Why you should be modest with your claims when selling to teachers

by Tony Attwood

30 years ago people who liked pop music still took note of what was in the Top 40 because they wanted to be part of the mass movement.  Today few people care because believing in one’s own choices, and finding one’s own niche, are now the order of the day.

That’s why quite a few people find the President of the United States a bit of a turnip when he tweets that he has asked King Salman of Saudi Arabia to boost oil production by 2 million barrels and (in the President’s own words) “He has agreed!”

As ever Mr T’s staff had to clarify that the leader of the free world actually meant that the Saudis have that much in spare capacity, not that they will raise output. Oil prices (as you’ll know if you have an internal combustion engine in the garage) have been rising since Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear accord.

The President’s messages reinforce the belief in him as a great man by those who already believe.  But such pronouncements don’t generate belief among those who are more dubious because they seek at least evidence, if not absolute proof.

Likewise in advertising to teachers. Those who have bought your product might well believe that it is wonderful and widely used.  But those who haven’t bought are as likely to think, “It can’t be that good if I’ve never heard about it.”

Even generalised boasts about your offering being the “most used” product or service can do more harm than good – if the teacher reading the advertisement feels if it was the most used then she or he would certainly have heard about it before.

The language used to introduce a product to those who have not bought before needs to be focussed on the benefits of the product, with the gentle suggestion that the teacher, who is of course the expert in these matters, could well find it helps solve a difficult problem.

Just hitting the teacher with a set of bullet points (or come to that bullets) tends not to lead to a sale.  Yes, once you have convinced the teacher that there is something in what you are offering, you can move across to discussing the features, but doing that straight off doesn’t work.

Of course you are very welcome to try your own approach and if it works then that’s wonderful. But it might also be worth trying an alternative approach as well in a separate version of the advert, just in case.

You can run five email adverts (one a month from now until November) from just £43 each, or indeed run two in July, one in August, two in September, one in October… the choice is yours.

For more information please do see our website – you’ll see we are offering four emails there for this price, the extra one is free in this special offer.

Alternatively please do call 01640 880 927 or email Stephen@schools.co.uk 

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