Most of our clients are growth-minded business leaders from the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction industries. In 2022 we found ourselves doing more consulting with their BD teams on what projects to avoid and disqualify as opposed to their proactive market outreach.
“Ruthless disqualification” is what’s necessary when you’re running at your operational capacity. The last thing you want your team to do is take on a project that is not in your ideal target market and has little promise for profit.
Our clients are recently starting to see new project leads slow down and they’re now becoming concerned with keeping their pipeline full through 2023 and beyond. The challenge we’re discussing with them now is how to change their BD team’s mindset from being order takers to order makers?
Most sellers in the AEC industry are poorly equipped with the skills and lack the confidence to proactively make initial contact with ideal future clients. Often they’re not sure how to overcome this major mindset and skillset obstacle.
The first step we help them take is to develop strategic messaging their entire team can use with their networking, prospecting, and initial sales conversations. These messages must focus on your client and you must resist the temptation to talk excessively about your company or it’s products or services. Much easier said than done.
These strategic messages are commonly referred to as an “elevator pitch” and “value proposition”. Both of these need to be centered on your client and the emotion they’re feeling about common challenges your company can solve for. Secondly they need to detail the outcomes your prospect can expect to achieve when working with your firm.
Creating a Value Propostion
Creating an effective value proposition can be quite challenging because you must first identify the positive business outcomes your company actually helps create for your clients. The reason our clients find this is difficult is that most don’t conduct post occupancy surveys or engage with their clients after project completion to see how things are going and if their priorities and objectives were addressed.
Hence the added challenge of selling on value and not price when the actual business outcomes your firm is creating are unknown….
Key considerations in developing a value proposition also include:
- Are the client outcomes measurable, can they be structured within a specific timeframe, and perhaps most importantly: do they matter enought to your client for them to say “that’s interesting, tell me more about that!”
An example Elevator Pitch: We work with growth minded business leaders in the AEC industry who are concerned about achieving consistent and profitable revenue growth.
An example Value Proposition: Our clients have achieved a 50% increase in gross profit within 12 months of our coaching engagement.