Discover your free Construction Marketing Ideas Email Newsletter

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Marketing and selling across the (construction) divide

This image is from a free screen shot series from Agilent Technologies, "The World Without Engineers". Here, Agilent combines logic with humour to communicate to its intended engineering audience.

On Friday, Jeffery Gitomer answered a question with a surprising response. "How do you sell to engineers?" someone wanted to know. Gitomer observed that indeed engineers are different -- while most people let their emotions determine their desire and interest, and then use logic to justify their decisions, "engineers are logical". In other words, he indicated, if the person you are selling to is an engineer, build your relationship through respect for facts and logical thinking.

This gets me thinking. Would an engineering consulting business marketing services to an architectural firm get very far with a logical focus, and how would either of these enterprises relate to a general contractor or, even better, the sub trades who actually do most of the 'real work' on the job sites?

In conversations about projects and initiatives which went well, everyone expressed their pride in the co-operation and excellent communication at all levels -- in other words, the projects had a wonderful harmony and spirit -- through creativity, logic, and mutual respect (and excellent interpersonal relationships at all levels) any problems were resolved effectively and in good spirit -- about the only profession or trade not to gain from this harmony is law.

So, how can you gain from these insights in your marketing your construction-related service or professional practice? First, as Gitomer and other gurus make it clear, be yourself. If you are an engineer and you are not logical, I think most of us would run for the hills to avoid you. Second, and this is a challenge, but it certainly can be done, respect and appreciate the individuals around you, and do everything you can to see things from their perspective.

Third and most importantly, get rid of the class distinction of superiority/inferiority. Gitomer does this well by dressing in a red "maintenance" uniform -- not a formal suit and tie. At the highest level, for example, the architect appreciates that someone who has built a successful sub trade business really knows the trade -- and how to manage and integrate its speciality on the job site. Respect and recognition result in co-operation, good job spirit, lower overall costs and referrals, of course.

No comments: