Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Convert Doers into Seller-Doers the Low-Stress Way

Everyone in your firm must bring in new work, not just A/E Marketing and Business Development professionals.

Great idea in theory, but do the people in your firm know how to put it into practice? They need to. Fortunately, you can easily convert doers into seller-doers by following these three principles:

1. Learning to sell of professional services occurs on the job, not in the classroom. Learning those skill sets necessary for the seller of services doesn’t just happen by reading books and instruction manuals. It happens by getting out there in the field with a seasoned professional and watching and listening to clients.

2. Learning to sell professional services requires a mentor with demonstrated success in selling. Consider this example:

Jim, a civil engineer with five years’ experience, is at the stage of managing multiple tasks on projects. Like most engineering graduates, Jim has all the technical skill sets needed to handle his job, but has no experience in people skills. He is shy, but once you get to know him, he is a great guy and opens up to conversation quite well.

The question: How to get Jim to move up to that next level—selling? The answer: HaveJim “ease” into selling by taking on more responsibility for those clients that he is already serving with his technical expertise. Give him a few key questions to ask that are not part of the current project—what comes after this project; who else in the industry needs a similar project done; what other activities are you involved in, etc.

3. Don’t send Jim (or Jane) out in the field to do “marketing” without experience. That is a high-stress method, and almost never works out for Jim or the client. Instead, ease your good technical staff into marketing through more and more frequent interaction with their existing clients and well-placed “open-ended” questions designed to get the client talking.

Looking for a way to give ALL your firm members all the skills they need to bring in new work and persuade current clients to give you more…send them to PSMJ’s 2011 A/E/C Marketing Bootcamp: THE Program On How To Get And Keep Clients. This spring, PSMJ is providing 5 locations all across North America to give your whole firm the tools and confidence you need to succeed in bringing in more work for the firm. Click here for more information.

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