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Scarlett Letter #140: Story of an exemplary networker

Recently, I was the lucky beneficiary from a generous referral source. Her approach was admirable, and I’d like to share it.  She sets a great example of how I hope to be in my own business dealings.

Karen, a fellow AEC marketing consultant, decided to accept a full-time, in-house position at an engineering firm. This meant she would no longer contract with individual firms. Yet, she has a pipeline of opportunities and relationships that she has built with prospective clients.

Karen had options. 1. She could simply stop pursuing the consulting work, with no closure whatsoever. 2. She could just inform her ...

Tags: AEC best practices, Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, linkedin, professional services networking, professional services sales

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April 04, 2012

Scarlett Letter #139: Three tips to convert nervous anxiety into positive energy. Lessons learned from a dive!

I’m in the process of finalizing an article to answer a frequently-asked question (by both clients and students): “In business communications, how do I convert nervous anxiety into positive energy?” 

As I brainstormed an exhaustive list of tips and advice for that piece, I noted that controlled breathing, self-talk, and being in-the moment are three (of many!) worthwhile techniques for channeling nervous energy into something constructive and purposeful.

Conscious breathing.

Breathing is magical, really. Just recently, I was diving at a depth of 60 feet (not terribly impressive, but I’m a big scaredy cat when it comes to diving!) I was in the Cozumel ...

Tags: AEC best practices, AEC networking, Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, linkedin, Scarlett Consulting AEC business development

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January 12, 2012

Scarlett Letter #138: Is your AEC firm considered a ‘good client’?

Recently, one of my client’s requested that I review the site of their web designer/host (let’s call them WebDudes). I noticed that WebDudes’ site featured links to the websites of their key clients—presumably the list was pared down to just the firms that they were most proud to work with, either because of the final solution or because the client had a recognizable brand.

I thought to myself, ‘Gee, it would be cool to be one of those firms that every single service provider brags about working for.’ I reflected back to the days when I worked in-house for various AEC ...

Tags: AEC client relationships, architectural and engineering client relationships, linkedin, professional services marketing, Scarlett Consulting AEC business development

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March 31, 2011

Scarlett Letter #137: One of the top five ways to get technical staff involved in business development

Lackluster. Push-back. Naysayer. Pessimist. Half-hearted.

These were some of the descriptors that a group of marketing and business development professionals used when describing their AEC technical staff’s contributions towards business development at a recent networking event.  So we dug in and brainstormed for awhile, discussing intentions, expectations, and challenges—both real and imagined.

These days in this continued down economy, involvement of technical staff in business development is more vital than ever. I’m nearing completion of a full article on the topic, but for today I’ll share what I believe is a top method for ensuring their active and results-driven participation:

Weave business development ...

Tags: Add new tag, AEC technical staff marketing, Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, increasing technical staff business development, increasing technical staff marketing, linkedin, professional services marketing, professional services sales, Scarlett Consulting AEC business development, team building

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November 30, 2010

Scarlett Letter #136: Maintaining positive group dynamics in AEC

The old Righteous Brothers song ‘You’ve lost that lovin’ feelin’, whoa, that lovin’ feelin’ pops into my mind this morning. Why? Well, yesterday I lost a student whom I had been excited (and grateful!) to have in my classroom. {He had no choice but to replace my course with one that would satisfy a credit requirement for his imminent graduation}.

The scoop:

Many of you AEC readers also serve as adjunct professors in your respective area universities, and so you know the responsibility (and pressure?!) that you hold as an instructor—actually a facilitator—within the classroom. This is not unlike ...

Tags: AEC best practices, AEC group dynamics, Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, design and construction relationships, design and construction teams, design and contruction group dynamics, linkedin, professional services marketing, professional services sales, Scarlett Consulting AEC business development, team building

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September 17, 2010

Scarlett Letter #135: Avoid the self-destructive “I know more than my boss knows” attitude

Do you ever get frustrated when you realize that your ideas are being squelched by your boss, against your better judgment? Do you sometimes feel as though you could perform far better than your boss if you were to step into his/her shoes? Do you have only a small modicum of respect–at best–for your boss?

Sure, somewhere along our career paths, we likely encountered a sub-optimal boss. He or she may have ‘lacked’ for any number of reasons. Especially irksome are the times when we feel that we are actually better, smarter, faster, savvier….etc. than the person we work for. The ...

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

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September 02, 2010

Scarlett Letter #134: Reverse Mentoring for Design and Construction Industry

I don’t teach during the summer. As a result, I lose my direct feed of ‘what’s-what’ on a variety of topics for three months. I’m grateful to my Columbia College students that I’m able to keep {somewhat} current during the balance of the year. So when school starts this September, there they’ll be again….inadvertently teaching me as much as I teach them. Different topics, of course, but still an {oddly} equitable exchange.

In the most basic of descriptions, reverse mentoring involves having a less experienced (often, but not always, younger) person serve as the mentor to a more experienced (often older) ...

Tags: AEC mentor mentee, AEC reverse mentoring, AEC social networking, Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, linkedin, professional services marketing, professional services sales, Scarlett Consulting AEC business development, Scarlett Consulting Marketing and Business Development for engineers, team building

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August 29, 2010

Scarlett Letter # 133: Know your “audience” in all contexts, not just during formal presentations.

Why do people forget that our ‘audience’ (in it’s loosest definition) surrounds us all the time? I know people that are considered accomplished public speakers in all ‘presentation’ contexts—in other words, when they have the ‘floor’. However, when it comes to one-on-one (or, even one-on-many, like a meeting), their communication skills wane.

Perhaps you know this guy: Mr. FAIA. He’s the one that clients and prospects find so yummy that they eat up his every word. Or this woman: Ms. ACEC. She’s the one that is charming and unique in presentation scenarios, but a bear to deal ...

Tags: AEC presentation skills, Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, audience analysis in meetings, design and construction presentation skills, linkedin, professional services marketing, professional services sales, Scarlett Consulting AEC business development, tranferrable communication skills, transferring communication skills

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August 26, 2010

Scarlett Letter #132: The art of writing is often in RE-writing

The art of writing is often in RE-writing. Please do not confuse this statement by replacing re-writing with re-inventing the wheel. In business, time is of the essence. Those of us within AEC business development, marketing, or other administrative functions recognize that our technical colleagues (architects, interior designers, engineers, specialty consultants) sometimes have a tendency to design and re-design, to work and re-work. This can be frustrating when it is not managed.

However, when it comes to other aspects of the business, such as writing, often the richest results come from re-writes. I ...

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

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August 23, 2010

Scarlett Letter #131: Advice for facilitators/trainers to ensure full audience satisfaction

Design and construction professionals are highly particular when it comes to signing up for conferences, training seminars, even webinars. Our time is short, and our wallets are not full enough. So we carefully scrutinize the agenda and the content prior to signing away hours of time and tens of dollars. Sometimes, we discover that sessions were over-promised/sold. Other times, we are pleasantly surprised because we learned what we expected to learn, or even more!

Last week, I attended a five-day Bootcamp related to my professorial teaching at Columbia College.  Five days! In this case, it was ‘free’ to adjunct professors. {But ...

Tags: AEC meeting facilitation, AEC training, AEC training best practices, Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, attendee satisfaction, audience satisfaction, design and construction best practices, linkedin, professional services marketing, professional services sales, Scarlett Consulting AEC business development

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August 19, 2010

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