We have newly trained salespeople! As part of our franchisee services, we are beginning the distribution of solar lighting products from our Juabar kiosks. This past weekend we had our first franchisee training in solar lights. The day started off ominously with dark skies, the smell of rain and my Android phone gone missing from my persons somewhere from my house to the bus station where I was meeting my team. My team was very empathetic to my cause and indignant on my behalf. That day and the days leading up to the training made me very appreciative of my team on the ground. In fact, everyday I’m inspired by my team. They are very much motivated by bringing value to our Juabar franchisees and committed to providing the best Juabar experience for all stakeholders.
We utilized ARTI-Energy staff, our implementation partner and solar lights distributor, to help us design the sales training day. We held a “train the trainer” seminar for Juabar staff, hiring an amazing sales trainer from Nairobi. Further training help came from start-up social enterprise colleagues who have conducted similar trainings for their respective sales staff. I appreciate a shared commitment to building upon what other start-ups have done before us, thanks to Sanergy and Livelyhoods.
Sales training day was very dynamic. We made it as interactive as possible and highly visual. Having all our franchisees from the northern Pwani region together for the first time, we needed to optimize this opportunity to get further feedback about their Juabar experience. We should have scheduled more time in the agenda for this segment because it turned into an impromptu focus group. How could I resist this feedback? We adjusted the day to allow for this candid discussion and drew insights from it about what information we should provide earlier in the franchisee relationship, specifically regarding more knowledge about solar energy.
In the end, after a lecture about the product, small group role playing sessions, large group pitch feedback and a final sales pitch competition, we were able to send our solar lights sales troops off into the world with the ability and confidence to sell the benefits of our lighting products. One participant said that he was timid at the idea of selling lights when he arrived but now was excited and confident that he could be a good salesman. There was plenty of excitement when folks left and they expressed appreciation that Juabar was continuing to build their business.