Aisha Iya Ahman Pategi is CEO Roots and Origins – Abuja and A-Line Realty (Real Estate) Atlanta Georgia, USA. She has channelled her love for healthy living and eating into one of Abuja’s stores for healthful food and products. She believes in keeping one’s employees as colleagues and customers as family in order to run a successful business.
TMG> Tell us a little about your background.
I attended FGC Kaduna, Ahmadu Bello University, Oklahoma City University and Stanford University. I am a graduate of Mass Communications.
TMG> What made you go into sales?
Aisha> It was a calling.
TMG> What sort of goods does your company sell?
Aisha> Roots & Origins is in the business of promoting healthy living by selling the best and finest organic products from around the world. A-Line Realty on the other hand is a real estate firm in Atlanta, Georgia that is into both residential and commercial real estate.
TMG> Which areas do you need to improve on in your company?
Aisha> All areas of every company are always in need of improvement, especially when it’s a start- up company like Roots & Origins which is just a little over 2 years old.
TMG> What do you feel is the next step in developing your sales skills?
Aisha> Continuous education programmes which would enlighten people further about our products and services.
TMG> What are some of the challenges you have faced in starting your company?
Aisha> The instablity of Naira.
TMG> What style of management do you think works in becoming successful at your kind of business?
Aisha> Having your employees as colleagues and customers as family.
TMG> Tell us about a successful sales pitch you used for a difficult client. How were you able to sell the good(s) to him/her?
Aisha> A great sales person understands that he/she doesn’t ever sell a product but sells him/ herself. Customers buy things from people they feel comfortable with.
TMG> Have you ever lost during sales and what did you learn?
Aisha> I never lose at sales; the customer might not buy the product at that point but they will come back another day.
TMG> How do you keep up to date on your target market?
Aisha> Daily communication. We live in the exponential age.
TMG> How would you approach a short sales cycle differently than a long sales cycle?
Aisha> For the short sales, you would smile and give them what they asked for, while the long would require you listening to them in order to understand what they need as opposed to what they want.
TMG> When do you stop pursuing a client?
Aisha> Don’t ever stop pursuing a client; you are to stay connected forever. If you don’t have a product they need at that time, you could have something that would interest them in the future.
TMG> Who are you comfortable selling to and why?
Aisha> Educated buyers because they know what they need as opposed to what they want.
TMG> What motivates you?
Aisha> Knowing I’m serving the universe.
TMG> What is your ultimate career aspiration?
Aisha> To build an empire across the globe.
TMG> How do you keep a smile on your face during a hard day to make sure your clients feel good?
Aisha> I just do it to encourage people around me and for my clients to come back.
TMG> Have you ever had a losing streak? How did you turn it around?
Aisha> We don’t see it as a loss but always an opportunity to learn.
TMG> What way do you think your organization could do better?
Aisha> We could improve by conducting conferences and seminars in order to drive sales.
TMG> In your last position, how much time did you spend cultivating customer relationships and hunting for new clients?
Aisha> It’s a lifetime, there was no time frame. A sales person needs to keep in touch with the public always.
TMG> What’s your approach to handling customer objections?
Aiaha> To listen and understand them.
TMG> Have you ever asked a client to explain why she didn’t buy a product? What did he/she say, and what did you learn from that experience?
Aisha> I learn to listen, understand and wait for a come back.
TMG> What role does marketing play in your selling process?
Aisha> Everything that has to do with marketing plays a great role to my company
TMG> In terms of sales skills, where would you like to get even better?
Aisha> Personal development
TMG> Tell us about the greatest goal that you’ve ever accomplished professionally?
Aisha> Earning my Real Estate Broker designation in the state of Georgia (U.S.A)
TMG> Have you remained persistent during sales, even though everyone else around you had given up?
Aisha>Yes, I have never given up.
TMG> What kinds of sacrifices have you had to make to be successful?
Aisha> Setting up Roots & Origins with a 0 budget, putting in all that I have.
TMG> Tell us something you would like to learn or improve upon?
Aisha> Law of success to excel
TMG> How do you manage cost? If your labour is running high with low profit, what measures do you take to control it?
Aisha> Source lower from suppliers
TMG> How do you manage risk, in terms of damages or loss?
Aisha> I don’t overstock my products.
TMG> What way can you encourage other youths not to depend on government for jobs but to be self dependent?
Aisha> I would advise them to go into Entrepreneurship
TMG> Do you socialise and when?
Aisha> Yes I do… every moment I get