Knowing Numbers To Avoid Zimbabwe Style Sell Oppression

The world hopes. (Mostly). Can another despotic regime be about to see the beginning of its end? [update: Mugabe at last quit just after I posted this, yet amid the euphoria bites the crocodile-type fright that we’re merely seeing Khrushchev succeed Stalin…

…so] Expectations of real change might not be all that high. Despite any deviation from the jackbooted norm being welcomed for Zimbabwe.

These stains on humanity persist. All-too slowly fading. Many totalitarian hegemonies hiding behind a cloak of cronied capitalism which surely cannot last. Can it?

One journalist nobly tried to bring context with her list; Zimbabwe: 10 numbers that will help you understand what’s actually going on.

Which begins promisingly;

1 = the tally of leaders in the last 37 years

Then sadly tails off into the irrelevant and punchless.

Where was the like of such as;

0 = time in hours, days, months, years of true democracy

2 = (2008 & 2013) number of rigged elections fixed through ballot tampering and military bullying to prevent the actual vote winner becoming President

75,000 = typical lavish US$ spend by the dictator’s wife “Gucci” Grace on a 2003 Paris shopping trip

1.35 million = US$ value of wedding anniversary diamond ring reportedly ordered by Grace Mugabe

5 million = one estimate of Zimbabweans exiled in S Africa (Polzer 2008 – 2017 population c16m)

7.6 million = US$ value of a home of Mugabe’s involved in a dispute in Hong Kong, part of a portfolio that also includes vast property in Malaysia, Singapore, S Africa and possibly Dubai & Scotland

4 billion = promised in 2016, US$ amount of further Chinese aid/investment (¼ of GDP)


This is a selling technique to note.

There are buyers aplenty that like numbers. And not just those esteemed counters of beans. They listen when they’re announced. They remember them. And the stories attached to them.

An exercise I conduct on occasion with a salesteam asks them to create interesting figures around what they sell.

It often reveals a couple of corkers. Both highly memorable and with unique messages brought to the fore.

Avoid the traditional “spec-sheet” style “speeds and feeds” technical data that fills the backs of glossy product sheets. Go for the unusual. Amounts derived from the human impacts. Then you can generate a host of new angles with which to not only impress prospects, but also stop getting browbeaten by the standard competitor “top trump” card game style figure traps.

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