Susan Young's
Amplify Blog

 

 

 

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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4 Essentials to Sharing an Impactful Business Story in A/E/C

 

Stories connect us as human beings.

A/E/C leaders know the value of relationships and connections that build business.

Why do so few of you use the power of storytelling in business development presentations?

Most people are uncertain about what story to share and how to make it relevant to prospects. 

The key is in this 40-second clip (above) from a podcast interview with Evan Troxel, NCARB.

 

The full video episode is here.

Click here to access the audio file.

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How Engineers Re-Invent Themselves as Confident Communicators

Welcome to the Future.

That's the theme of National Engineer's Week. It's a 73-year-old observance that's especially relevant to you today.

The National Society of Professional Engineers' goal is for a diverse, well-educated future workforce.

Why does this feel like a lofty milestone for a highly proficient and technical workforce?

Because at the core of the mission is your weakness.

Interpersonal communication.

Becoming an effective communicator demands more than an ongoing commitment to learn. 

It's about your willingness to evolve.

With this year's futuristic theme, engineering firms must get back to basics. 

Engineering programs need to teach the importance of how human connections ignite successful careers. 

Developing confidence, public speaking, and business networking skills are not one-off classes. 

They are different from credentialing programs.

Interpersonal communication in engineering doesn't involve pushing papers or file management.

It's...

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How to Open a Remarkable A/E/C Business Development Presentation

The best seller-doer teams in AEC use this presentation technique to win more bids.

They don't bury the lede.

The first few words out of your mouth or on paper must be the gem that resonates deeply with your prospect.

When you bury the lede, your main point is the needle in the haystack.

Prospects will quickly lose interest as you painfully try to articulate your message.

Every single trained news reporter and journalist lives and dies by "don't bury the lede." (Radio news reporter nerd here) 

Think about it. 

If the headline of a story doesn't grab your attention, you're onto something else. 

The same is true of an email subject line. 

Ask yourself and your team: What is THE most important reason we are in this meeting? 

♦Speak to that, and you'll be unstoppable.♦

Exceptional teams don't miss the mark or bury the lede. 

They are confident and competent communicators.

Decision-makers who look frustrated and distracted are...

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How to Be More Engaging with Easy-to-Understand Data

Communication Tip: In Business Development presentations, help prospects grasp data.

For example, use round numbers.

If your engineering research shows 4.23 lumens, say "just over 4 lumens." 

Of course, you have the exact information. 

Still, people appreciate simplicity so they can easily digest numbers.

Round up or down as necessary so you don't confuse your prospects and audience.

Clarity is a beautiful thing.

Expending mental energy is a distraction. 

Keep their attention and break the specifics down when asked. 

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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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Risky Communication in A/E/C is Costly

Do you know this social abbreviation: IYKYK.

If you know, you know. (My adulting kids recently told me the meaning.) No judgment, please.

So, here's a loaded question for construction executives and principals...

Do you know when each person on your team last had sales or communication training?

This is a critical piece of risk management you probably haven't considered.

Risk management isn't limited to job sites or design reworks.

A/E/C firms lose market share, talent, and trust when teams can't confidently articulate their value. And their brand values.

Forget bid packages for a minute.

They need and want the storytelling and selling techniques for today's business world.

Your reputation and bottom line are on the line when you fail to see gaps in communication.

People who close contracts are exceptional communicators.

So, here's a scary fact:

Some 90% of the people in my A/E/C training programs have never attended a formal program until we met....

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The Secret to Breaking Down Silos in A/E/C

Communicating in a silo is like being trapped inside a bank vault.

There are thick walls, and even when you scream your loudest, no one hears you.  

Architects, engineers, and construction leaders know plenty about building design and (thick) walls on job sites. 

With communication, let's demolish the invisible walls in AEC firms.

These silos and the "stay in your lane" mentality derail business development and collaboration.

Project managers, commissioning engineers, schedulers, and estimators innovate on job sites. 

Teams can — and must — understand how their creativity and confidence apply in shortlisted meetings.

Silos stifle creativity, communication, and profitability. 

"You can give people tools and resources, but the most important thing you must do is change their mindset," says Claus Jensen. He's the chief innovation officer at Teladoc Health.

Yep, it's the virtual telehealth company. 

Many leaders in A/E/C are...

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Introduce Yourself Without Talking About Processes

A/E/C = Processes.

Networking and business growth = People.

Then processes.

First, you metaphorically nudge the door open.

Focus your 30-second elevator pitch on the other person.

Processes take more than 30 seconds and are cumbersome.

Your job in business development and shortlisted meetings is to avoid cumbersome.

Instead, pique people's curiosity. There's no need to be a walking bid package.

Nudge the door open.

Be interesting so they are interested.

When a prospect invites you to a meeting or coffee, ease into the process. But only if asked.

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A/E/C Wins Bid Packages with This 1 Quality

When do you feel the most confident?

When you know in your heart you've prepared and are ready. 

You FEEL self-assured and skilled at what you do.

You trust yourself at a deep core level. 

Forget the business adage that feelings don't belong in the office.

You have to consider how you physically feel when you think about:

With physical tightness, anxiety, or a headache, you're not ready. 

You can't be confident and win bids when you don't feel secure and strong. 

Architects, engineers, and construction pros win bid packages by preparing their data.

And their mindsets.

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