Selling Your Product to Schools
Businesses taking a one on one approach to marketing leads to a lot of business meetings, a lot of showing products and, sometimes, a lot of sales. Some businesses find this marketing approach to be rather successful, but others discover that it’s a dud. What’s the difference? The main difference is in the approach to selling products to schools. Businesses that are having little to no success in the sales department can utilize these tips to increase both their sales and their profits.
Consider Who The Product Is For
Before reaching out to schools, it’s important to narrow down who the product is for if you have not done so already. For example, is a product a learning app that is designed for children in kindergarten? Or is it a device that children in every age group can use? When you consider this factor, you will know who to pitch your product to. It sounds like such a simple idea, however, it is important to know exactly who you are going to meet, their role in purchasing and decision-making, prior to you sitting down for your meeting. If that prospect isn’t quasi-excited to have you stop in then don’t. Your time would be better spent moving on to the next target, in that building or another.
General Devices Should Be Sold to Administrators
Most devices, such as tablets, will be the same for every grade that uses them in a school. Instead of wasting time pitching a deal to teachers, save these conversations for administrators. Make sure that the pitch includes how much money they will save when purchasing them in bulk. It is very rare that a school will purchase one device for one grade but then use something different for another grade. You might consider pushing the ancillary services or warranties that make your company stand out from the next guy that’s selling the same device and deal.
Sell Grade Level Products To Individual Schools
Individual schools have more purchasing power than some people give them credit for. Instead of attempting to sell products for 6-8 grade to an entire district, which will more than likely be unsuccessful because only a small portion of the district is comprised of these grades, opt for speaking directly to middle schools. If the reception is warm and you can get the administrator of that school to be your champion then use that to set-up a lunch and learn (and buy) at the district. Find out how many schools will send their representative and provide lunch for everyone. Educators love free & food.
Don’t Leave Out Teachers
Teachers might not have a budget as large as the school district, and they do have limited purchasing power, but that doesn’t mean that they should feel left out. Teachers are more concerned with the impact of purchases on students than anyone else, and they have a large say so in what gets bought, and what gets ignored. Keep teachers in the loop always. Principals receive 10x the amount of emails that teachers receive.
Approach Teachers The Right Way
Often, businesses go into a meeting with a teacher with the same mindset that they do with administrators. They break out the charts and graphs, talk about money and the awesome benefits of the product. Teachers need more than that.
Instead, include these points in meetings with teachers:
If a product is hard to teach students to use, or hard for the teacher to use, it’s a safe bet they don’t want it in their classroom. Teachers are busy people, they are responsible for meeting certain outcomes, and they are more concerned with the educational outcome of purchases than anyone else.
Selling products to schools is an important thing to learn. In order to make it happen, it’s important to understand who the product should be sold to and how to pitch the product to land the sale.