Updated: Nov 6, 2019
Chances are if you work in education at some point you’ll interact with an Ed-Tech sales pro.
I’ve always found these meetings to be enjoyable and informative from both sides of the table, but years of conversations tell me I’m in the minority.
Here are some tips to help you find value (and even enjoyment?) in the earliest meetings of an ed-tech partnership.
1. Don’t take the meeting unless you need the product.
2. If you aren’t the right person for the product, say so.
3. Ask the hard questions.
4. Be clear about the next steps.
Don’t take the meeting unless you need the product.
The person asking for the appointment should tell you why your school/district is a good fit. You or your gatekeeper can use this questionnaire to make sure only the right meetings make it on your calendar.
If you aren’t the right person for the product, say so.
If you like the program but you aren’t the right person to decide if your school or district will use it, say so. Partnership teams want to meet with the right person more than they want a “yes” on the first call. Don't feel obligated to dig up the right person’s contact information, but sharing their name is helpful.
Ask the hard questions.
If you’ve got a mental list of reasons this won’t work in your district, speak up!
But what if the person sitting across from you is….nice? Most are nice. Most care about kids and work in Ed-Tech so they can share something they believe in. They also have a quota.
When you raise objections early everyone has an opportunity to problem-solve.
Be clear about the next steps.
If you’re ready to move quickly and will need to present it to the school board for approval next Tuesday, tell them you’ll need support to make it happen. If you’re headed into high stakes testing and can't meet again for 4 weeks, say so.
Above all, if you know you’re never going to reply to another email, text or call, let them know. It will save you both a lot of time and frustration.
Keep doing what’s best for kids!
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