Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Selling, selling, selling

My husband and I are accompanying our daughter this week as she visits prospective grad schools.  She has three in mind and we checked out the first one on Monday and Tuesday.  The school has the number one program in the country for her discipline and we really enjoyed touring the building and meeting with professors and current grad students.  The interesting part came when we met with the administrative staff to discuss money.  Stephanie will be an out of state student and the cost to attend is two to three times as much as the other programs she is considering.  Instead of telling us why she should be  willing to pay so much more (program is number one in the country, higher professor to student ratios, experts teaching in each discipline, better internship and research opportunities), they apologized and tip-toed around the issue.

We run into this inability or unwillingness to sell quite often with small business owners.  No matter how great the product or service is, you have to make people aware of it and that means selling.  A small business owner has to be willing and able to get out there and sell or the business will fail.  If the owner is a true introvert, then the business plan must include a budget for a sales person.  The business must be ready to trumpet the virtues of its products or services at every opportunity in order to get the business under way.  A truly great product or service can make the prospective buyer's life better so the seller shouldn't be apologetic about taking the buyer's time to explain it.  Be proud of what you have to offer and sell the benefits.

We are off and tomorrow to visit another school.  We know this one will be less expensive as they offer reciprocity for in state tuition so we are hoping she will like the looks of the program and the campus.  We haven't ruled out the first school, but they certainly could have made a stronger case for themselves. 

Don't be afraid to get out and trumpet the virtues of your products and services.  Potential buyers will be much more receptive than you think if you have the attitude that you are out to help them!


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