The purchasing process in education is often drawn-out, with schools and districts making key budget decisions in March and April for the following Fall. With the COVID-19 pandemic and remote learning, funding for implementing new products and solutions grew thanks to the American Rescue Plan and other funding grants and opportunities, but leaders still need to vet each potential solution and prioritize spending based on their students’ specific needs. For example, social-emotional learning (SEL) and students’ mental health remain top of mind as educators address their students’ academic and non-academic challenges from the pandemic.
Therefore, selling to those who work in education requires unique sales knowledge. Joyce Whitby, CEO and Co-Founder of Innovations for Education, joined one of our CB&A Expert Series Events to walk B2E strategists through the in’s and out’s of having a productive sales conversation in the world of education. Join us as we highlight tips that can be used throughout the education sales process.
Making it Easy to Do Business with You
The ultimate goal of your sales conversation with a school or district decision-maker is to get your potential client to want to do business with you. Beyond getting your potential client to want to work with you, your job as the one pitching your company’s services and products is to make it easy to do business with you. Whitby’s statement of Making it Easy to Do Business with You or MIETDBWY is at the forefront of the elevator pitch. As a B2E salesperson, you should convey that your ultimate goal is to make your potential client’s life easier if they purchase your product or service.
When it comes to the elevator pitch and the MIETDBWY process behind it, Whitby recommends to:
- Keep your pitch between 15 to 45 seconds.
- Don’t tell them everything, but rather, keep them guessing so that they will ask you to tell them more about what you do.
- Include statistics or important data points that emphasize your impact on the education industry.
- Be different and find something showstopping about what you do and make sure you stand out compared to your competitors.
- Keep it fresh and don’t overuse the same pitch, especially if it’s not producing the results.
You want to do all of this while answering the question: why your solution right now? Find those pain points educators need to address this school year and tailor your pitch to call out how your company can help with those points of frustration.
How to Ask the Best Questions
To gauge the pain points your client needs help addressing, you need to ask the right questions. During the CB&A Expert Series Event, Whitby posed this question funnel to the group to help guide the types of questions that need to be asked in order to get the most information:
Starting with broad questions and listening to what educators’ answers are is crucial to formulating your next question and guiding the rest of the conversation. Educators prefer someone who listens to what their needs are, instead of someone who talks at them and offers a solution too early. The best way to do that is to follow the question funnel and ask open-ended questions.
Additionally, you want to ensure that you are listening to your potential customer’s answers and asking a variety of questions. Whether it be about their school or district’s philosophy, technology bandwidth or competitors, you want to be sure that all your bases are covered.
Want to learn how to close the deal? Check out our blog entitled: How to Seal the Deal in Education Sales
Want to learn more about the entire education sales process and tips to succeed with it? Register to watch our October Expert Series event replay.