Scarlett Letter #150: “I get the message. This is the last time I’ll reach out to you.”

Does this scenario sound familiar?

You target a prospect. You connect with that prospect, and you take special care to execute all the ‘right’ steps to build a relationship. You develop what you feel is a robust, trusting rapport. You may even prepare a fee proposal, or feel that a request for proposal is imminent. Suddenly, even abruptly, the two-way communication stops. Oh, you keep reaching out, of course—by phone, by email, by social media, by snail mail. But you get no response from this so-called ‘hot prospect’.

This lack of responsiveness is disconcerting, at best. Everyone in sales and business development ...

Tags: AEC best practices, AEC prospecting, AEC prospective client marketing, AEC voicemail techniques, Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, linkedin

Read more

August 06, 2012

Scarlett Letter #149: Observations of a leader: be open; be generous; be an inspiration

Personal coaching is not an ‘official’ service that I proactively market. Yet, every year I somehow secure a handful of clients in a one-on-one, coaching capacity. I’m partial to these assignments because I feel the learning exchange is mutual. With my input and guidance, I hope that my clients grow in their ability to communicate well; tackle the challenges of their professional relationships; and make great strides towards attaining their bigger business goals.

In return, I am able to observe their strong suits, of which there are many. (I’m convinced this is because only self-aware, evolved, ambitious people seek out personal ...

Tags: AEC best practices, AEC leadership, Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, Construction, effective leadership in architecture, Engineering, linkedin

Read more

July 09, 2012

Scarlett Letter #148: How to manage your impatience during inefficient meetings.

{Preface: the individuals of whom I mention are well intentioned. I have no doubt they are dedicated to their academic professions and to the students.}

Recently, I attended a meeting to discuss Columbia College’s Oral Communications classes for Fall and beyond. There were four part-time faculty members that teach this course within our Department. There was also a head of our group—a fulltime faculty member who has taught the course in prior years.

What was right about the meeting:

>The agenda (talking points and order presented were on target).

>The kernels of wisdom shared among us.

>Everyone was ‘heard’ and had the opportunity to speak ...

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

Read more

June 09, 2012

Scarlett Letter #147: Want to charm new people in your network? Try this.

Recently, I received a letter from a non-competitor in my industry (architecture/engineering/construction). It turns out that we are just ‘one degree of separation’ from one another. To quickly close the gap, she decided to dig around—just enough to uncover any commonalities that we might have with one another.

But then, rather than selecting the most obvious, ‘safe’ commonalities, she opted to pick some that were esoteric: shared artistic outlet; shared interest in a specific signature architect; shared passion for animals; shared history of wanderlust.

There was no selling. No pitching. Just some off-the-cuff commonalities that endeared her to me. I couldn’t help ...

Tags: Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, linkedin

Read more

May 31, 2012

Scarlett Letter #146: Desperately seeking inspiration (for content)!

With all the (high quality!) content that we strive to produce to satisfy our AEC content marketing efforts, many of us find ourselves staring at the dreaded *blank page*. We fret about what to write, to share, or to comment on….all in an effort to create online engagement with future and existing clients.

We desperately seek inspiration!

Some writers will argue that ‘writers block’ does not truly exist. Rather, the writer can surely write, but s/he may write a lot of crap! And with the abundance of information overload—and outright ‘noise’—online, we want to make sure that what we provide in our AEC ...

Tags: linkedin

Read more

May 25, 2012

Scarlett Letter #145: Hard and Soft Social Media ROI. Return on Investment (and Impressions!)

In preparation for an upcoming NEOCON presentation, I recently calculated my social media ROI from 2012 YTD contracts. It was encouraging to discover that—relative to 2011—Scarlett Consulting’s overall business has indeed grown from leads that originated online.

This straightforward calculation included only those opportunities where:

1. The lead originated completely online. {Even if a prospect did research and became ‘convinced’ to talk with Scarlett Consulting based upon our online presence, I did not include them if we had any sort of real-life connection.}

2. Real fee proposals were requested.

Upon spending approximately (educated guess) 25-30% of my business development time engaged in online activity—blog posts; Twitter; LinkedIn; community forums—our numbers ...

Tags: AEC social media and online marketing, AEC soft and hard ROI, Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, linkedin, social media ROI

Read more

May 17, 2012

Scarlett Letter #144: Re-tracing the steps of how you won a client

In this current frenzy of content marketing to boost social media/online marketing engagement, AEC marketers often talk about ‘crafting a story’ or ‘developing a narrative’ to make their content more compelling. That’s terrific, as it encourages our peers to present their opinions, insights, and company with extra thought and increased audience-centric consideration.

It does make me wonder: Is this same story-telling approach utilized internally?  When was the last time that you shared thoughtful stories with your staff?

Perhaps you’ve talked about how the project challenges (antagonist) were conquered (action and result) by your project team (protagonist/hero). That’s good stuff!

But what about digging ...

Tags: AE content marketing, Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, client development, linkedin, professional services sales, relationship between AEC marketing and operations, Social network, story telling, team building

Read more

May 14, 2012

Scarlett Letter #143: “Yes, and” self-talk worked for me!

As seasoned professionals, we’ve all developed our own methods for coping with stress and negativity. This quarter, unusually high stress reared its ugly head in both professional and teaching situations. And no matter how many chill-out techniques I tried, I couldn’t conquer my tension. I finally decided to try the ‘Yes, and’ exercise, but with a twist: instead of building off another person to energize and create a momentum of positivity, I had to do it alone. READ: self-talk.

So, here’s my latest self-talk strategy. In the eleventh hour, right before I enter a room of {fill in the blank: unreceptive ...

Tags: Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, anxiety management, linkedin, meeting facilitation, presentation skills

Read more

May 10, 2012

Scarlett Letter #142: Be specific on what your firm is NOT.

What is your firm about? What do you do? Tell us about your company. 

We are constantly communicating about what our firm does. It’s woven within firm descriptions, networking pitches, fee proposals, introductory prospective client meetings, online profiles, …you name it.

Yet, how often are we willing to share what our firm is not? Firms within the design and construction industry have a tendency to pursue more projects than they should (sans a rigorous go-no go process); claim a broader array of services than they currently offer (“we’ll find a sub-consultant to take care of that”); and identify a broader ...

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

Read more

April 25, 2012

Scarlett Letter #141: AE firms—don’t discount your price!

Architects, engineers, and interior design professionals…..why oh why do you acquiesce to clients when they ask you to ‘sharpen your pencil’, aka reduce your fee? Don’t do it.

Or, let me rephrase. If you honestly built your fee based on value (and perhaps cross-checked it with the man hours it will take to complete the project), then don’t discount your price.

In lieu of reducing your fee, here’s what you can do:

-Reiterate the value they are getting for your proposed original price. -Re-confirm the scope details and timeline. (And—if you are competing with other firms—confirm that everyone is working from the same data ...

Tags: AE client relationships, AEC pricing, Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, construction industry fee proposals, linkedin, professional services sales, Scarlett Consulting AEC business development

Read more

April 17, 2012

Older Posts »