We actually work at promoting the budget each and every day of school. It's ultimately about perceptions and beliefs constructed around the ongoing dynamics of interactions between and among members of the school staff and learners, as viewed by voters. People may vote on numbers as a product but budgets pass on relationships as a service. Few people are inspired by graphs and charts. It's the stream of narratives that reflect care, compassion, commitment and constancy of purpose which prompt feelings that really matter.
Think of education and consider how Harry Beckwith, author of Selling the Invisible, points out the significant differences between selling a product and selling a service. At Green Island we focus on selling the service.
Beckwith states:"A product is tangible. You can see it and touch it. A service, by contrast, is intangible. In fact, a service does not even exist when you buy one. A service is a promise. You’re selling the promise that you will do something at a future date. This means that what you are really selling is your honesty.
The products we buy are built miles away by people we have never met. So we rarely take product failures personally. The services we use, by contrast, are usually provided by people we have met or at least spoken to. When that person fails to do what he/she promised, we often take it personally.
In most professional services you are not really selling expertise – because your expertise is assumed, and because your prospects cannot intelligently evaluate your expertise anyway. Instead, you are selling a relationship. And, in most cases, that is where you need the most work. Doctors too often believe that they are selling technical proficiency as the measure of their worth, but patients more often view the relationship side as more critical. How many times have you heard someone describe a doctor with reference to his/her bedside manner as opposed to their perceived technical proficiency?
We are presenting a case at the Heatly School that our staff can work cooperatively to advance opportunities for learners and craft the conditions and means for them to pursue their dreams, whatever direction they take. Isn't that what our stakeholders invest in? Not the achievement levels, but what these achievement levels can do. It's not what education "is," it's what education "does." In the end, education is a service, not a product.