"Better the Ball"

"Better the Ball"

The goal of a setter, as told by my college volleyball coach, is this: “better the ball”. No matter what you are given, your job it to put up a ball our team can attack and win the point. I realize, what we do for our clients is no different. Regardless of where a product is in the market development/product development cycle, our job is to work with you to make it better. To provide warm leads for your sales team and to help your programs be successful.

We “better the ball” in business. See how our approach can have an impact on your upcoming product launches.

We Sweat the Small Stuff (so you don't have to)

We Sweat the Small Stuff (so you don't have to)

Sometimes, the small stuff can have an over-sized impact on your customer’s overall perspective of your product, your mission, your brand. From how they are initially communicated with, to their interaction with everyone on the team, to the follow-up, to ongoing communication throughout the development of the project - it all adds up to what can be an overwhelmingly positive or negative experience for them.

So, to make it an overwhelmingly positive experience..

We sweat the small stuff.  

      Important, Yet Overlooked Hiring Requirements  Recently I posted an update on my LinkedIn profile saying “The Boedeker Group is growing and hiring new freelance market development, marketing and sales professionals” and linked to the job descriptions that listed in detail the kind of background and experience I am looking for (message me if you want more info).  From the time I launched TBG earlier this year, eight companies - across all areas of educational product & market development and marketing - have trusted me and my team to help them accomplish their goals and I’m extremely proud of the work we have delivered. Meeting their expectations and helping them achieve their goals is my top priority so I take  *very*  seriously only working with people who are knowledgeable, experienced and dedicated to the projects they take on. I wrote my job descriptions including these specific qualifications and expectations and pressed “post”.  That same afternoon I posted the job descriptions I had to make yet another mid-week run to the grocery story to supply a growing 2-year old with his daily (probably too high) milk quota -- and saw.... THIS.     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              arrrrrrgggggghhhhhhhhh!!!  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


      *Sigh* Every. Single. Time.  I see shopping carts scattered all over the place I have this thought:    “What people do with their shopping cart says a lot about them."    To me it means they are thinking about no one besides themselves; not the people who come after them who need to shop, not the people who have to navigate around these carts strewn all over the parking lot, not the inconvenience overall they are causing. They don’t see how their small action has a bigger, perhaps unintended, impact.  And since this was the day that I posted my job descriptions, it hit me --  I don’t want to hire people who have this kind of attitude.   It also made me realize some things -  probably the most important things  - that I  am looking for in people to join my team didn’t make it into the job descriptions.   So here they are:   I want to work with people who are naturally curious, who have great questions (and a lot of them) and they don’t have all the answers but are hell-bent on figuring them out.  I want to work with people who make other people feel good. You know who I’m talking about - those people where you can’t remember  exactly  what you talked about but you have good feelings about those conversations. Think of the impact that kind of person has on your customers. Your customers may not remember everything they told them about your product (hopefully they do), but they will remember they liked the interaction and leave with a favorable impression of your company.  I want to build a team of people who recognize that their actions impact others - either for the good or bad - and choose the good.  I want to work with people who have fun in the messy; who understand that clients hire us because they don’t always have the time to do the work themselves but still need the highest of quality that will help their products succeed. They need us to be flexible, adaptable to changes that may pop up, and need us to thrive in that kind of environment.   Ultimately, I just want to work with nice people who are good at their jobs and take pride in the work they produce. Those are the people I want to build a company with.   If that sounds like you - let’s talk. And if that sounds like the kind of company that you want to hire for your product & market development and marketing needs, let’s talk in more detail to see if The Boedeker Group is a good fit. I promise you, you’ll be working with people who  put their damn shopping carts back where they belong  (because it’s just the right thing to do and leaves everything better than it was before; which we aim to do as well).

Recently I posted an update on my LinkedIn profile saying “The Boedeker Group is growing and hiring new freelance market development, marketing and sales professionals” and linked to the job descriptions that listed in detail the kind of background and experience I am looking for... but I missed the most important requirements...

Back to School Thanks from a Parent

Back to School Thanks from a Parent

Today I dropped my almost-4 year old at Pre-K4 for the start of her 2017-2018 school year. I know I’m not alone. There are a lot of us going through back-to-school drop-offs and pick-ups all across the country if we haven’t already gone through it in the last couple of weeks.

