“Hmmm that sounds interesting, I’ll have to think about that,” is both encouraging and dispiriting when said by a teacher or manager in a school after he/she has found out about your product or service.
Encouraging because you have gained a response, dispiriting because you haven’t got a sale, and you may not have anything else to do to persuade the teacher.
You can of course send out the same advertisement or, better still, a different advertisement one more time. And that can indeed prompt some to think, “oh yes, I’ve heard about this” and then place the order.
But even so, behind these teachers and managers there will be a much bigger group who are interested but still resistant. How do you get to them?
In fact solving this issue of reaching the “interested but resistant” teachers and managers is one of the key ways of moving a business engaged in selling to teachers forward.
Of course the problem has been around for years. Indeed it is the problem that was originally solved by providing free calendars and diaries – something that sadly doesn’t work any more now that everything is digital.
However there are other solutions. One approach, which can work well with management, is to offer a free policy document which covers an area of work relevant to your product or service which they might not already have covered.
Another involves providing a school document on an important topic which can be sent out to parents informing them of work the school is doing and encouraging them to support it.
For example, if one was involved in providing products that encouraged children to be more active and thus less likely to become overweight, one could produce a document that could be given to schools which the school could modify and then pass on to parents.
Such a document doesn’t bring in any money itself since it is not advertising your product, but it does forge a link with the schools that take up the offer and ensures that they remember who you are and what you do, and makes the next promotion more likely to succeed.
And, of course, it tells you which schools are thinking seriously about the issues that are central to the product or service you are selling.
But although such activities can be very successful, not many companies do follow this route simply because they don’t have the knowledge and expertise in house to produce such documents.
And this is where the Velocity programme comes in because, in addition to writing emails and sending them out on your behalf, Velocity can include finding ways of getting the relevant teachers and managers to see you as a key element in delivering this part of the school’s services.
There is more about Velocity, how it works, and what it does on our website, or you can call Steve Mister on 01604 880 927, or email Stephen@schools.co.uk If you’d care to tell us the issues you are facing in selling to schools, we’re always happy to tell you how we’d approach them.