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Monday, October 26, 2009

Selling to Techies and Visionaries

This posting relates to my posting Technology Adoption Continuum: Types of Adopters. Read that posting first or this one may not make sense.

The techies and the visionaries are early adopters of new technologies (like virtual worlds) within organizations. Both the techies and the visionaries like the idea of a brand new technology even if their reasons are slightly different—techies want to explore it while visionaries want to exploit it.

New learning technologies appeal to both groups precisely because they are new and few other organizations are deploying them on a wide spread basis. When selling the use of new learning technologies to these two groups, stress the newness of using the technology for business and distance education applications.

Specifically when selling to techies, let them know the software specifications, the hardware capabilities and the technology behind them. Stress the newness of the technology and the innovative uses of the new learning technology. When selling to visionaries, let them know that it provides an advantage to themselves and their organization. Show them how the the new learning technology will provide a competitive advantage over others. Sell the “advantage” of the idea and the newness of the technology.

Unfortunately, the newness of innovative technologies for learning is exactly what the pragmatists, conservatives and skeptics dislike. These individuals, many of them are organizational decision makers, are not interested in pushing the envelope in either business or educational practices and especially not with technological features. They want a solution that is more in line with the status quo. They want the “tried and true” approach and wonder what’s wrong with classroom instruction.

Know your stakeholders so you can position the technology appropriately.

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