Author: Mekdim Hailu, Project Communication Manager, PSI Ethiopia
In the Somali region of Ethiopia, Khaleel Ahmed, once an ordinary mason, has found a new purpose and success through the transformative Decision Intelligence (DQ) Sales® approach. Developed by USAID Transform WASH (T/WASH) training partner, Whitten & Roy Partnership, this strategy focuses on increasing customers’ decision-making capacity by engaging in meaningful conversations to address their needs. As a T/WASH business partner, Khaleel’s masonry business is thriving, allowing him to support his family while positively impacting his community.
“It’s more than just a job now, it’s my passion and my lifeline,” Khaleel says. He vividly recalls the turning point when his kebele (roughly meaning ‘neighborhood’) selected him to participate in training programs offered by T/WASH. Equipped with masonry and entrepreneurial skills, Khaleel established Taayo Mason Business, a company dedicated to selling and installing sanitation products and manufacturing concrete rings for homes and businesses.
By integrating the principles of DQ Sales® into his business, Khaleel connects with his customers on a deeper level to understand their challenges and provide them with the most appropriate solutions. And instead of passively waiting for customers to come to his shop, Khaleel proactively embraced the new strategy of bringing his products and expertise directly to potential customers’ homes.
“Since I started using DQ Sales®, our sales have increased dramatically. In the previous two years, I sold 200 sanitation products, but this year alone, I have already doubled that number and sold 400 products,” Khaleel says proudly. “The impact of DQ sales approach on my business cannot be overstated. It has impacted my sales and opened up new growth opportunities.”
Beyond sales, Khaleel was introduced to irrigation and reservation techniques through T/WASH’s training programs. Khaleel turned the ring he was selling to cover toilet holes into a rainwater reservoir tank for local farmers; this innovation allowed him to solve the problem of water scarcity in the region and expand his business.
Khaleel’s ingenuity and commitment to sustainable practices have made him a respected figure in the local community. Through his hard work and dedication, he has managed to save over 50,000 Birr (900 USD) and secure a sustainable future for himself and his family.
Khaleel’s story exemplifies the power of the DQ Sales® approach in transforming lives and businesses in the WASH sector. Through Transform WASH’s comprehensive training programs, Khaleel has transformed himself from a mason into a successful entrepreneur serving his community by providing essential sanitation products and innovative solutions.
The implementation of DQ Sales® has revolutionizedthe way business partners engage with customers, resulting in increased sales and a significant impact on the communities they serve.
As T/ WASH continues to institutionalize its initiatives, the positive impact of the DQ Sales® approach will permanently transform the WASH sector in Ethiopia. Khaleel’s remarkable journey is a testament to the potential of individuals to change their skills and expertise into thriving businesses while creating a profound impact in their communities.
About Transform WASH
USAID Transform WASH aims to improve water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) outcomes in Ethiopia by increasing market access to and sustained use of a broader spectrum of affordable WASH products and services, with a substantial focus on sanitation. Transform WASH achieves this by transforming the market for low-cost quality WASH products and services: stimulating demand at the community level, strengthening supply chains, and improving the enabling environment for a vibrant private market.
USAID Transform WASH is a USAID-funded activity implemented by PSI (Population Services International) in collaboration with SNV, and IRC WASH. The consortium is working closely with government agencies, including the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity, the One WASH National Program, and regional and sub-regional governments.