Landing customers are the major focal area for any business. Once you land customers you get a step closer to being able to retain them and also cultivate more customer inflows. There are so many ways in which businesses can come up with strategies centred on effective customer relationship management. They are ever-evolving and often time it needs one to think unconventionally. In this article, I want to talk about the STEL approach. I have decided to coin that so that it is easier to recall. It is basically an acronym that I am using to stand for Solution, Trust, Evidence, and Likeability.


I always underscore that if you are thinking of business think of what entrepreneurship truly is. The core aspect of entrepreneurship is monetizing a solution to a common widespread problem. This tells you that for any business to land customers it must be proffering a solution. The solution element goes hand in hand with the problem in question being common and widespread. If not, the business will go nowhere because there will be no sustainable revenue. This means when contemplating starting a business you must ask yourself, what problem is it going to address?

Never lose sight of the fact that whenever anyone thinks of buying something it is because they have an issue they want to be addressed. It is possible for people to buy products out of luxury or whatever but mostly it is tied to a problem that needs to be addressed. Thus you must build your products as solutions rather than just mere products. Even in your marketing efforts, your message must be centred on providing or selling a solution. People essentially want to buy solutions not products per se.


Trust is one of the things that define every aspect of all human life. From mere human interactions, you will find that the trustworthiness or the perception thereof of someone determines whether the next person warms up to them or not. Of course, there are lots of biases involved in ascertaining this attribute. For instance, someone roughly dressed will most likely be thought of as untrustworthy whereas one sharply dressed might be trusted. However, that is not always the case since some of the bases people use for judging people vary contextually. Now with the surge in fraudulent or scamming activities trust is even more central than ever before. In business, it is even more pertinent because such activities are now commonplace business practices.

Can your business be trusted? Can people trust your products? Are you an authentic business? These are questions that most people now muse on before settling for a particular business. This is particularly so nowadays since online buying and selling has spiked. You have, as a business, to build the quality of being trustworthy. There are many ways you can use to achieve that. One of them is compiling and making available social proofs. This you can do through testimonials or reviews from customers. If there are people who speak highly of your service it will build trust amongst prospective customers. Having a detailed and active social media presence, with genuine and traceable contacts and premises plays a huge role in building trust. The other day someone was lamenting how they lost a prospective client simply because they had a Gmail account for their business. This person is into borehole drilling. As much they as can be a legitimate business, not having a personalized business email is a red flag for many. So these are some of the things to bear in mind when it comes to trust issues.

You are trying to appeal to many people who are cynical, paranoid, and very critical due to the operating environment we now live in. Do not really blame people for being like that; most people have been through a lot and lost a lot to unscrupulous businesses. It is squarely on you to help them trust you otherwise you will struggle to land customers.


Evidence is also somewhat tied to the trust element. That is why you find that the social proofs we have just been discussing also constitute the evidence aspect. In fact, trust can actually be premised on evidence and evidence can come in several different forms. You probably might have heard me talking about proof of concept before. What this seeks to answer is the question of whether or not your product does what you say it does.

Unethical business practices are rampant in this day and age. Many businesses now compromise on quality just so they can widen their profit margins by spending less on production or procurement. That is one of the reasons why customers want irrefutable evidence that your product is worth the money. Remember that when a customer comes to you they have certain expectations. Some of the common expectations are good quality and longevity (where applicable). You must provide evidence of that prior such that a customer can decide to buy from you before even coming to your business. This means in marketing you must focus on availing this evidence – you can do so through demos, testimonials, reviews, and the like.


This one goes to show the importance for a business to cultivate a certain business culture. This past week I made my second ever purchase at Texas Meat Market. I was remarking to a buddy of mine how friendly the lady who served me at the till was. My buddy then echoed how that the staff team at Texas Meat Market, even the guards at the door, is so friendly. I have been there twice and it was the same experience. That was also enhanced by how smartly dressed the staff are and how clean the whole place is. My point is – is your business service likeable? People will generally repeat purchase at places where the likeability element is consistently present.

If you see to it that these 4 areas are in check then landing customers will be so natural. Remember – STEL is the key to selling!