Sunday, 2 July 2017

16. Push and Pull Strategies

We spoke about hidden agendas and opportunists. For them to be successful in their objectives they need to be very good at selling - at getting you where they want you to be without raising alarm. This requires push and pull strategies which are not unlike business marketing strategies though often the mastery  can be quite advanced at a personal level. As part of ones personal growth as an entrepreneur, it is important to learn what strategies are available and how to use them smoothly because one is always  selling – It is what life and relationships are about. As the targeted ‘victim’ of a sales process it is not often clear when intentions are for good or bad. Following your gut becomes a very integral part of your interactions and business relations as well. It can save you lots. ...
As luck would have it after dropping his aunties, the van has a problem on the way back. Junior spends the rest of the day trying to fix it and is not able to contact Olu. Mzee Zablo, normally a very stingy man will ordinarily wait until the vehicle is almost falling apart before he replaces anything.  His mantra is ‘Don’t fix anything unless it’s broken.’ So the ladies arrive in Lagos but there is no one to receive them.

Tekla who had wanted them to contact Elan instead of making a surprise visit is the first to speak out – making fun in broken swahili. ‘Heeehe! Tumewezwo!’

Either way she can’t help but feel excited at this new twist as she is always up for adventure. ‘Na si Junior Alisema aliongea na mtu aje kutuchukua? Hiyo invitation letter imeandikwa na nani?’ Jenny the youngest of the ladies has been tasked to keep their documents and money. She fumbles in her bad to get the letter which she had just thrown in her bag after passing immigration.

Jenny, squinting at the blazing sun  ‘It is written by Olu... Jina nzito kwa ulimi.’ She tries to read Olu’s full name but it is a tongue twister for her.

Penrice asks for the phone number and dials it. As it is connecting, Tekla, always up for adventure, wanders away looking for someone to talk to. She finally talks to a ’responsible’ looking cab driver who has been looking at them from a distance. After a short conversation she guides him to where the others are waiting. Meanwhile Penrice has got through to their contact.

Penrice, ‘Hello, Good afternoon. Is that Elan Group?’

Luckily, Olu picks the phone. ‘ Yes it is how can I help you Ma?’

Penrice goes on to introduce herself and Olu, who has been very busy since Elan was in hospital often taking up Dela’s role, is completely in shock that they are already in Lagos. She had forgotten completely as she often did when it got busy.

Olu, ‘Oh my God! Sorry Ma I forgot to confirm with Junior. It has been hectic here with Madam in hospital-’

Penrice is surprised to learn Elan is in hospital as they expected her to be at iome having had the children weeks earlier. ‘Elan is in Hospital?’

On hearing this,  Meline grabs the phone from Penrice. Which is no surprise as she loves to be the bearer the latest hot gossip.

Meline, ‘Did you say Elan is in hospital? I knew it! This having babies in old age -’

Olu is slightly taken aback by the comment and change in voice before she realizes she’s speaking to someone else.

Olu, ‘Sorry Ma, she is not sick, not like that, after having the babies the doctor advised that she needed more rest. Where are you?’

Meline slightly embarrassed. ‘Oooh ok. We are at the airport.’

Olu, ‘Ok let me get a drive to come pick you. I already booked you at Lekki Suites and Apartment hotel-’

The call disconnects before they have finished speaking.

Penrice, ‘Oh dear! my roaming units are finished. Luckily for them, Meline got the name of the hotel and the man Tekla spoke to turns out to be a cab driver. Though nervous at first they finally warm up to him even though he is not looking like other cab drivers … he is smarter and much too big. With Olu not calling back they decide the best option is to go with him.

Meline, ‘I think we should just go. If he says he knows the place let’s just go. … Oga how much will you charge?’

They all laugh as Meline, who is lousy in languages, has pronounced the word like Swahili for shower. He replies with a fair fee, and they follow him to the car. Meline has taken over the conversation with the him. He helps them put their luggage in the vehicle. After they are in the vehicle his phone rings , he looks at it and steps aside to take the call.

Shady, ‘Hello Sir’

Mzee Zablo, ‘You found them?’

Shady, ‘Yes I did. I am taking them to the hotel now.’

Mzee Zablo, ‘Remember not to do anything stupid right now. You guys are too anxious to make money. Your video must be there in the airport security cameras. You try anything right now they will get you. Your goal right now is to build trust. I will let you know when to strike’

Shady, ‘I totally understand Sir’

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