In this first of a two part series, guest blogger James Mayfield Smith responds to my post on Storyline in Textbooks and Video Games. James has the coolest job title I think I’ve ever seen – Applied Mythologist. We worked together at Pearson several years ago, he speaks about Education Publishing from direct experience on the front lines of selling and authoring.
Part 1 of 2: The Strategic Use of Story to Sell
By James Mayfield Smith
Do you need to pick a target market when entering the education market? One of the true signs of a rookie is a business plan built on selling to all schools. Just because all schools should be using your widget doesn’t mean they are ready to buy it.
Picking a target market is a discipline many people try to avoid – they don’t like getting boxed in. Others don’t understand just how big the education market is or think all schools are the same. If you are in love with your product you may resist the idea that some schools don’t want it or don’t need it.
Today we tackle issue #2 in our series on selling and marketing to educators. As a consultant in the education market I work with a wide range of businesses. This series covers the common execution errors I see with new executives and companies when they enter the market.
Rookies in the education market make a set of common mistakes. There are five concepts you need to grasp about selling to schools that will help you avoid execution error as you enter the learning market. Consider these the iron laws of marketing to public schools. Accept them, nay embrace them, and your job will be easier.
In my consulting practice I go through these topics with almost all clients who are entering this market from other industries or countries. In this series I will post my thoughts on each of these rules and I welcome your comments and reactions. We will cover:
Part 1. Obey the calendar. Schools buy on a regular schedule, design your business around it.
It is easy for a sales force to fall into a comfort zone. Data-driven decision making techniques can help insure that Reps are reaching beyond their current contacts.
In many companies there is a great deal of data about the market. The challenge is to drive this into your field organization so that the Reps and their Managers are probing for untapped market potential on a regular basis.
There are some simple and quick ways to start using data in selling to schools and school districts. This post outlines some ideas for how to encourage your sales force to adopt a more data driven approach.
More below the fold…