JDB Engineering vice president Scott D. Butcher, FSMPS, CPSM was recently invited to present at two conferences, including the Sales & Marketing Forum, a pre-conference program of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) in Washington, DC, as well as the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Conference on Architecture in Orlando, FL. The presentation content for both programs was based upon research that Scott led for the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS). Last year, Scott authored a report of the findings, Sell. Do. Win Business. How A/E/C Firms are Using Staff to Win More Work, which is available for free here. https://www.smps.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Sell-Do-Win-Business-Web-Res-Report.pdf
by Scott D. Butcher, FSMPS, CPSM, Vice President / CMO
Over the past few years, I’ve had the opportunity to research, write, and present about the seller-doer (aka doer-seller, closer-doer) model of business development. This is a common approach in architectural, engineering, and construction (A/E/C) firms, and typically involves principals, partners, vice presidents, project executives, project managers, and lead designers engaging in the sales process. In some cases, these seller-doers focus their activities on existing clients, like when a project manager works to mine an existing account through cross-selling and expanding work to other locations. In other instances, seller-doers are doing proactive business development to establish relationships with new prospects.
Unfortunately, there is a widely-held misperception among many professionals in A/E/C firms that business development means cold calling, which is actually very uncommon. Rather, seller-doers are using a series of techniques that not only create new business, but also build their firm’s brand while enhancing their own personal brand.
I recently wrote a two-part blog about these tools for my Marketropolis blog on the Engineering News-Record website (www.enr.com), and I’ve now compiled them into a short ebook to share with your seller-doers.
10.5 Business Development Tools for Seller-Doers includes the following proven BD approaches:
- Account Mining
- Social Media
- Public Speaking
- Direct Mail
- Warm Calling
- … and the 0.5 tool: Research
JDB Engineering is also pleased to offer a continuing education program, 10.5 Business Development Tools for Seller-Doers, which has been approved for 1.0 AIA Learning Unit. Surf here to learn more.
JDB Engineering vice president Scott D. Butcher, FSMPS, CPSM has now been blogging on the Engineering News-Record website (www.ENR.com) for more than a year, authoring over 30 blog posts. His blog covers aspects of marketing and business development for architectural, engineering, and construction firms.
Scott D. Butcher, FSMPS, CPSM
Prior to the Great Recession, there was much talk in the design and construction industry about the impending talent shortage. As the recession neared, the drumbeat grew louder. And then, suddenly, executives weren’t as worried about finding talent as they were about bringing in enough work to keep the talent they already had.
The last national recession officially ended in June 2009, although most firms in the industry would probably dispute that end date. But as work slowly returned to A/E/C firms, the conversation again returned to the talent shortage. Engineering firms recovered more quickly than architectural firms. Construction firms, which experienced the recession impacts after design firms, were the last to see the effects of the economic recovery.
Baby Boomers who had planned to retire, but held off because their nest eggs shrank, soon began planning their exit strategies. And once again, the conversation turned to the shortage of qualified workers, whether it be specific engineering disciplines, skilled craftsman, or young architects – many of whom left the industry during the recession, never to return.
Survey after survey identifies the current and forthcoming challenges related to workforce. Baby Boomers, including senior firm leaders, are retiring and taking much knowledge with them. Architecture and engineering schools are seeing student populations from all over the globe, but many of these foreign students in American colleges are returning to their home countries upon graduation, taking their training and talent with them. The A/E/C industry is getting squeezed from both sides. In fact, it was only a few years ago – with architects experiencing extremely high unemployment rates – that some media were ranking architecture as one of the worst career choices, discouraging students from majoring in the profession. (Just reference a January 5, 2012 headline in The New York Times: “Want a Job? Go to College, and Don’t Major in Architecture”!)
And yet there is a rather large elephant in the corner, and the industry in general is not doing enough to address it……Continue reading Scott’s blog post on www.ENR.com.
JDB Engineering vice president Scott D. Butcher, FSMPS, CPSM has now been blogging on the Engineering News-Record website for more than a year, authoring more than 30 blog posts. Selections from some of his latest posts:
- It’s 2016 – How’s Your Marketing Plan?
- Is Your Employee Development Program Too Focused on Hard Skills at the Expense of Soft Skills?
- The Dark Side of Social Media: When Negative Comments Impact Your Brand
- Why Your Firm Needs Full-Time Business Developers
- Why Marketing Deserves a Seat at Your Strategic Planning Table
In September, JDB Engineering vice president Scott Butcher, FSMPS, CPSM began blogging on the Engineering News-Record website, ENR.com. His blog covers aspects of marketing and business development for architectural, engineering, and construction firms. Here’s his four most recent posts:
- Social Selling: Does it Make Sense for A/E/C Firms? Part I
- 31 Trends Impacting the A/E/C Industry That You Should Be Following Now
- Mind-Blowing Stats from the Census Bureau
- Who Should Present at Your Next Shortlist Interview?
A few weeks ago, as part of our regular lunch & learn programming, we had speakers from Johnson Controls Inc. talking about Demand Response and JCI’s GridConnect platform. Demand Response creates an opportunity for purchasers of electricity to cut energy use in exchange for cold, hard cash when the grid is in stress.
If you hop on over to the Wikipedia page on the topic, you can find the official Federal Energy Regulatory Commission definition: “Changes in electric usage by end-use customers from their normal consumption patterns in response to changes in the price of electricity over time, or to incentive payments designed to induce lower electricity use at times of high wholesale market prices or when system reliability is jeopardized.”
In other words, when the electricity grid is overburdened, a call may go out to Demand Response participants to curtail energy use during a certain period. Based upon pre-determined energy reduction goals, these participants can earn sizeable checks simply by reducing consumption during the designated period. According to the examples shared by JCI’s Suzanne Levine, a steel plant was able to earn $1.6 million, a university campus received $400,000, and a smaller manufacturing facility earned $200,000. Even a corporate headquarters building got in on the action, earning $80,000 during a one-year period.
Not a bad payout for smart energy management.
JCI covers the PJM service areas, including all or parts of DE, IL, MD, NJ, OH, PA, VA, WV, and DC. They offer three types of Demand Response programs (and easy participation through their GridConnect platform):
- Emergency (Capacity) Demand Response
- Economic (Voluntary Price-Based) Demand Response
- Synchronized Reserve (Ancillary Services)
It’s a great way for companies and organizations to generate revenue, and based upon the presentation, it seems that JCI has a number of really clever strategies up their sleeves to curtail energy use without disrupting day-to-day operations. So for a manufacturer, this means that production continues even during a defined period of energy reduction. And for educational institutions, it means that the lights stay on in the classrooms.
Demand Response is not about ongoing energy reduction strategies as much as it is about reducing energy use during certain, defined periods. Of course, JDB Engineering would love to talk to you about some of our ideas for ongoing energy reduction and management!
So what could you be doing with all the cold, hard cash you earn by participating in Demand Response? A lot of participants re-invest their earnings in facilities, often purchasing new, energy-efficient equipment, which in turn can generate additional Demand Response revenue!
It’s a common-sense approach for reducing the strain on the grid without necessitating construction of new power plants. There’s not much downside for participants, either, and JCI will walk you through the process and automate everything to simplify your life.
And no, JDB Engineering does not get a commission for promoting JCI’s program. Demand Response makes a lot of sense, no matter which vendor you choose. Just remember, when you sign up and those checks start coming in, you’ll probably want to upgrade your facilities and do some energy enhancement projects. Don’t forget to call JDB Engineering to help!
To learn more about GridConnect, check out their website.