Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Become a valued member of a community

A/E firms are generally solicited for help through specific project requests - but how good are you at recognizing and addressing the clients' unmet needs?

If you're smart, you are taking the time to get to know your clients when you are presented with specific project requests. You use what you learn to both idenfity their unrequested needs and to communicate the unique value of your skills.

You need also to work this process from the other end: take the time to connect with targeted groups of your prospects, bring out their unmet needs and communicate the value of your skills to set up specific project requests.

When you work both sides of this process, you become recognized not as a vendor of services to your clients, but as a relevant and valued member of the community. As a profession, our tendency is to look at our fixed institutional position then to find needs to serve within it -rather than looking at the needs of our core clients and adjusting our position to serve them. We need to leverage our position as valued member of the community and learn to communicate to clients that we are inseparable from their cultural and social structures.

There are A/E firms doing this sucessfully right now. Identify them and copy their tactics and strategies.

All the best,

Frank A. Stasiowski, FAIA

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