be an effective way to reach a larger audience and increase your visibility in the market.

Commonly-used tools are social media, sms marketing, email marketing, and search engine optimisation. All of these can help you reach your customers and promote your products and services.

At the same time, old-fashioned offline marketing is also still a great way to boost sales.

The key question is: where do your customers spend their time? When you know

A word of advice: analyse the results from your marketing efforts to see which ones bring the best results. Analyse them further, to understand WHY they bring good results. Then, rinse and repeat. AKA, focus your efforts only on what works.

6. Offer excellent customer service

This is another way to build your brand and position yourself in the market.

Excellent customer service is one of the secret weapons of successful businesses.

Some easy ways to improve your customer service are:

  • Addressing customer concerns and complaints promptly
  • Providing helpful and accurate information, and
  • Going above and beyond to meet customer needs.

See this article for more ways to increase customer satisfaction at no cost.

7. Invest in customer retention

Businesses often focus on attracting new customers.

Sure, that is a great strategy.

But did you know that:

In other words, customer retention helps you reduce costs, increase profits and generate higher sales.

Plus, it is easier to retain existing customers than to look for new customers.

My advice?

Choose wisely.

8. Invest in training and development

This tip is closely linked to the previous one.

Investing in training and development can help businesses increase their chances of success.

By providing employees with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed, you can improve your operations, increase customer satisfaction, and gain a competitive advantage.

And for your employees, it’s an opportunity to build their skills. Might they decide to leave you after you train them?


But if they do, they carry your name with them which helps to boost your reputation. And at the end of the day, that will attract the best new employees.

Win-win for everybody.

9. Build a network of partners

Diversification is a great strategy to reduce risks. So is having multiple sources of income.

A small business may not always be able to diversify to a large extent. They may also not (yet) have the money to invest in new sources of income.

This is where business partnerships can help.

A network of partners can help increase sales. For example, partnering with retailers can help you access new markets or new types of customers.

The key to a successful partnership is to look for potential partners that complement your business, now and in the future. You don’t want to work with somebody who will become your competitor tomorrow.

10. Invest in market research

Even if you have already identified the particular type of customer that you want to focus on, whether your Most Profitable Customers or others, ongoing market research is a necessary part of business strategy.

It helps you understand the market better. It also helps you understand consumer preferences and buying habits, identify new market segments, and stay informed about changes in the market.

Additionally, it provides you with data that you can use to identify new opportunities for growth. By investing in market research, you can make informed decisions and increase your chances of success.

Bonus tip: don’t forget about sustainability

Sustainability is a key aspect of doing business.

Depending on where you are and the kind of business you have, you may not be able to invest in big things like green energy or green mobility.

But every business can invest in fair labour practices or carefully use resources to reduce waste. If you produce goods, there are other sustainable practices that you can implement that will not cost you a lot of money.

No matter how small your efforts, what you do can help make a difference.

A word of advice: please communicate about what you are doing! It might encourage other people to follow your example. And it will most certainly help to distinguish your business from competitors and attract more customers.

In conclusion, boosting sales in emerging economies can be challenging, but there are various strategies that businesses can use to achieve this.

As a business advisor, I am available to help you generate higher sales and increase your profits.

Contact me today!

I help small & medium businesses generate higher profits so that they don't have to waste time chasing funders

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