There are numerous titles within a K-12 school or district that must buy into your company. Teachers and Lead Teachers, Principals and Superintendents, and other district administrators ALL have to be on board, but each one has a different reason for doing so. There are a few factors to consider when determining how to best approach building your business within these institutions. Let’s first take a look at how each of these titles operate.
Teachers & Lead Teachers
Teachers and Lead Teachers are the first to know that there is a need for something in the classroom. They are always looking for and sharing new resources to supplement what the school already provides. They don’t have a purchasing budget, so they often look for free resources. However, paid or not, if they know your company’s offering can solve a problem in the classroom they will become your biggest champions.
Principals have purchasing power, and a direct line of communication to the district decision makers. They are often too busy to take a deep dive into a resource, so the value of your offering has to be made clear as quickly as possible. Infographics and other high level data snapshots are a good way to turn their heads in your direction. It might take time before the principal notices you, but once you have that buy-in, your word has weight with the district administrators.
Often when reaching out to school buildings you may hear that their current resource is mandated by the district, or “that decision is made at the district office” (this might also be a diocese office if targeting Catholic schools). It’s true in many cases that a district will hold the contract with a provider, and require the use of that provider at each school. However, no contract is without an expiration date, and district personnel must review and test the effectiveness of these services. If you can be a part of that review, address your competition’s shortcomings and participate in a bid for future business, you are in great shape. The challenge is identifying the appropriate contact within the district to begin that discussion.