If you have a product that isn’t too well-known, or it is well-known, but you would like to see more growth in sales, there is one wise move you could take. You might also have compiled your expertise to a product or several products, such as training and consultancy. If you want to see steady growth in sales, look at ESRI, and learn from them. If you don’t know ESRI, it’s a well-known software development and services company providing GIS software. ESRI has about million users around the world. One million?! How do they do it? What I have seen is that, ESRI products are in almost every Finnish university that teaches GIS. Of course, they have a very good distributor network, but I think they’ve made a wise move providing their products free for universities.
So, what to do? If you have a software, give it for free to students. They start to learn it, and if they like it, after they’ve graduated, they’re keen to have the same software in their companies or organizations they’re working for. That means sales for you. From my experience, I must say, that the software should be good and easy to use. Students are smart, they know what they want, and if the software doesn’t meet their demands, they’re willing to throw it away.
If you’re an expert selling your expertise, give lectures, thus making you known to students. When graduating, they know you, and if they like you, they’ll buy from you. It’s that simple. Look at McDonald’s, why do they have the clown Ronald McDonald as their mascot? Why is a large part of their marketing directed to children? I think we all know the answers.
First step: You can start by calling to the school staff that teach GIS, and have a lunch together.