Selling into the K12 and education market is unique to say the least. However, when it’s a product or service you really believe in as a salesperson, then the altruistic element of doing it for the kids is a HUGE plus.
With this in mind we’ve put together a few tips to help those selling into this market.
- They will overplay the “we don’t have enough money” card. They know how to use this fear with salespeople all the time.This should not catch you off guard and your organization should have already come up with talk tracks and value props on teaching how to handle.
- They are also very specifically controlled by funding release dates. This is good because this information can be found publicly. It can be disheartening as they literally cannot spend it if they don’t have it.
- There are early adopters of technology in the K12 market.
- Selling via an inside sales team to education institutions is very helpful.
- They are slow to change but loyal to the right products and services, as well as a relationship where they can trust their sales executive.
- Play the long game. There is a finite number of educational institutions in the K12 and college market in the United States
- Selling in the education market is about selling the reality and the dream side by side. You need to know specifically what motivates them. In most cases, it’s time and money, like other industries. However, you cannot be aloof when stating how much time you save. You must be specific, realistic, and then match the time saved with the other 15 things on their to-do list that would get done faster, or if that time saved is meaningful enough that they can truly visualize themselves taking time off. (Selling the dream).At this point, you now have to pivot back to reality and work towards a timeline if you follow this method
- You must have a strong sales process in place, we recommend, N.E.A.T. Selling™From the process you then need to teach the team or utilize their skills around things like Respect Contracts, Open & Closed-Ended Questions, Mirroring, Labeling, etc.)
- Spend a lot of time asking open-ended questions around the following topics:
- What is driving the initiative – Principal, Super Intendent, District-Wide
- Funding – Local bond initiative, state, or federal dollars
- Curriculum Goals – for the teachers and the students.
- Other projects – Their list is always long. Spend time understanding their pains outside your own services and you will build trust.
- Have a clause in your contracts about being a case study, referral customer, customer advisory board. It’s one of the easiest things to negotiate. They cannot get the discount and pull this clause. Will take some finesse as there could be district policies, but its easier to pull this out than add it in later.