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Scarlett Letter #89: LinkedIn; Facebook; Twitter — Add warmth!

Mr. Who-Knows would like to connect with you on LinkedIn.

Ms. Never-Seen-Before added you as a friend on Facebook.

Do these email messages look familiar? Lately, I’ve been receiving some invitations from both LinkedIn and Facebook where not only do I have no clue who the person is, but I also get a twinge of displeasure at the experience.

Since the design and construction community is (hopefully) becoming more versed with these social networks as business tools, it’s important for all of us to do it the ‘right’ way, rather than plowing forward with unbridled enthusiasm. You may have ...

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

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February 25, 2010

Scarlett Letter #88: In-house AEC controversy–positive or negative?

Design and construction firms often have some *big* personalities within. *Big* personalities could potentially encompass those who are: outspoken, bold, egotistical, always-right, impassioned ….you get the point.

As well, firms in the AEC industry almost always have a few *non-descript* personalities, including characteristics such as: soft-spoken, non-confrontational, quietly opinionated OR without much particular opinion at all, etc.

Of course, there are also personalities everywhere in between the spectrum, along with those personalities that waffle between one extreme and another.

As a firm leader, has it ever occurred to you to create static—even controversy—among your in-house staff? Maybe you have considered matching up various ...

Tags: AEC conflict and controversy, AEC networking, Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, design and construction networking, internal communications, linkedin, professional services marketing, professional services sales, Scarlett Consulting AEC business development, team building

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February 22, 2010

Scarlett Letter #87: Bringing AEBL to the Midwest…what are we waiting for?!

AEBL, the Association of AE Business Leaders, is an essential leadership forum on the U.S. west coast, as well as various pockets across the country. Originally called the Professional Services Management Association (PSMA), this organization has been around since 1975. Yet, Chicago is still missing this valuable industry resource.

AEBL membership is comprised of senior managers, principals and owners from design and consulting firms who share business expertise through national and regional CEO Roundtables, Step Up to Leadership seminars, and other information sharing events. The mission: “…to strengthen and support the AE industry by promoting best practices, corporate stewardship, effective leadership ...

Tags: AEBL, Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, Association of AE Business Leaders, Kathryn Sprankle, linkedin, professional services marketing, professional services sales, Scarlett Consulting AEC business development

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February 18, 2010

Scarlett Letter #86: In AEC business, positive attitudes go a long way

Aruba….self proclaimed as “One happy island”. Last week, I had the fortunate invitation to travel to Aruba as a guest for a one-week conference. While very grateful for this opportunity, Aruba is not on my top list of destinations. Relative to specific other Caribbean islands (i.e. Dominica and  St. Lucia), Aruba’s terrain seemed like a desolate desert beyond the resort-strip area. For a land-lovin’ hiker and cultural (read: anti-tourist trap) explorer like me, Aruba did not seem particularly promising beyond warm weather and an opportunity to log a few dives.

Even with my aversion to resort, touristy environments, I gladly went ...

Tags: AEC client relations, Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, design and construction client relations, linkedin, professional services marketing, professional services sales, Scarlett Consulting AEC business development, team building

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February 15, 2010

Scarlett Letter #85: Expressing Appreciation to Design and Construction Industry

This year, I decided to send out business valentines to uniquely ‘touch’ my prospects, clients, and business partners. I’m pleased to report that these handwritten cards (only sent to about 1/10th of my mailing list) were well received. Hopefully, they provided a surprise diversion from what one usually finds in a stack of business mail.

I discovered a few things during this valentine preparation process. 1. I have been relying on email addresses only, so much of my mailing list is void of snail mail addresses. 2. Linkedin is a dream come true, because when people move around from position to ...

Tags: AEC communications, AEC mailings, Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, business valentines, design and construction communications, linkedin, professional services marketing, professional services sales, Scarlett Consulting AEC business development

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February 11, 2010

Scarlett Letter #84: Opportunities will be missed if they don’t hire your firm!

Recently, I attended You’ve Got The Look: Branding and PR forSmall Business. Sally O’Dowd, founder of Sally On Media, and Emily Lonigro, founder of design firm LimeRed Studio, discussed how small-business owners can get recognized for what they do best. Excellent in their respective crafts, these women did a great job of walking their audience through a step-by-step process for branding.

Like all of us marketing professionals/consultants, Sally and Emily ask ‘Just Right’ probing questions to glean the most intel, data, and even intuitive subtleties from their clients. One such question was this:

What opportunities will your prospects miss if they do ...

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

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February 08, 2010

Scarlett Letter #83: Phone and voicemail etiquette

I respect callers that include the *nature of the call* within their voicemail.

Admittedly, I should respond to every call within 24 hours. Hands down, I do this with my clients. But when I receive a message that simply says ‘call me’, then I’m less likely to call right back because that message says to me that the person is not interested in letting me prepare prior to the callback. Now, one could argue that the caller simply does not like to leave long, detailed messages. But since my outgoing message explicitly invites a detailed message (literally “please leave a detailed ...

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

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February 04, 2010

Scarlett Letter #82: Life is a dinner party?!

There are so many ‘life’ and ‘work’ metaphors that it’s impossible to count. Life is a highway. Life is like a box of chocolates. Life is ….fill in the blank. Since we just hosted a dinner party for 12 last weekend, I decided to write about how life is (sometimes) a dinner party. In this post, each lesson can clearly be applied to our everyday work in the AEC industry.

Lesson #1: Deliberately create interesting, positive dynamics. If you want to have a seating arrangement (to inspire conversation and create a dynamic between certain people), then plan it out in advance. Don’t ...

Tags: AEC life lessons, AEC work lessons, Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, design and construction lessons, linkedin, professional services marketing, professional services sales, Scarlett Consulting AEC business development

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February 01, 2010

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