And while I’ve seen plenty of Facebook posts along the lines of “Finally! My kid’s going back to school!!” and some hilarious footage of a mom walking around Target advising other parents to “buy the damn yellow binder” (Google it), what hit me this morning as I was fighting back some tears watching a little girl with a backpack bigger than she is proudly walk into her classroom is this -  there are a whole lot of people involved in making this school year possible for her.

You Only Have One Chance to Make a First Impression

You Only Have One Chance to Make a First Impression

That was the exact sentence I shared with one of my clients last week. “You never get a second chance to make a first impression - and I’m afraid you’re going to waste it if you move forward with this product before it’s ready. I know you want to launch in a few weeks. I just don’t think you’re there yet.”

Ouch. I know.

It’s not necessarily something that any company wants to hear, but I’m not hired by companies to tell them what I think they want me to tell them. I’m hired to give honest, direct feedback based on my experiences that will help them launch their products successfully. I’ve already shared what I learned from my biggest product failures in a previous post, so I won’t reiterate those again (click here if interested in reading that article - ) - but I have realized that there are some red flags to look out for when deciding if a product is ready to launch or not.  

Build Your Tribe

Build Your Tribe

One of the immediate changes I felt quickly after leaving MHE and starting a new venture was the absence of a group of really smart people, passionate about education and ed tech, that congregated every day, at the same place, at the same time, all working towards a similar goal.  We may have been covering different disciplines or been in different groups, but we were all on the same team.

Get off the Review Roller Coaster

Get off the Review Roller Coaster

The product development team has all been there… working on a project for months, hours upon hours of work put in by authors or subject matter experts and product developers to create a version of the product that is certainly not final, but ready for market feedback. It is an exciting time…each reach out to the market both builds up the product itself as well as builds the relationships that will endure beyond the product development process. The team has crafted the right mix of questions for the reviews, got the right potential customers involved, and the results are coming in…


And so begins the rollercoaster ride..

Number of Twitter Followers. Do People Care?

Number of Twitter Followers. Do People Care?

If you go to @boedekergroup on Twitter you will see that I have very few followers and I’m following very few people on this particular social channel.

Why?

ROI.

Or at least, my perceived lack of ROI which has equated to my spending very little attention (almost none) on Twitter for my business. So, I want to test my assumptions, get pushback, and in the spirit of always learning - see if I should be thinking of this differently.  

What I have always said in my career, what I built a company off of and am working on with my clients is this -- know your customers.

  • Know who they are

  • Know what they care about

  • Know where they go to stay up to date on the industry they’re in

  • Know what they’re reading

  • Know how they make their buying decisions

To Those on the Front Lines of Education - Thank You

To Those on the Front Lines of Education - Thank You

After 15 years working in educational publishing and ed tech I did something today I have never done. I was the acting principal at a public elementary and middle school in Jersey City through the "Principal for the Day" community program that pairs business owners in the area with local schools.

The principal I was paired with gave me only two pieces of information that I needed to prepare: park in her parking spot, and wear comfortable shoes. I had no idea what was in store for me.

What I Learned From Rookie Reps About Product Development

What I Learned From Rookie Reps About Product Development

As a Brand Manager and then Managing Director for a large portfolio, I loved rookie reps. As soon as I would receive their in-company introductory email I would send them a welcome email to introduce myself, set up a time to speak with them to give them more detailed information about our products, and share background information on courses they would be calling on so that when they were speaking with a professor with a Ph.D in an area they may know little about they would feel confident in the conversation. I would share what I knew about what was happening in their territories and within their largest committees and I would also ask them to help me and my team uncover information where we didn’t yet have in-roads or we simply needed on-the-ground support. I loved the start of these partnerships where we began working together to collectively hit our shared goals. It was the start of really strong relationships, many that continue today.

But I loved rookie reps for another reason as well. They didn’t know which professors to avoid; those that had shut the door in the face of the previous rep and said “Nope, not interested. Don’t come back.” They either didn’t know or would want to confirm for themselves who the key players were in each committee. They would go into all those initial sales calls attempting to uncover the needs of the professor and learn how we may be able to satisfy that need with one of our products. They wouldn’t assume that they knew which product was being used by which professors or think they knew whythose professors were using those products. They would ask. They were new. They had a lot of questions and a lot less answers, so they would ask… and almost always those questions led to uncovering new opportunities we wouldn’t have learned about otherwise. Rookie reps look at their territory in a way only new reps can - with a fresh pair of eyes.