Itumeleng Mothobi Flames More Than Smoke in Sales

By Nvulane Nhlapo (@NvulaneNhlapo)

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Itumeleng Mothobi
Itumeleng Bossladyleqa Mothobi

I breathed a little easier when Itumeleng made a third delivery of the items I had ordered. I knew there was something to learn from her handiwork. Perhaps the most impressive part was the swift delivery time for all my orders. Enough about my experience!

The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire. -Ferdinand Foch

At best, when you have a little bit of success, it’s not only what it does for you internally, it’s also about what it does externally. People look and say, ‘there might be something going on there.’ And so we caught up with Itumeleng Bossladyleqa Mothobi to learn about her journey in business and how she thrives as a Saleswoman.

 

Easy one first, share a bit about your background?

My name is Itumeleng Mothobi. I’m a serial entrepreneur because there’s nothing I cannot do. I paint, I do consultancy work. I do anything and everything that anyone can require from me if and only I’m able to do it.

I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the National University of Lesotho. I studied from 2009 until 2013 and then I worked briefly at Maseru City Council for a year and 9 months and then worked at Open Source Engineering for 6 months thereafter and I’ve been self-employed. Even while I held all those other positions, I was actively doing something on the side.

What’s your major drive to be in business?

I’ve been driven by the fact that I hate being in an office. I hate being employed because I question a lot of things and I don’t take orders without having to question why certain things should be done a certain way. I believe someone of my mindset shouldn’t be confined in one space.

Another driver is the serious issue of unemployment in our country. I then had a choice of complaining everyday about the life that we lead as the youth of our country or taking action and putting matters into my own hands. I chose the latter!

What’s your sales process?

My biggest form of driving my sales is through social media; Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp statuses. Apart from those there’s word of mouth because I’ve had people telling me that they got my number from a certain person who said I can get me them a certain product. So being on social media and having a lot of followership has really helped drive my business.

For a while I’ve been interested in advertising my products on local newspapers, and online newspapers because I’ve realized how much power social media has on people, even more than radio as people would rather be on social media and read news on the internet than listen to the radio.

What’s your number one tip in sales?

You need to be a people’s person, period! If you are going to sell products to people, you do not have to be selective to the kind of people you want to interact with. We salespeople have a misconception that people who work at certain places have more buying power than other people. Everybody has the ability to buy and you need to be a people’s person for people to trust you.

Itumeleng Mothobi

What are some of the items you enjoy selling?

My favorite products to sell are beauty products. I understand beauty more than fashion, car parts, etc., because I am a woman and I love looking beautiful. Selling beauty products ensures that I interact with a lot of women on a casual basis.

It feels more like a hobby than work when I’m selling beauty products because I get a chance to apply people’s make up, their lipstick, let them know how to do their eyebrows, etc. And it’s also really fun. With beauty products I get to go to expos like the Nala Social Market, beauty expos at Pioneer Mall and Maseru Mall.

What have been your greatest challenges in business?

My greatest challenge is that I live in a country where there’s only 1% of buying power so having to make a successful business out of that percentage is quite challenging. Secondly, as much as I’d like to sell local products, unfortunately half of the things I sell are not produced locally so I always have to import things into the country and there are issues of tax, transport and all other costs involved.

Also, I don’t have a clear method of sales and payments because usually I ask for 50% deposit upfront and I’ve encountered people saying they can’t trust me with their money and then I’d tell them I can’t buy products without a deposit because I’ve lost a lot of money doing that. However, some people do give me their deposits but never pay off their balances.

Here are some of the items in her collection:

  • Matt Kiss-proof Lipsticks by @connietransform
  • Constance eyewear
  • Household items
  • Fashion clothing for both men and women
  • Stretchtents for all outdoor activities
  • Painting, etc.

 

This is how you can reach her:

Facebook Page: Smile Phela Lesotho

Facebook Personal account: Itumeleng Mothobi

Instagram Business Account: Bossladyleqa

Instagram Personal Account: IamLeqamothobi

Phone Number: (+266) 56387698

 

Images Credit: Itumeleng Mothobi

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