People buy from People

Kulani Shiluvane
Founder and Chief Solutionist – Shiluvah

“People buy from people” – Unknown,  a saying that must come from the equally famous quote by Joel Comm: “People buy from people they know, like or trust.” This means to determine whether the product or service your business is offering (selling) is doing well or not is based on two things:

  • Need of the product or service in the available market; and
  • The people (your team-employees) that are selling it.

While there isn’t much we can say about the need of your product or service on the current available market, the people part of your business is where we at Shiluvah thrives.

So, in order to test this hypothesis, people buying from people we ran a poll with one simple question:

“Does the way your service provider treat their employees affect you purchasing their products and services?”

Yes, no and not bothered, were the options the participants could choose from.

We asked the question in that manner because we understand that research has shown that happy employees are both productive and loyal. Therefore, how an employer treats their employees and organisation’s overall culture can and does have direct impact on how the business’s bottom line is doing.

Let me put it this way, I live in an area that has 7 stores of a particular franchise, all the stores are less than 5km from my house, of those 7 I frequent 1. They all sell the same things at the same price with the same operating times and the one I frequent isn’t even the one closest to my house, why is that? Simply put it’s the people at this particular store that keep me going there. It is their customer service and the relationship that I have built with them that has me hooked line and sinker and spending my money at their store. Their working environment might not always be ideal, however it is conducive, so conducive that people like me are attracted to it.

The results of our poll show that 91% of consumers CARE about how employees are treated by their employer and affect whether they will purchase products and services.

So what does this tell you as a business leader or owner? Take care of your people  and they will take care of your bottom line.

Your team (people) should be the be biggest advocates of your business or organisation, when people ask them what do they do and where, their faces should light up and make the person they are talking to either want work for you or most importantly buy from you. Today more than ever, consumers are conscious about where and who they purchase their products and services from and without the full buy in from your team and them advocating for you, you may continue to operate but you will never lead the pack.

Businesses and organisations that lead the pack are:

  • People cantered – they put their people first
  • Inclusion is a core value – everyone is part of team and their contributions are acknowledged and valued, and;
  • They lead with empathy – they care about the individual and employees are supported.

“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the client,” Richard Branson.  We like to think about our products and services as the life line of our businesses and organisations, but it is the people within our business and organisations that are the driving force, after all there is no business or organisation without people.


Johannesburg, South Africa.
+27 11 326 7081

© 2020 Shiluvah