Selling To Teachers And Parents? Here's How To Do It Right

Here are four such issues and the probable ways out.

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By Dinesh Victor

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It isn't easy to sell something that is intangible. Like a product or service that promises to improve your child's math skills, for instance.

Or a module that will improve her concentration. As if being an entrepreneur isn't tough enough, making a mark for oneself in the education sector is even more challenging.

So what are these challenges? And how can you deal with them to ensure key influencers and the end-consumer sees value in your product or service – enough to put her money on it.

Here are four such issues and the probable ways out.

Showing value:

It isn't easy to show value in service; even more difficult when it is in the education sector. The challenge is how to get schools and parents to see more value than what they are already getting. The way out: you show real models of how things change.

It's like a before and after picture of weight-loss, only not that tangible. So you prove it to them in real life and show that it works. You give real life examples. If your product or service is interesting, powerful and genuine enough, people will notice.

The scale solution:

For a venture in the education sector to make money, it has to be on a large scale. It's not easy to deliver the same value on a large scale. Naturally, this requires proper systems, methodology, and technological support.

Most importantly, however, the education field requires human interface as well, and without quality stakeholders in the growth story, your endeavors won't make too much difference. So, ensure proper, rigorous and constant training and tracking of progress of your teachers, trainers and all the people who interact with the end-consumer – the student.

Money matters

You may have a great idea, but the real challenge comes with making it into a sustainable business model. After all, the consumer will pay only what he thinks your product and service is worth. If he doesn't see value-for-money, he will go somewhere else.

In education, apart from keeping the margins justifiable, you also need to find ways to keep getting money month after month, and not just a one-time franchisee fee. You need to work hard at this; think through the business model and be ready to tweak it with time.

Quality resources:

Although having competent resources is crucial for a venture in the education sector, this challenge is common to most businesses as well. How do you hire and retain good quality resources? In our field, no one is trained in good education except teachers, and they are bad business people anyway.

Plus, results in the education field take time to show and hence, the money may not be so great. Thus, you need talent that has a certain sense of commitment to make a positive difference to the society. Here, you can't measure the success of your career entirely with money.

(As told to Prerna Raturi)

Dinesh Victor

Managing Director, SIP Academy India P Ltd

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