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 back further (to the prologue)? When is the last time that you told internal colleagues the story of how a client was won? From the lead origination, to every touch, to every twist and turn and roadblock and milestone…..stories that feature the intricate ebbs and flows of client acquisition make for very interesting tales. Further, they gives staff a deeper understanding and appreciation for the value of business development, and the importance of winning long-term clients, not just projects.

Years ago, when I worked with Perkins & Will, we held stand-up meetings every Friday.  They never lasted longer than 30 minutes (thanks to the standing up part!) and I was responsible for delivering the business development update. How I wish I had thought then to diagram out the various steps taken to win a client (and heck, even the steps taken where we lost the opportunity). I know the transparency and humanism that would have resulted from those “How we won (or lost) a client” stories would have strengthened the respect and understanding between operations and marketing.

Are you taking time out to tell stories to your internal colleagues? I hope so; it’s worth it!

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

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May 14, 2012