The Good: We’ve been trying to improve our conversion rate of trainees to sales agents by putting a lot of effort into understanding what motivates trainees to take the job. Through this inquiry, we found out that many trainees don’t take the job because they don’t think that they will be able to find someone to act as a guarantor. To minimize our risk, prior to obtaining products all sales agents are required to bring a friend, family member, or community member who knows them well to act as a guarantor. Guarantors sign an agreement ensuring that they will take full responsibility for any losses or damages caused by the sales agent. This adds a social pressure for sales agents to act responsibly and professionally since the agent would also be putting his or her guarantor at risk if he or she loses or steals a product. To help trainees overcome this barrier to a job, we’ve created a FAQ that clearly explains the roles and responsibilities of a guarantor and the terms of the job. We’re also offering flexibility for our agents who may have come from rural areas to live in Nairobi and don’t have family in the city. For these agents, we will accept a letter from the chief or a certificate of good conduct.
The Challenges: We are saddened to report that one of our trainers passed away this month. Victor was a bright young man who had done very well as a sales agent and was promoted to trainer, where he showed great potential. He had been very sick for many months, but doctors were not able to cure him. This loss was very hard on our whole team. He is survived by his wife and young son. From this tragic experience, we have decided to start a savings fund among the staff so that we are able to offer financial support to help out other staff in emergency situations.