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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The simple answer that raises more questions

Yesterday, I received this question from an offshore reader:

I will be most grateful if you can assist me with some ideas with regards to business development for an engineering consultancy service.
My brief, perhaps curt, answer:
I'm not really qualified to suggest ideas in your market although the basic principals outlined in various blog postings may be helpful.
You are going to need to build your business from your relationships; and if you don't have them, you will need to connect the dots and find your way to be near the people you want to do business with.

"Marketing" for consultancies is almost 99 per cent relationship-building and virtually any other resource you try will only work if that is at the root.
Trouble is, my answer didn't go far enough because it doesn't answer the question: "How do build relationships?" The simple answer is:
Join relevant associations (of individuals likely to be decision-makers within your market) and contribute your skills, passions, and time freely, wholeheartedly, and without any expectation of return.
You may scratch your head at this idea, especially if you need some fast cash to stay afloat or your boss is breathing down your back to meet your sales quota.

This question, of course, is from someone seeking to build a consultancy. Realistically, how can you expect to succeed unless you connect with potential clients in an environment where they can assess you safely, without feeling pressure to do anything?

They need to see you in action and need to both like you and feel you really can solve their problems.

Associations provide that link. Get involved.

1 comment:

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