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Marketing and Selling Professional Services in Architecture and Construction



Marketing and Selling Professional Services in Architecture and Construction

Basil Sawczuk

ISBN: 978-1-405-18187-7 November 2009 Wiley-Blackwell 288 Pages

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This practical book on selling and marketing will help architects, engineers, project managers, facilities managers, surveyors, and contractors ‘sell’ themselves to prospective clients.

As clients become more sophisticated at both local and international level, and as competition in the construction industry increases, both contractors and consultants have to take a more professional approach to selling themselves. This is especially true for PFI bids where vast resources are committed to winning multi-million pound contracts.

Through a simple-to-follow process, illustrated with plenty of diagrams and checklists, Marketing & Selling Professional Services in Architecture & Construction sets out the seven key aspects of selling and marketing professional services. It is full of applicable ideas and examples and is well structured to enable readers to dip into the section relevant to their current needs.

About the author.



Stage 1: Selecting the clients you want to work for

1.1 Your client portfolio.

Examine current portfolio.

Saying goodbye to clients.

Number of clients.

Sector exposure.

Who are your competitors and who do they work for?

1.2 A strategy.

Prioritise your effort.

Selecting your targets.

The need to comply with the Data Protection Act.

Sector penetration.

1.3 Effort versus reward.

Public sector.

Private sector.

1.4 Lifetime value of clients.

1.5 Picking your moment.

1.6 Creating a pipeline.

Using an enquiry pipeline.

Using a leads pipeline.

Managing effort for pipeline development.

Stage 2: Identifying the needs of the target client.

2.1 Why do you need to know the client’s needs?

Good client service.

2.2 Appropriate person to contact.

No names policy.

The first communication with the target contact.

The first written communication.

That first phone call.

2.3 The first Meeting.



First impressions.

Improving your chances of a good meeting.

2.4 Look for visual and auditory clues.

Building rapport.

Use of language.

Is your potential client telling the truth?

2.5 Establishing the client’s needs.

Specific needs.

Leading into the questioning.

Use your questions to demonstrate your capability.

Have questions prepared.

Harvesting information through questioning techniques.

2.6 Listening skills.

Poor response.

2.7 Establish the stakeholders and decision makers.

2.8 Expanding the range of contacts.

2.9 Establish selection criteria.

2.10 The next step.

Stage 3: Shaping your service to suit the needs of the target clients.

3.1 Review your clients’ needs.

3.2 Putting a mirror up to your client.

Don’t rush this stage.

An analysis of the situation.

Has the client missed something?

3.3 Enhancing customer value.

Customer groupings.

3.4 Features and benefits.

3.5 Building trust.





Rational and non-rational selection criteria.

3.6 Differentiating.

Differentiate through customer service.

Show you care.

3.7 Consider your strategy.

Understanding why clients might not want your services.

Stage 4: Communicating your availability and capability to the target clients.

4.1 Communicating to target clients.

4.2 Target clients in buying mode.

Identify decision makers and influencers.

Meeting the decision makers.

Meeting the influencers.

When access is denied.

4.3 Target clients not in buying mode.

4.4 Raising your profile.


Where to network.

Prepare for the event.

Working the room.


The follow-up to a networking event.

Make yourself a useful contact.

Creating networking opportunities.

Develop your network.

4.5 Entertaining.

4.6 Seminars.

Attend seminars at conferences.

Deliver a seminar at a conference.

Attending other people’s seminars.

Running your own seminar.

4.7 Writing articles.

4.8 Public speaking.

4.9 Memberships of organisations.

4.10 Advertising.

4.11 Exhibitions.

Stage 5: Proposals, tenders and pitching.

5.1 Proposals.

Create opportunities to build relationships during the proposal stage.

Keep the perspective client involved.

The proposal content.

Approach to fees.

5.2 Selling yourself and your proposal.

5.3 Pitching for work.

Purpose of the pitch.

Plan of action.

The brief.

Timetable leading up to the pitch.

The participants.

The audience.

The content of the pitch.

Format of delivery and use of technology.

The ‘ring master’.

Questions you don’t want to be asked.

Handling objections.

The venue.


Using persuasive language.


5.4 The selection process direct with the client.


Pitching for the project or through formal interview.

Qualification-based selection.

Selection based on quality and price.

Selection based on fee (without design).

Selection based on a design proposal (with or without fee bid).

5.5 Selection process through and with a contractor.

Two-stage tendering.

5.6 The trend for competitive proposals.

5.7 Expressions of interest.

5.8 Pre-qualifications.

5.9 Tendering.

Understanding how clients evaluate proposals and tenders.

5.10 Using CVs.

CV maintenance.


5.11 Monitoring progress of the tender or proposal.

5.12 Post-tender interview.

5.13 Negotiation.

Establish your position.

Negotiating approach.

Bargaining skills.

Summarise the situation during negotiation.

Don’t get stuck over positions.

Move to closing the deal.

Negotiating traps.

If you fail to win start positioning for the next opportunity.

Stage 6: Delivering added value and obtaining repeat business.

6.1 Obtaining repeat business.

6.2 Strategies for repeat business.

6.3 Preparing a project client plan.

6.4 Total continuous office participation in selling.

Quality of employees and working methods.

6.5 Managing the service ‘touches’.

6.6 Client account management.

Managing the process.

Being selective with time expenditure.

6.7 Client account teams.

Creating new relationships.

Cross selling.

Cross-team activity.

6.8 Establishing level of client satisfaction.

Ask the right questions.

Ask the right people.

Survey methods.

Need to introduce the survey.

Questionnaire design.

Introducing weighting factors.

Satisfaction levels are relative.

The value of client satisfaction measurement.

6.9 Third-party survey.

6.10 Direct questionnaire.

6.11 Client review meeting.

After obtaining feedback.

6.12 Lessons-learnt workshop.

6.13 A client expectation charter.

Service delivery review meetings.

6.14 Building multi-level contacts.

Introduce someone else at every opportunity.

Show them around your office.

Ask to be introduced to your client’s colleagues.

Hold pre- and post-project social gatherings.

Hold value engineering workshops.

Market the project with the client.

Becoming more integrated.

Winning additional work from clients.

Succession planning.

6.15 Client loyalty.

Increase client loyalty.

Setting goals and objectives.

6.16 Obtaining referrals from clients.

Stage 7: Building credibility.

7.1 Credibility through sector knowledge.

Information for sector-specific selling.

7.2 Response to requests for information.

7.3 CVs.

7.4 Keep records of your experience.

7.5 Project sheets and case studies.

Use your project sheets as door openers.

7.6 Using e-mails.

7.7 Your website.

7.8 Intranet and extranet.

7.9 Press releases.

7.10 Newsletters.

7.11 Research.

Further reading.


"This would make a highly desirable read for anyone operating within the construction services sector - whether they are directly in contact with their clients or not. It presents a well-structured approach to effectively selling construction services without making the subject too complex or the end unachievable. This book is especially a good addition to the repertoire of those whose task is the regular creation of business, and even better acquisition for those new to the territory." (Emerald Journal, 2011)

"An admirable feature of the book is its ability to work from a strategic level down to a fine level of detail." (International Construction Law Review, April 2010)"For new marketers/sales folk it contains all the essentials you will need packaged well and written accessibly." (PM, June 2010)