Sell effortlessly: navigate from bloody sales waters to blue oceans

What does the hawker that roams the residential area in the evening and the medrep that sells at night have in common? Stay with me to find out; and no, it’s not that they are night runners. For now though, are you selling in bloody waters? Could this be limiting your sales? If you are fishing where everyone else is, those waters are likely bloody from the myriad battles they’ve experienced and continue to. Instead of joining the fray, hammer and tongs, pause for cause. Sell effortlessly in blue oceans. Cast your eyes further out. There could be a virgin big blue ocean out there. Here are 6 examples of this.

Advantages of blue Ocean strategy – Sales

Whereas, blue ocean strategy is associated with strategy and businesses, it is not limited to them. Hawkers that sell in the evening across large residential areas are an example of this. Possibly, they complement their (bloodied) day efforts with this big blue untapped ocean, or they limit their efforts purely to this ocean. As with most bloodied waters, access is easy, not just for sellers, but for city council law enforcement (‘kanjo’) in the case of hawkers, too. And this is the challenge with fishing where everyone else is – you are caught up in price wars, reputation wars, unending compromises, sudden shortcuts and cut throat competition. Avoid this. Sell effortlessly in blue oceans.

Most Uber drivers that operate at night do so for this same reason. “There’s no traffic; no ‘kanjo’, and passengers (usually revellers) are in spending mood,” some say. “I’ve tried both and I’m settled on night. The returns are better,” one volunteered.

The ROPES course by Tanari Trust is classic product -based Blue Ocean strategy by an institution. Innovative ROPES blends modernity, Christianity and African tradition to give teens, typically of middle-class parents, a resounding rites of passage experience. ROPES is so wildly successful that today anyone who can put up a A4 paper poster on a tree now sells counterfeits of it. As they say, ‘Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness.’

Read: 3 lessons in selling from matatu crew

Benefits: You sell effortlessly in blue oceans

What about you? Are you selling to the same market, in the same way you found all others doing? For instance, if you are a medical representative (medrep), are your waters bloodied? The waters of sitting outside the doctor’s clinic, suitcase in hand, with other competing medreps, waiting, hoping, to be called in. And if they are, is it not time to cast your eyes out into the horizon and sell effortlessly in blue oceans? Prescribers (doctors) by their own admission do not fancy seeing medreps. Most buildings housing doctors even have warnings at the reception explicitly barring medreps from getting in.

Sell effortlessly in blue oceans

Hospitals themselves are slightly better (maybe because controlling traffic there is not as easy) but then there are gatekeepers (askaris and nurses) to contend with. If you are a medrep, fed up with fishing in bloody waters, find out how else you can meet the same doctor. One innovative medrep used to do his detailing (missionary selling) at night, for instance. “There are no other medreps, no visitors, patients are asleep, doctors aren’t as frazzled, and it’s peaceful all around.”

sell effortlessly in blue oceans

B2C selling: How to implement and find your blue ocean

A log book loan salesperson, fed up with his bloody waters of moving from one area to the next, and ending up, “tired, hungry, dusty, sweaty, and seeing at most 5 people a day,” sought his blue ocean. “Now, I camp at a busy parking lot. In fact, the sunken one in CBD opposite the Supreme Court is perfect. I spend my entire day there and easily engage upwards of 50 prospects. No sweaty armpits, no fatigue, no dust. Most times I even close shop at lunch time if I’ve met my daily pitching target.” Bank and insurance sales representatives can borrow a leaf from here and sell effortlessly in blue oceans. Instead of perambulating about looking for prospects, just go to where they are – a large employer, for example.

Internet equalized the competition field

Here’s another example. The Internet truly disrupted selling. It was also an equalizer. Suddenly, decades old, brand driven fintechs (financial technology firms) for instance, were competing with a techie sitting at his laptop in his bedroom, typing out code. Established business and industries like the traditional taxi threw a tantrum, tragically even spilt actual blood (of drivers that were early adopters to Uber) but ultimately, they succumbed to an idea whose time had come.

Today, your SQ on Airbnb is in direct competition with 5-star hotels. The internet has levelled the marketing and competition playing fields; flexible, lean and competent small businesses with limited budgets and knowledge in digital marketing are being discovered by customers, and taking on giants, burdened by rigidity, pompousness and overheads. How? Because you generally search on Google and take an interest in who pops up first, not necessarily who they are, or how big they are. In fact, corporate marketing budgets are now skewed in favour of digital. Which means an optimized and useful website, can easily be your (marketing) blue ocean – the pebble that you, David, use to bring down Goliath with his billboard sized marketing budgets. Or, at the very least, give him a run for his money because, suddenly, you’re now visible.

Find your blue ocean and sell effortlessly 

Sell effortlessly in blue oceans. In the competitive world of sales, venturing into blue oceans rather than wading through bloody waters can transform your results. By identifying unique opportunities and unmet needs, salespeople and business owners can not only dramatically increase their sales but also enjoy a less competitive and more fulfilling career. So, are you ready to leave the bloody waters behind and explore your blue ocean?


Check out our short courses. If you are interested in having your sales team sell more, we can help. In order for us to do so we propose a free consultation meeting or a call. If in agreement please complete the form below and we will get in touch after receiving your details, none of which will be public. Thank you.

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