Six key influencers when selling to schools
Here we look at the six key influencers when selling to schools.03 April 2023
When comparing budget holders with influencers when planning your education marketing, it’s important not to underestimate the value of the influencer as your target audience. Whilst influencers do not hold the budgets in schools they have a significant impact on school procurement. They often have the ear of the budget holders and can do a lot of the hard work for you in persuading those budget holders that their school needs to purchase your products or services.
A mistake often made by suppliers when marketing to schools is that they need to reach out to headteachers or other school leaders. Senior leaders in a school tend to be the most busy and certainly when it comes to reaching out by email their inboxes often have in excess of a hundred emails a day. If you can identify the right influencer in a school they will more often than not have less emails and therefore you’ll be facing less competition for their attention. Read on to discover six key influencers when selling to schools.
Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs)
Newly qualified teachers are seen as the fresh-faced newbies on the school staff who are enthusiastic about the potential for new ways of learning, new modern learning resources or the latest educational software to inspire their students. They frequently share new ideas for workshops, guest speakers or school trips to broaden the learning of pupils. While not having their own budgets they are great at inspiring other staff and convincing budget holders to allocate funding for their suggestions.
Classroom teachers are highly influential when it comes purchasing resources especially when you are offering proven ways to improve results, save teacher time or make life easier in the classroom. It’s no secret that teachers are under considerable pressure for their pupils to make progress and are continuously being judged on results based on the performance of the children in their classes. The ongoing planning, preparation, assessment and analysis is extremely time consuming therefore classroom teachers can be great champions for your business if you can offer a solution to some of their most common issues.
Head of PE
You may also want to consider reaching out to the head of the physical education department when selling to schools. They are in a unique position in that they regularly move between schools for various sporting fixtures. There’s nothing like seeing a brand new 3G pitch at the school down the road to install enough envy to start badgering their headteacher into investing some much needed funds in order to keep up with the Jones’.
Heads of PE are also often the ones who take on the role of sourcing school minibuses for driving to fixtures, organising sports tours, booking ski trips, ordering team kits etc. which are not typically funded from the PE budget but instead are taken either from central budgets or require influencing parents to pay.
Heads of Year / Progress Leaders
Leading a whole year group whether that’s in a pastoral or academic role can be as challenging as it is rewarding. Different year groups have their own challenges as they face each stage of their time in education.
What is needed to support children in Year 6 as they prepare for their SATS and the transition to secondary school is very different to that needed in Year 10 as they begin their GCSE journey and start considering their plans for work experience. Particular issues may present themselves that impact certain year groups such as mental health, behaviour, bereavement, drugs or revision which may require a whole year group approach.
Year heads are an effective influencer to target if your business can support through workshops or guest speakers for assembly, school trips or rewards for attendance and other team building activities. If you provide study skills support or revision software during exam years or leavers events and the paraphernalia that goes with running a memorable school prom then the year head is a great point of contact.
I.T. Manager or Site Manager
While the I.T. or Site Managers may be budget holders in their own right they are also an important influencer in schools and multi-academy trusts particularly for larger projects. This makes them useful people to connect with when marketing to schools.
They are frequently involved in the research and early conversations to identify potential suppliers for extensive construction projects or a whole-school I.T. network. They will report back to the senior team or trust board on recommended processing systems or new servers for example or perhaps the layout for a new science block or heating system. Putting your business in front of these influential members of school staff can prove highly lucrative in the long term.
Parent Teacher Association (PTA)
Most UK schools have a PTA whose aim it is to make the school a better place for their children to learn and thrive. In many cases the PTA are relentless fundraisers organising everything from quiz nights to bake sales, summer fairs to fun runs and do a fantastic job in providing much needed funds that are ultimately spent with suppliers. This could be through purchasing new equipment, organising school trips, paying for learning resources, installing new playground equipment or contributing to grants for larger projects.
PTAs have organised committees that capitalise on the talents of members of the school community. Reaching out to the chairperson, secretary or treasurer of the PTA can prove highly productive as they can then take suggestions to the meeting where other committee members and staff members will be in attendance. This can help immensely when selling to schools.
Reaching out to key influencers in schools can help you to sell your product or service more effectively. To learn more about selling to schools get in touch today by sending an email to email@example.com, by calling us on 0800 633 5722 or by completing the form on our site.