Up-and-coming project managers at architecture and engineering firms are often frustrated by how hard it is to “win work.” That’s because "trying to “win work” doesn’t work. If you don’t know where to begin, apply these six simple rules and start improving your hit rate.
1. Know Your Client
What’s this person looking for? How does the client view the consultant? Is this a client that respects the contribution of the consultant, where the consultant is a true extension of staff or does this client view what we do as a commodity to be sourced from the cheapest vendor?
2. Know Yourself
What is your relationship with the client? How does he/she view you, are you a “trusted advisor” or just one of the stable of consultants out there?
3. Know the Project
Know it better than the client. Where are the pitfalls? Where can this get off the track and how can you keep it moving?
4. Be Passionate
Convey your sense of passion for the project in the proposal. Convey your ideas and thoughts about the project that will simply not leave you alone. The converse of this “Rule” is that if you aren’t passionate, “fugettaboutit,” you won’t win.
5. Think Like Steve
Steve Jobs was not in the computer business, he was in the business of enriching lives by providing life essentials before we even knew we needed them. Ask yourself/team: “What are we going to provide our client/community by doing this that they did not even knew they wanted?” Then sell the sizzle.
6. Keep it Simple
Clients are busy and (trust me on this) don’t have the time or more importantly the desire to wade through pages of deathless prose. If it ain’t easy to read and comprehend, it will be disregarded.
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