Digital Learning: My new favorite representative(s), and how he/she wooed me in the time of Corona.
By: Craig Perrier
Remember when you first started working with schools? Think back to those days. What parts of your professional self were elevated by the freshness of the job? How proactive were you with clients? What was your reply time to calls and emails? Did you give extra attention to relationship making and cultivation? Now hold on to that moment because that version of you isn’t in the past. It is now. Let me explain a bit more.
The phrase “we are all first year teachers this year” has been used quite frequently during the start of the school year. Whether the phrase is used as a way to nurture staff solidarity, as a reminder to the challenges ahead, an invitation to collaborate, a recognition that vulnerability in times of change is ok, or in some other way, the message applies to the representatives we work with and rely upon to navigate the current and upcoming shifts and demands of education.
I am happy to say that just in the first month of the 20-21 school year, multiple representatives I work with have embraced this first year (again) persona. They are preventing fires, helping put out fires, and by doing so building a reputation of trust, confidence, and respect. Here is a sample of some loyal inducing actions I have encountered so far:
- Phone call over an ongoing email exchange: Talking with the representative allowed me to express my dilemma and needs quicker and easier. It also gave us a chance to (re)connect and express my gratitude more the time.
- Check in and/or follow up email: This is rare and therefore if you do it, the action will stand out even more. Just know that if we don’t reply to this email it is because something else came up. Don’t feel slighted as we won’t forget your outreach.
- Expanded the number of licenses for online access: A main shift has been towards digital learning which has elevated the need, often immediate, for more student access. Knowing that digital learning will be here to stay, offering more, free licenses now will be a huge problem solving investment in the future.
- Offer free opportunities for our teachers: People like presents. In the world of virtual education gifts like complimentary virtual conference attendance or professional development opportunities help us support our teachers and students. They are also opportunities to share what’s new from you.
- Unsolicited praise: When you work with our teachers, students, or community successfully, let us know. Celebrating educators is great to do and it balances off the negative news we hear a lot of.
All of these actions are quite simple and effective ways to build bonds for the future. The time and energy spent now on effective, supportive outreach will extend your favorite status for months and years to come.
Become the vendor teacher want to work with – reach out today!