F R OM T H E F O U N D E R
M any times over the years, we have worked with AEC firm clients who, as a part of their business planning process, decided they wanted to break into a new market sector or project type. If you feel the need to diversify your business, here are some tactics to win clients in a newmarket when you don’t have prior experience. Break into a newmarket sector/project type
Of course, that’s rarely easy. The biggest barrier is the age-old conundrum of clients who typically hire based on an AEC firm’s previous experience doing projects of that type, when the AEC firm doesn’t HAVE that experience. How can you get that experience IF you have to have it TO get it? While I won’t try to argue that prior experience is the predominant factor driving AEC firm selection in most cases, it is not in every case. If you feel the need to diversify your business, here are some specific tactics that I have seen work for other companies: 1. Mine your current staff roster to find experience that individuals in your firm already have but you weren’t aware of. Believe it or not, many companies in this business are unaware of everything their employees have done in the past. They may not have it all on their resumes or in your marketing database. You may have to pull it out of them.
2. Use your existing clients to give you a shot at doing something all new. These clients are ones who know you, like you, trust you, and want to see you succeed. If they have other needs that are out of your traditional wheelhouse, they may be willing to give you a shot. Ask them! You may just get a shot. 3. Hire your way into the newmarket. You could recruit someone who has experience doing work of a certain type that you don’t now do. There’s nothing novel about this strategy, but there is little doubt it can work. The problem with it is twofold. One, it’s slow. It could take years to find the right person and then even longer than that for them to secure a project. And two, there is no guarantee you will get the right person. That could really take a long time to figure out.
See MARK ZWEIG, page 12
THE ZWEIG LETTER FEBRUARY 21, 2022, ISSUE 1429
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