B2E Reps are destined to fight two evils throughout eternity:  time and money.  This is not a cliché.  Education and other public sector clients have fixed budgets that unlike consumers and the private sector cannot be coaxed larger by dazzling them with ROI that will cover the “investment,” or offering credit plans that push the cost off to another paycheck.  Schools also have incredible time constraints that slice the commitment to non-trivial initiatives such as “Elementary Math” into 25 minutes per day.  Time and money for our clients is as precious as it gets, and this will never change.

There’s a single super power we can use to battle these formidable nemeses however; one that you can find laying around your house right now!  If you have cable, that is.  I want you to grab your remote control and turn on the QVC channel.  What you will find on that station are simply the best salespeople I have ever had the pleasure to watch in action.  Granted, they don’t face live objections, but they are amazing at helping their customers find the value in the products they represent.  And they do this by often wielding the tool that can crush those time/money objections – versatility.

Think about it.  You’re in a store or online or in a sales presentation and a product catches your eye.  It’s quality made, effective in its purpose, or maybe appeals to your sense of style or love of gadgetry.  But you owe it to yourself to be a discriminating buyer.  “Stop,” you tell yourself.  “I am programmed to not buy everything that crosses my path.  What are the reasons I shouldn’t I buy this product?”  And you mentally list them off.  “That’s a big investment for something I won’t use that much, it might not work with your other gadgets/accessories, my old one is working fine, I can live without it.”  On QVC, just as you are listing these reasons in your mind, the presenter is demonstrating not just a few, but sometimes dozens of uses for that product.  Those use cases start splitting the investment you are making into smaller and smaller pieces.  And now, you can see getting your money’s worth out of it, maybe even using it to save time.

I’ll give equal props to infomercials.  Let’s assume we’re all familiar with the ShamWow commercial. Fact check me if you like, but I counted 9 completely unique uses of the product in this two minute video.  Are you not sold?  Cut it in half use one as a bath mat and dry off your dog with the other.  Goodness that’s versatile, and versatile means value. 

Since versatility can defeat time and money concerns simultaneously, it’s a great fit for the B2E sales pitch.  And almost all education products are highly versatile – perhaps because they are useful  across general ed, special ed and intervention, shared by many grade levels effectively, shared across subject matter effectively, used for both whole group and small group instruction, handy for extended day and summer programs, and so on.  Study those infomercial and QVC presenters.  In just a few minutes they can work in dozens of use cases, and so can you.  Obviously, you don’t want to come off like the ever-smarmy ShamWow Guy, but if you are armed with your case study support and have a litany of implementation ideas for your product, versatility will spell v-a-l-u-e for your customers, and s-a-l-e for you!

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