Why are schools so difficult to sell to?

UK schools spend around £85 billion EVERY YEAR!  The education market is a dynamic, innovative sector that loves new technology and ideas which have a genuine impact on young people’s lives.  So why are schools so difficult to sell to?   How many of these frustrations have you felt:


  • If there are 30,000+ schools in the UK alone, why aren’t more of them buying my product?
  • The market’s completely saturated; there are tons of competitors with lower-priced products and the big companies take all the market share
  • If schools only knew about my company they’d definitely buy – the product sells itself
  • The schools who use my product think it’s good, why don’t the others understand?
  • Why am I not further ahead by now?  What am I missing?

My guess is you may have felt most of the above as almost everyone selling into education does!


The truth of it is, selling to schools is VERY different to business and consumer selling.  Schools are under enormous pressure to perform from the government and parents alike while, at the same time, managing a complex and usually dwindling budget.

Add to that the fact that they are being sold to by everyone and receive literally hundreds of pieces of sales literature (emails, letters, brochures, phone calls) every week.  Your message will really need to resonate to cut through all the noise.

To successfully sell to schools you need to have the following:

  • A value proposition which genuinely articulates what problem it is you’re going to help that school solve. No wishy-washy language here – get straight to the point.
  • A good idea of exactly which schools, and which people within those schools, are your ideal customers. Trying a scattergun approach such as a national telesales or email campaign is unlikely to work – you’re simply throwing money away.
  • A compelling reason for schools to talk to you. What are you providing them with which is of value to them?  Why should they give up their time to talk to you?

There are more tips in my blog 3 mistakes nearly everyone makes when selling to schools.  It’s not easy cracking the education market but it’s a genuinely innovative and rewarding market when you do  ?


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