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Scarlett Letter #46: Brownbagging it–Your brand & your relationships versus ‘blind judgement’

Ever heard of a brown bag party? I know a woman who hosts brown bag parties (BBPs for short) often. The premise is simple. Everyone brings a bottle of wine in a brown bag. They conduct a blind taste-test contest. The winners are solely based on each individuals’ experience in tasting the wine in that moment. There are no preconceived notions based on fancy labels, name recognition, or associations with the individuals that brought each bottle.

Of course, it wouldn’t be an interesting story if I didn’t also share that apparently, the winners of this brown bag contest are consistently some ...

Tags: AEC branding, AEC relationships, Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, branding, design and construction industry branding, design and construction relationships, linkedin, professional services marketing, professional services sales, Scarlett Consulting AEC business development

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September 28, 2009

Scarlett Letter #45: Support your claims with memorable stories

Posts #43 and #44 were around using ‘behavioral interviewing’ and the STAR format as prompters for excellent selling content, particularly when you need to support your claims of being the best, brightest, fastest, most creative….you get the idea. Let’s stick with the theme of anecdotes/story-telling as a tool for supporting your sales efforts.

A couple of years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting a fellow speaker at the SMPS Southern Regional Conference. Her name is Sandra Zimmer of the Self Expression Center. I liked Sandra immediately; you know that warm vibe that you can get from people, where you know ...

Tags: Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, Behavioral interviewing, design and construction presentation skills, Education and Training, linkedin, presentation skills, presentation skills for architects, professional services marketing, professional services sales, Scarlett Consulting AEC business development

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September 24, 2009

Scarlett Letter #44: Behavioral interviewing technique—great application for sales/marketing, Part II

In the Scarlett Letter #43, I shared the merits of behavioral interviewing, along with the STAR technique for responding.

To refresh your memory, ‘behavioral interviewing’ techniques follow the notion that ‘past behaviors will predict future behaviors’.  Therefore, depending upon how you have responded (or learned from) a situation in the past, it will most certainly paint a good picture of how you’ll behave within similar situations in the future.

The beauty of behavioral interviewing is that responses within the STAR format (situation/task; action; result) are highly applicable to many scenarios beyond interviewing for a new professional position.

My clients prepare anecdotes in the ...

Tags: AEC behavioral interviewing, Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, Behavioral interviewing, design and construction industry, design and construction marketing, linkedin, professional services marketing, professional services sales, Scarlett Consulting AEC business development, STAR format

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September 21, 2009

Scarlett Letter #43: Behavioral interviewing technique—great application for sales/marketing, Part I

If your AEC firm has a sophisticated human resources department, then no doubt that group uses an interviewing format called ‘behavioral interviewing’ when hiring new candidates.  In the shortest of descriptions, behavioral interviewing assumes that ‘past behaviors will predict future behaviors’. Therefore, if an individual achieved success by performing in a certain matter during a specific situation, then he will likely perform in a similar fashion the next time that situation arises. If, however, that individual was unsuccessful in their performance, then it is hopeful that he learned the lessons needed to carry forth in a better way the next ...

Tags: AEC behavioral interviewing, Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, Behavioral interviewing, design and construction industry, design and construction marketing, linkedin, professional services marketing, professional services sales, Scarlett Consulting AEC business development, STAR, STAR interview format

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September 17, 2009

Scarlett Letter #42: Pecha Kucha–innovative presentation format for AEC professionals

Last week, I had the pleasure of talking with industry colleague Lira Luis at Chicago’s 2009 Twestival. As we discussed the oral communications challenges of fellow professionals in the AEC industry, Lira shared with me her positive experiences involved with Pecha Kucha night.

In short, Pecha Kucha is Japanese for chit-chat and is a new way to present using PowerPoint. Presenters are allowed to use 20 slides, which are shown on screen for 20 seconds each. It equals a 6 minute, 40 second presentation. If you’ve ever sat through a boring presentation led by a rambling presenter who opts to read ...

Tags: ACEC, AIA, AIA Chicago, Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, linkedin, professional services marketing, professional services sales, Scarlett Consulting AEC business development

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September 14, 2009

Scarlett Letter #41: RSS feeds; alerts; readers—you’d be crazy not to use these tools!

Just yesterday, I (again) had the experience of conversing with someone who said to me, “Oh yes, I read all of your published articles; in fact, I often visit your website to read the latest.” And then when I ask, “Have you subscribed to my blog?” or even “What blogs are you reading regularly?”, I often get a blank stare for a moment. Please note, it’s not that I’m saying one absolutely 100% must use blogs as a trusted newsource. However, using a comprehensive reader system (explained below) will greatly help you to keep focused and get the things that you ...

Tags: AEC blogs, AEC RSS feeds, Alerts, Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, Google Reader, linkedin, professional services marketing, professional services sales, Readers, Scarlett Consulting AEC business development

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September 10, 2009

Scarlett Letter #40: Put your (marketing/sales) expectations in writing

As I finalize my syllabus for this semester’s Columbia College Oral Communications classes, I can’t help but compare the level of detail and ‘spell-it-all-out-format’ of my syllabus relative to the syllabi of my colleagues that teach the same course.

Is it necessary, I wonder, to provide such a level of detail?

My belief is yes. People learn from various channels—visual, aural, reading, and kinesthetics (doing).  So sure, some of the kids may still need to hear me describe the upcoming assignments each week, but other kids may want to read about those same assignments. Further—provided my grading consistently reflects the ‘requirements’ ...

Tags: AEC human resources, AEC trends, Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, linkedin, professional services marketing, professional services sales, Scarlett Consulting AEC business development

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September 07, 2009

Scarlett Letter #39: What areas of your business do you want to grow?

“What area of your business are you most interested in growing?” was a question posed to me recently in an entrepreneur-to-entrepreneur conversation. “I’d like to help you with the part of your business that you care most about.”

What a great way for him to position the question! He reminded me yet again that it is important for all of us to be focused and prepared to tell people what it is that our business needs and wants.  And, we must articulate it at a moment’s notice. Let’s face it; it’s easier for people to help us if we are able ...

Tags: Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, Business, linkedin, Networking, professional services marketing, professional services sales, Scarlett Consulting AEC business development, Social network

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September 03, 2009

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