The Best School Year Ever

by William Deihl August 01, 2013

How to Sell a Product to K-12 Schools

The good news about selling a product to a school system is that they are constantly in need of updating their equipment and have a budget with which to do so every year. The bad news is, with so many programs funding is required by the school system, it can be tough to make the sale of your product. Here are a few tips on how to sell your product to K-12 schools.

Instructions

  1. Contact the department head of the school and inquire what they are looking for in their classroom. The old adage of “you can’t sell ice to Eskimos” is very appropriate. Chances are you have an array of products. Take the time to find out what they want. Then you’ll know what you can sell to them.
  2. Try to request time to meet with the department head one on one. The personal touch is always the best touch. If this can’t be accomplished, send them the appropriate materials (catalogues and samples) and select a time to get on the phone to go over the products.
  3. Demonstrate why your product is superior, why it is cost effective over the long term and how it will be a functional piece of the classroom. “Must haves” like paper will be easier to sell than soda machines, so adjust your pitch accordingly.
  4. Leave the department head with tools that they can use to sell their boss. Depending on the structure in a given town, they will probably need permission from the Principal (if it’s already in the budget), the board of finance if this is an extra item) or maybe even the school board. If the school board will be reviewing your materials, you should offer to go to the meeting. This shows confidence in your product and that you aren’t simply trying to make a quick sale.
  5. Offer discounts and incentives so that the school doesn’t buy just one product from you, but many. Remember that as you sell them products you are looking to build a long-term relationship.
  6. Follow-up with the department head or school system to make sure that they were pleased with the product. If they were not, make sure you make them happy, because after all, it doesn’t matter what you are selling, the customer is always right.


William Deihl
William Deihl

Author