How One Little Change In Tactic Made A Big Difference


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Three short years ago, when I lived in London, I was the administrator for a small private school.

I had started there as a teacher but, because they never had a basic structure to their office, and I had over a decade’s worth of prior admin experience, they asked me to set up their office from the ground up.

It was a big task, one I didn’t relish, but someone had to do it.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, the school’s budget was miniscule and trying to get cash out of the headmaster for anything was like trying to squeeze… tax cuts from a labour government.

One problem we had was, due to there being no formal office, once things got under way, a lot of people suddenly realised there was loads of work to be done, including laminating tons of posters.

We had a laminating machine which was… well… let’s say ‘cheap’ would be an understatement. (Crap comes to mind)…And it kept breaking down.

I think a couple of the teachers were even bringing their own, cheap, laminating machines into school.

It was at that time the stationery company we were buying from sent us some advertising material through telling of a heavy duty laminator they were promoting and, to sweeten the deal, they were giving away a ton of free plastic laminates.

Being in dire need of just such a machine, I showed this to the headmaster, who promptly dismissed it saying he wasn’t prepared to pay the £200+ (around $400) they were charging for it.

The free laminates didn’t make any difference.

That was the end of that.

Until the next week.

We had another mail come through about the same machine with the same deal, except in this case, they were selling the laminates for £200+, with the machine thrown in free.

As soon as I saw that, I knew we had a new laminating machine coming in.

I took it to the headmaster and showed it to him, and he promptly told me to order it and he’d make the payment.

Deal done.

Heck, it was the exact same deal as the week before… what made the difference?

I’ll answer that in a future post.

Meanwhile, let me know what you think.