Articles

Anne Scarlett has authored over 60 published articles. They are organized by topic in the sidebar to the right. Often, Anne expands upon these topics, presenting to audiences in intimate training sessions as well as at highly-attended conferences. In addition, her insights are frequently quoted in A/E/C industry publications. Representative articles include those below.

CURRENT CATEGORY:
Business development and marketing in challenging times

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THE MILLENNIALS: HOW TO SELL TO THIS NEW GENERATION OF BUYERS

Selling services to Millennials

A Perspective from Architecture & Engineering

Let’s paint the scenario. Through your network, you uncover this hot lead: a local community college has completed its master plan and will now begin hiring a variety of firms (to spread the work!) for project execution.

Prior to picking up the phone to call the campus architect, you conduct due diligence—general Internet research, degrees of separation on LinkedIn, memberships within relevant organizations such as SCUP and NACUBO, and so forth. As you put together the pieces, building up a “profile” for this prospective client, you suddenly discover that he is young—as in 30 years young.

Whoa. ...

IDEAS-DRIVEN NETWORKING CONNECTS YOU WITH THE RIGHT PEOPLE

An interactive breakout session during a conference. Lunch and socializing before a panel discussion. A celebratory event held at a prospective client’s office. An elevator. The valet queue. Wherever. As we know so well, networking opportunities are ubiquitous.

As business development professionals, we’ve had our share of networking successes and disappointments. We have crafted our own process for working the room—give rather than receive, focus on connecting others, and organize our follow-up approaches.

We have created expectations—of self and of our internal colleagues—about what constitutes a successful networking exchange. For some of us, it’s a numbers game. For others, it’s about making ...

RainToday and Modern Steel Construction

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BEST PRACTICES FOR BUSINESS RELATIONSHIPS

Give credit where credit is due---liberally!

We’ve seen some spikes of (selective) optimism in the economy in this past year. This has led us to believe that the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry could be improving in certain sectors. Our perception partially relies upon which indicators we are reviewing: stock market, gas prices, corporate office rental rates, national health care policy, housing market, government infrastructure initiatives, the list goes on.

Yet, even as some of us are becoming more optimistic regarding the health of our AEC businesses, there’s still an overarching layer of stress that has not yet evaporated. It has led to business relationship tensions—not ...

RainToday and PSMJ's AE Rainmaker

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WALKING IN ANOTHER’S SHOES.

Empathy is a surefire way to demonstrate business development leadership.

As business development professionals, we know that leadership embodies key traits such as vision; integrity; diplomacy; dedication, and a flexible, open mind.  We also know that—leader or not—Emotional Intelligence (identified by Psychologist Daniel Goleman) plays a significant role in our success.  This is where empathy comes in. Empathy is considered by some as the second-most important element of emotional intelligence (Number one is self-awareness). Empathy is defined as the ability to identify and understand the wants, needs, and viewpoints of those around you. Empathetic people avoid stereotyping and judging too quickly. Empathizers have the ability to imaginatively enter into another ...

RainToday and PSMJ

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AEC TEAM-BUILDING IN TOUGH TIMES

Three ingredients to make it happen.

Everyone feels the pain of layoffs. Everyone. In the earlier rounds, we rationalize by painting a silver lining: “Our firm got rid of fat, and subsequently, operational efficiencies have improved.” That version of layoffs happened in late 2008, and throughout the first half of 2009. But by the third quarter, the AEC layoffs were more painful than ever. Why? Because there was no choice but to dig into the “muscle” of the firm. Lack of work and depleted cash reserves pushed firms to make excruciating choices. This led to the elimination of ultra-talented, loyal, hard-working professionals.

So everyone feels the pain, ...

Modern Steel Construction

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GIVE ‘EM SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT

Identifying value propositions so they will listen, and buy!

In any economic climate, it’s important to offer value propositions that will both intrigue—and ‘stick’ within the minds of—your prospective clients. But in an economy where more competitors are flocking to the same sources for far less new business opportunities, it’s even more imperative to have something that stands out and makes your firm different—and quantifiably valuable.

Barton Malow, an 85-year old construction firm offering an array of project delivery formats, has such a value proposition: Integrated Project Delivery (see links below).

For several years, I’ve run across professionals that are involved in Lean Project Management/Construction*. I’ve understood the basics, but was ...

PSMJ’s AE Rainmaker

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TURNING LEMONS INTO LEMONADE: PART II OF II

Mobilizing under-utilized staff to contribute to your firm’s business development solution.

Part I spoke about structuring a program where you—as the marketing/business development professional—can guide your ‘expanded marketing team’ (aka underutilized staff) to make meaningful contributions to your firm’s marketing effort.

Now, I’ll share some additional thoughts on organizing the effort, along with specific to-do marketing and business development tasks that might make sense for your new ‘expanded marketing team’.

I.    Sourcing the tasks.

In addition to the obvious (ie. having staff tap into their existing network/contacts), use these three sources to identify and prioritize tasks that will make the most sense for these professionals.

Your own master to-do list. If you are highly organized, ...

PSMJ Rainmaker and RainToday

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TURNING LEMONS INTO LEMONADE, PART I

Mobilize underutilized staff to contribute to your firm’s business development solution

Of course, in theory we know that ‘every person in the firm is a marketer.’ Savvy architecture and engineering firms go the extra mile to train their people at all levels on areas where, regardless of their ‘primary’ role in the firm, they are better able to participate in the marketing effort.

Lately, I have spoken with A/E firms that are struggling to hold onto their remaining talent (the firm’s ‘fat’ was already released during previous layoffs). Their logic is that not only are these people valuable, but they also don’t ‘deserve’ to lose their jobs. Further, these firms realize that ...

PSMJ AE Rainmaker and RainToday

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WHEN YOUR CLIENT CONTACT GETS THE PINK SLIP

Making sure that your nurturing and relationship-building stay intact.

In these unpredictable economic times, it is not unusual to discover that one or more of your client contacts has been transitioned to a different role or even right-sized (aka ‘let go’). This can be awkward, sensitive, and personal. You may be tempted to give the contact some breathing room, and try to catch up with him again once he lands in a new position.

Think again. Put yourself in the shoes of the contact.

Cindy was a real estate professional at a Fortune 100 company. Every year, Cindy was the coveted client to spend time with at the big ...

PSMJ's AE Rainmaker

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DOWNSIZING: THE MARKETING PROFESSIONAL’S ROLE

Ways to help make it better for everyone

In these tough and uncertain economic times, your firm may (unfortunately) determine that downsizing staff is its best course of action. As a marketing professional, your ‘Job One’ is to reassess, plan, and mobilize to win relevant new business. In addition, you can help to make the downsizing process gracious and considerate, to preserve:

1. Industry reputation: In the longer-term, your firm wants its brand to stay intact—even elevate—during tough times and beyond. Laid-off staff will relocate to other firms within the industry. If their downsizing experiences are helpful and reasonable, then they are more likely to regard the firm in a ...

AE Marketing Letter and Rain Today

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