Partnering with Educators

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For educators, there is so much more to a partnership than simply signing a contract. They seek resellers who are partners, not just during the sales pitch, but throughout implementation and the next budgeting cycle. Rachel McCoy with MDR Business Development for Marketing Solutions offered insight at EdNET 2015 about how companies can meet those expectations:

Be an Investigator

It’s important for resellers to go into the sale with knowledge of the district they’re selling to. Resellers should gain background knowledge of the district, as well as an understanding of the issues they’re facing. As McCoy puts it, “Educators shouldn’t have to teach you about the challenges of their district; arrive informed.”

Help Them Make the Sale

There are 5.4 people involved in the average B2B buying decision, and they’re typically not all within the school system. District representatives have to consider the opinions of parents, voters, and the school board when making any buying decision. Resellers should be prepared to support their prospect with elevator pitches, talking points, collateral, and even be willing to present in order to address the concerns of different constituencies.

Don’t be the Straw

Introducing a new product or program to a district inevitably creates a training burden on already thinly-stretched teachers. Districts typically only have 8-10 professional development days a year, and may not be able to properly focus attention on the new solution you’re helping them roll out. This makes it a priority for resellers to provide flexible training tools, like webinars, available to avoid “being the straw that breaks the back of an already over-burdened professional development schedule.”

Always Keep it Real

Educators already know that there will be challenges when implementing something new to their district, so they’re looking for reseller partners who can be honest with them about what to reasonably expect in terms of results and challenges. Being honest about what is, and what isn’t, working can help build trust and establish you as a reliable reseller partner.

Don’t Sign and Drive

Big changes take time – for persuasion, budgeting, rollout, and evaluation. As a reseller it’s critical to stay involved in a district’s implementation process for years to come, rather than just making the sale and moving on. Collaboration and connection are important to educators, and they want a partner that stays with them long-term.

Read the full article at EdNet Insight

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