Susan Young's
Amplify Blog

 

 

 

How an Elevator Repairman Taught Me a Huge Communication Lesson

 

Life lessons come in so many different forms.  

Regardless of our expertise or education, seemingly ordinary experiences can bring powerful transformation. 

And they make for fabulous stories.

Can you spare 6 minutes to hear the heartwarming communication lesson I learned from a guy named Lamar?

It all unfolded in a podcast interview called Resilience in Action with host Erin Brown. 

Click the video above to hear the story, or click here.

And if you want to improve your business storytelling, hit me up.

 

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Real A/E/C Leaders Aren't Chasing Buy-In

Getting buy-in from senior leadership or younger A/E/C staff isn't a one-off.

Buy-in pales in comparison to trust, loyalty, and honest relationships.

Buy-in feels like you're trying to convince someone or push them over the finish line to close a sale.

People who form deeper relationships and have mutual respect don't use this phrase.

They are the leaders who:

Brainstorm

Talk things through

Gather insights

Ask for differing opinions

Appreciate wisdom

Then they make a decision.

Critical thinkers and responsible leaders have higher-level conversations. 

They don't need others to buy into anything.

Forget buy-in.

Instead, take the time to nurture relationships, listen deeply, be respectful, and be attentive.

Yes, you may get pushback. 

Differing opinions needn't be divisive; they are opportunities to learn and evolve.

If you want to improve communication and build consensus, don't consider it "buy-in." 

Instead, be strategic and welcome others' input....

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Are You Making this Huge Communication Mistake?

 

Sending mixed messages to prospects and clients leads to confusion.

Does your body language match your words?

Here's a 30-second video example of a classic disconnect.

I coach an engineer in our Amplify program who tells the group he's got exciting things underway.

Watch what happens. 

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Adding Curiosity to Your Communications Toolbox

 

We are celebrating A/E/C pros who know how to use curiosity in communication and sales.

I met Sydney Unnerstall recently. She's an emerging leader and marketing coordinator at Vessel Architecture in St. Louis.

After my communications presentation at an SMPS regional conference, Sydney jumped at the chance to transform business conversations by being curious.

"I have started asking more relevant questions and hiding less since I attended Susan's program at the SMPS conference," she said.

"These go hand-in-hand with feeling more confident as I gain experience in meetings and with clients."

You get quality information when you ask quality questions (and listen deeply).

Sydney adds a couple of more quick gems in this 30-second video.

Take a look above.  

And reach out if your emerging leaders want to be more effective communicators. Our "Amplify for Emerging Leaders" online group coaching program is now available. Details are here!

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The Best Questions to Ask When You Lose a Bid Proposal

If you want quality information, you've got to ask quality questions.

Waiting to hear back on a bid proposal you submitted months ago to ask why a prospect didn't choose you flies in the face of this.

Bottom line: You're in sales and marketing. 

Do your homework so that you have higher-level conversations. 

Ask better questions of yourself and your team. 

It's on you to deeply understand and know.

This is the way, A/E/C. 

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Being Curious Sparks Interest + Business

Friday Communication Tip: 

Focus on prospects and clients. 

There's no need to brag or talk about yourself. Be interested in others. 

Ask good questions and listen deeply.

Stay curious and watch your career and business grow! 

“The more you try to be interested in other people, the more you find out about yourself.”-  Thea Astley

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An Engineering Story to Take to Heart

Have you ever gotten a round of applause after giving a 15-minute sales presentation to an A/E/C prospect?

It happened to my engineering client last month.

As she told me about it on our group coaching call, she was incredibly proud.

So was I.

She used my tactics to connect a personal experience directly to the prospect.

She nailed the delivery, pacing, pauses, and body language.

This engineer shared a two-minute anecdote about her birthday.

It emotionally touched each person.

How do we know?

They clapped at the end of her presentation.

Her boss was in the meeting as well. He was stunned by her personality, confidence, and command of the room.

Yes, engineers can tell stories!

It's profound to skillfully share an ordinary moment and connect it to a bid.

Her boss says he sees significant growth in those enrolled in my Amplify group coaching.

Reach out if you want to transform your team's communication and clarity so you can...

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Creating Your A/E/C Succession Plan with Captain Obvious

From our file marked: Watch the Gap. 

C-suite executives in A/E/C know the value of intellectual property. 

A generation of top execs worry about passing the torch when they retire. 

It's overwhelming to think about gathering data on culture, history, finances, values, and projects. 

All are critical to succession planning.

But few, if any, talk about the colossal gap.  

Set aside data and bid packages for a sec. (Don't twitch )

What will the knowledge transfer look like without dizzying pie charts and spreadsheets?  

AEC succession planning and business communication are markedly different post-COVID.

Our next generation of leaders expects emotional connections as well as data.  

Intellectual property = storytelling. And wisdom. 

If succession planning is on your mind as 2023 winds down, be sure you know how to transfer your knowledge through stories:

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Crushing Sales Presentations Requires This 1 Thing

Forget the kitchen sink. 

Prospects want essential and compelling data. 

And a story to make the (dry) data come alive.

You prepare with your Business Development team DAYS ahead of your shortlisted interview. Maybe even a week (gasp!) 

Scrambling to prepare hours before your meeting won't work well. 

There's too much on the line.  

And you never, ever "wing" any part of your A/E/C presentation. 

  • You and your colleagues know who will speak and what they'll say. 
  • You have a point person who can course-correct when prospects look bored or confused. #Readtheroom
  • You value the preparation process so that you boldly show up and win trust and new projects. 

Strong communicators give themselves the space and grace necessary to succeed.

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Showing Up Big or Shrinking Back? Read This to Figure It Out

Showing up.

Are you full-on in or farting around? 

Showing up in a big, bold way every single day may sound demanding.

It's certainly not for the mediocre. 

Leaders and entrepreneurs who show up big rarely flinch at doing the work. They have a continuous improvement plan for their professional and personal growth.

It reaps big rewards.  

Showing up big and adding value every step of the way isn't about being a blustery blowhard.

Successful leaders have humility.

They don't need to be the center of attention to have a presence.

Their simplicity and modesty are enough.   

When we commit to excellence, we can bring immeasurable value to others.

Businesses grow. People develop. Things get done with ease. 

Here are 3 ways to add value to your work, clients, and life:  

1. Anticipate; don’t react. Adding value to client relationships is obsolete. You've gotta consistently add IMMENSE value. This means you study,...

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