In a previous post  I offered "rules of the road" for companies in preparing and delivering product demos and product webinars.
Today I'd like to list the 5 questions that ed tech companies must answer when communicating about their product or service with a potential client. Notice that these questions have little to do with features or technologies, although these are the topics on which companies usually spend most of their time.
It is also essential to keep in mind that we are usually not operating with a clean slate. Most of the technologies/products/services that we review would be replacements or substitutes for what we already have on campus.
1) What problem does adopting to or switching to your platform/service/product solve for our institution/division/department?
2) Our motivation to investigating changing one of our major products or services (think LMS, content management or lecture capture system etc.) is usually less about features and more about business models (proprietary to open source, local to SaaS etc.) If your product/service only offers a different set of features, as opposed to a different model for delivery, than why should we consider it?
3) We have made a long-term investment in training our faculty on our current platform/technology etc. Resources are limited to support a retraining effort. Why would we want to change?
4) Our faculty are understandably weary about having to learn a new system/technology, as they value both usability and stability. How does your offering overcome these initial concerns to a large enough degree that it is worth our time to even present your product/service to our faculty as an option?
5) Can you give examples of our peer institutions that have switched from our current platform/product/service to your platform/product/service, tell us why they switched, and put us in touch with our counterparts at these institutions so we can speak with them?
What questions would you add? Can you think of any ed tech companies that are particularly good at communicating their products or services? Do you agree that we have a communications gap between companies and schools, and if so how would you bridge it?