When is the best time to sell to teachers?
Selling to teachers and school leaders can be a complex process. It seems like they never have time to talk. Read any publication aimed at the teachers and you'll find articles about excessive workload, stress and a lack of work-life balance. Is there ever a good time to contact schools?
Busy or not, teachers are always looking for great resources that will help them deliver the best outcomes for their pupils. If you’ve got a quality product or service, then teachers will want to hear from you - you’ve just got to be patient!
Break & lunch time?
There are very few ‘good times’ to interrupt a teacher’s school day. While break or lunch time might sound like the perfect opportunity, it's probably the only moment where they can run to the staffroom - do you really want to be remembered as 'that sales person who made me miss my coffee'?
Ideally, you would call when you've arranged an appointment over email. If that's not possible, then start by looking at things from the teacher's point of view.
During lesson Time?
Search the school website for 'the school day' and look at the timing of lessons. Try ringing ten minutes after the start of a lesson - if they pick up (or the receptionist puts you through), then they have a free lesson and might be able to chat.
Just remember... a 'free lesson' doesn't mean that the teacher is actually free! Teachers call these slots 'PPA time' because they're dedicated to Planning, Preperation and Assessment.
It's worth trying to call at the end of the school day - for many teachers, this is the first break of the day. If you find that they're unavailable, they might have an extension/intervention class or an extra-curricular activity.
Monday after school? Probably not a good time to call. Many schools dedicate this slot to meetings and training.
Use your CRM to keep a sticky note of times you've called and the staff member wasn't available. Schools work on timetables, so it's likely that this will be a weekly-repeating pattern.
The School Year
The summer term is when many teachers will be ordering their resources for the next academic year. Start contacting them soon after the Easter holidays to make them aware of what you have to offer. This is a good time to make an early-bird offer.
In April, many budget holders will have just been allocated their new capitation, which means they have money to spend. Financially, it's a good time - just remember that SATS, GCSE and A Level exams are in full swing at this point. Make sure to emphasise with this challenge!
Early in the Autumn term is another good time. Newly appointed middle and senior leaders will be looking for resources to help them to make their mark. Many academies start their financial year in September (instead of April), so you might have some very keen decision makers with money to spend on great resources!
Build up a relationship over time
Be prepared to play the long game. At ESM, we recommend the inbound marketing methodology. Start by creating useful content. Simple guides, checklists and lesson plans are popular resources that teachers will gladly give their contact details to download. You could create resources that help teachers to set meaningful homework, teach specific topics or make the most of your resources. This is a core part of converting website visitors into leads.
With an inbound approach, your potential customers will have a positive attitude towards your brand. You've provided them with value for free! When they're in a position to make a purchasing decision, your company will be the first that comes to mind.
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