Sunday, September 16, 2012
The best sales people stay in contact with their clients long after the initial sale. In my experience, I rarely hear from a sales person again after I buy a product or service. If I do hear from a sales person it will typically be to sell me more of the same; never to follow up on the previous sale or simply to grow our relationship.
Sadly, colleges and universities are poor at sales. A significant amount of resources are put into marketing higher education to traditional students - those coming directly from high school. An excellent example of this is the Ontario University Affairs. Marketing and sales are not the same though. Marketing makes (potential) clients aware of a product or service whereas sales secures a commitment from clients to generate revenue.
Any good problems present good opportunities and learning is no exception. Consider that
the amount of knowledge that exists is doubling as fast as every year and future job needs are nearly impossible to predict. This situation presents an infinite number of opportunities to "sell" learning. In other words, people will need to continually be learning to keep up with new knowledge and skills required to remain relevant and effective in the employment market.
As the need to learn continues increasing in importance the opportunities to guide learners how to learn efficiently and effectively will grow. This guidance will be supplied best from someone who knows you, your background and the previous knowledge you've gained. Who better to fill this role then colleges or universities. We have the expertise, data and relationships to be lifelong learning advisors to our students. All we need is the system to bring these factors into alignment. Career centres are well positioned to leverage this opportunity. A website like Linkedin or job listing sites like Workopolis or Monster could also fulfill this need. All that's left now is to see who will capitalize on this emerging opportunity.