Congratulations! You became a teacher and you’re in one of the noblest professions out there.
You’ve put in hundreds, maybe thousands, of hours to become the best at what you do, and you deserve to be rewarded and recognised.
There’s just one problem…
If you’re like most teachers in the profession, you’re struggling to find balance between having a successful teaching career, making the money you want, and living the lifestyle you desire.
Does this sound familiar?
If it does then you’re certainly not alone.
It’s time to think out of the box and think differently to the average teacher. After all, you want to be leader and not just average, right?
Learning how to sell is not only a clever strategy for differentiating yourself from the crowd but also for becoming an exceptional teacher, and here are seven powerful reasons why.
#1 Become a better influencer and motivator
As a teacher you already understand the importance of being an effective communicator, right?
With conflicting wants and desires of your students, colleagues, admin staff, and whoever else you might come into contact with on a regular basis, it’s super important for you to be able to express yourself clearly.
Learning how to sell is a great way to develop your personal communication style. It will help you to express yourself better inside and outside the classroom.
You’ll become more adept at tuning into what’s working and what’s not working for you when communicating with others – especially when you’re wanting to influence them to come to a decision about something that might benefit them (and you).
Seung-wun Yi, Director of Sky Academy, has over a decade of HSC math teaching experience (in NSW Australia). He shared how learning to sell has helped him become a better influencer:
“I know how to read and lead my students and calibrate how enthusiastic they are and how much they understand and any roadblocks, and then from there how to motivate them, and win them over to putting in the effort not by force but by using my influence to inspire them to willingly make the effort.”
Learning how to sell is a great way to develop your personal communication style. @ateacherpreneur
#2 Develop empathy and improve your listening skills
Can you recall the best sales experience that you’ve had in the last few months where a salesperson was involved?
What made it great?
Chances are you enjoyed the experience because you felt that the salesperson was listening to you, and that they asked great questions to help you make the right decision for you.
When people are asked why they don’t like the idea of selling the image of the sleazy used car salesperson usually comes up.
The problem with this image is that it’s one negative experience out of hundreds and thousands of sales experiences that we conveniently remember.
The reality is we love to buy, especially from great salespeople who we feel are listening to what we want and are really helpful.
People love to buy but they don’t like to be sold to.
The best salespeople also happen to be the best listeners. They have the ability to connect with their prospect, ask great questions, listen intently, and empathise.
So what would being a better listener do for you as a teacher? Consider that for a moment.
#3 Negotiate better
When was the last time that you had to negotiate with a student, other staff or your seniors? How did it go?
Learning how to become a better negotiator is all about identifying what somebody else is wanting, looking at what you’re wanting, and then finding a way to create a win-win for all parties involved.
Negotiating is an important step in any sales process, and it combines the skills mentioned in the last two points to make it happen.
#4 Learn persistence
Not all sales processes are created equal. Some sales takes longer than others.
Persistence in follow-up, and having tools that support you to do that, is vital for the success of any salesperson.
There are some interesting sales statistics floating around the internet that suggest:
- 44% of salespeople give up after one follow-up.
- 80% of sales require five follow-ups or more.
Simply put, too many people give up way too early and it’s those who learn to be persistent and follow-up often (at least 5 or more times) that end up winning.
You can see this in your students too, right?
It’s those students who don’t give up, and persist, who can outperform those who have a natural talent or gift.
Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.
#5 Learn self-discipline
“The successful warrior is the average man, with laserlike focus.” – Bruce Lee
Continuing on from the last point on persistence, learning how to sell involves learning self-discipline as well as focusing on your primary objective.
Too often we can become distracted by “shiny object syndrome” and bounce between projects, people or ideas when the next flashy thing comes along.
It’s the individuals who create a consistent routine, with a single focus, that create the best results.
#6 Gain self-confidence
Sales is scary, I get it.
For many people the fear of rejection comes up.
So this is why learning how to sell effectively can help you become more confident as a teacher, and as a person.
You’ll learn that when someone is saying “no” in a sales process it’s more to do with a mismatch in what you’re offering and what they’re wanting. You’re just not the right fit.
It’s important to understand that whatever you have to offer is not for everyone, and that you’re looking for the right fit for your unique product, service or message.
It may mean that you need to get better at understanding your prospect’s challenges and desires, and then providing a solution that helps them move forward.
This is a great skill to have!
What if you were able to become better at understanding the motivations and desires of your students, staff, department or other? How would that help your career as a teacher?
Like with any discipline or skill, the more you practise the better you’ll be able to get feedback, tweak as you go, and become better at it.
Give yourself permission to make mistakes and to grow from them. Didn’t you do that when you started out on your professional teaching career?
#7 Earn more money
One of the most common challenges we hear from teachers is that teaching as a profession has limited income earning potential.
The study of 30 OECD member nations by Gems Education Solutions, compared government average spends on teaching, which makes up 80% of most education budgets.
The results of their study can be seen here:
(Source: The Guardian)
Where does your salary fit into the above global comparison?
More importantly, how does your annual salary compare to your living expenses and the amount of income you’d prefer to be earning each year?
What if you could leverage your skills and teach online to make additional income streams?
Here are just a few ways you could be making money online:
- Host regular webinars and sell a membership program, live workshop or conference
- Create, launch and sell a highly profitable mobile app that helps teachers engage their students better
- Sell your lesson plans
- Create an online course on a platform like Udemy or Teachable
Check out our free guide: 7 Ways Teachers Can Make Money Online to learn about other ways teachers are monetising their knowledge.