No matter what you were taught in school, business comes down to ADDITION, and addition of customers. If you are lucky to add the right customers, you will find glory.
As a secondary school kid, I followed a kinsman to buy bricks for his house project in the village. When we got there, the owner of the brick molding business offered us “nzu” (a white stone) which is a symbol of peace and growth in Igbo tradition (Nigeria). When new babies are born, villagers typically gather to share “nzu” because joy & growth has arrived!
As you dip your fingers to pick a little, and rub on your wrist, the man would usher “whatever has brought you here would flourish, and the funds where this project will come will flourish”. He was a master salesman who out-competed every other brick-maker in a largely commoditized business.
In business literature, commoditization is defined as the process by which goods that have economic value and are distinguishable in terms of attributes (uniqueness or brand) end up becoming simple commodities in the eyes of the market or consumers.
Mazi Ikea was not selling bricks; he was selling good wishes and fortunes to young men who visited home to start building projects. People associated his bricks with great favour and everyone bought from him.
Never underestimate the power of saying Thank You Sir for the opportunity to serve that customer. Find ways to deliver more than products – give intangibles that make you unique. You must sell bricks, packaged with good fortunes!