Why Selling to Schools with Inbound Marketing Works

inbound marketingInbound marketing is an excellent way to sell to schools. This is largely because it doesn't resemble traditional sales techniques, and puts prospects at ease. When done properly, inbound marketing also develops a bond of trust with your potential customers. Here are three reasons why inbound marketing may just be the best way to sell your educational product or program in the coming years.  

Everybody Likes to Buy—but No One Likes to Be Sold To  

Most schools today—public and private—are in a bigger budget crunch than they've seen in a long time. And every salesperson that comes along is trying to take a piece of that budget. It's only natural that the average purchaser's reaction is to dig their heels in even more firmly every time they hear a sales pitch. 

Whether it's fair or not, sales attempts (and agents) are often seen as predatory by those in charge of purchasing. Inbound marketing puts you at an advantage by making you appear as a searched-for solution, instead of a predatory salesperson. 

This also positions your prospects to feel more in control of the situation, which eliminates nearly all of what is often known as “sales resistance.” It's a great place for your audience to be when they need a solution. And it's a great place for you to be, for a profit! 

Inbound Marketing Turns You into a Trusted Authority 

Inbound marketing today relies heavily on content. When your content delivers helpful information that prospects can take action on, it makes you or your company look like an authority on the subject. 

More importantly, it establishes a bond of trust between you and your potential customers. When you give information that can be acted on, you show your prospects that what you offer really does have value.  

This goes a long way to overcoming any sales objections they might have in the future. The core sales objection that people have in most situations is simply this: “What if what they're selling, doesn't work?” 

The catch is that you have to provide helpful content that will teach your prospects something, or somehow make their lives easier. Most inbound marketing efforts deliver this via articles and blog posts – but inbound marketing content doesn’t stop there. Videos are growing in popularity, and are often much more engaging. Free audio programs and PDFs are other good ways to communicate value. This kind of instructional material will help you make sales, even if your product is not instructional in nature. 

Inbound Marketing Doesn't Have to Just Be Web-Based 

You can also utilize strategies such as handouts, trial software, and other classroom aids in order to build trust and show value. You don't have to limit this kind of free “offline content” to faculty use. You can also do the same thing with administrative sales, whether you’re handing out trial software, “brain-saving” checklists, or organizational aids. 

Ultimately, it doesn't matter to whom you are selling. Inbound marketing tactics are effective whether you're selling teacher aids, administrative aids, classroom materials, continuing education resources, or software. 

The key to making inbound marketing work for you is to provide quality content, whether online or off, to establish trust and value with your prospects.

Image Credit : stuart_spivack

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Greenroom Interactive is an inbound marketing provider for the hi-tech, software and educational technology industries. The team is dedicated to helping businesses grow their online presence by creating intuitive web experiences to engage their target markets.

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Patrick Hopkins