Wednesday, September 17, 2008

MTN, Profiliant partner on capacity building

MTN Nigeria Limited and Profiliant Development Resources (PDR) over the weekend held a one-day seminar on capacity building for sales executives at the Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos.

The seminar which had about 600 sales executives out of over 3,500 that applied in attendance was part of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of both companies.

Speaking at the seminar, the Managing Consultant and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Profiliant, Mr. Oliver Nnona, said the exercise is a novel one aimed at transforming the lives of the individual sales executives in their personal capacities and not at corporate level.

“We are taking people on a life time-journey; it is completely 100 per cent CSR issue aimed at making a change on a personal level. This seminar is just one aspect of it, some of them are going to go through the academy where they will be coached and mentored by more senior persons. It is a life time journey and that is the idea behind the programme,” he said.

Nnona also said professional selling is a profession and not one people enter by accident after seeking for other jobs without success.

“What we’re saying to them is that professional selling is a profession, people use to enter it by accident, like if you have looked for job and could not find, you just go and sit down one place where they call you a sales person. The rationale behind it is to inform people that professional selling has the same process of going through certification like other professions, it is just that people are ignorant of this,” he said.

On the relevance of the profession to the nation, Mr. Nnona underscored the fact that it’s an area that should not be taken with a casual approach because over 80 per cent of job vacancies in national dailies are asking for sales people, business development and marketing executives.

“If 80 per cent of vacancies are in business development and personal selling, then it has to be an area that should not be taken with casual approach, that is what we are saying and that is how this whole programme started,” Nnona said.

In his keynote address to the occasion, Sales and Distribution Executive at MTN, Mr. Mike Ikpoki, noted that sales executives should know their products, markets and understand customers as well as businesses and what makes them strive.

The Head, Human Capital, InterSwtich, Ms Adora Ikwuemesi who spoke on “The place of coaching and mentoring in building your professional selling career,” said at a time where experienced professionals are vastly outnumbered by up and coming personnel, getting a good start with coaching and mentoring would give any sales career a boost.

She pointed out that great coaches provide an employee with advice and guidance intended to help or develop skills, improving performance and enhance the quality of one’s career.

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