EP 144: The System That Duplicates Your Best Project: Step 2 – Attract

by Jonathan DeCollibus on October 26, 2018

Welcome to video #2, on the five steps that duplicate your very best projects.

Keeping in mind that we just finished step number one, which is to identify that perfect project that you can duplicate, that project profile that is the best fit for your company.

It’s very specific and very precise in terms of the description.

Now that we have that we’re going to move into phase Number Two, which is the attraction phase and the attraction phase is all about how do you get the developers, the landowners, the corporations, the municipalities in some cases, to raise their hand and say we want to have you and your firm handle our upcoming project.

If you’re an architect who has the ability to help your market to deliver a fantastic end-product you might be wondering how exactly you can implement this attraction phase.

I’m going to walk you through there’s a few steps you’re within this next video that are really going to be very valuable for you. So let us begin again with that project profile in mind that we just discussed in the last video.

If you have a written down on a piece of paper go out and hold that out in front of you because we’re going to be working with that exact project in mind.

The first thing that we do is we have to begin with your current Rolodex and really answering the question, “Who is it that you already know?”, and really beginning to take a look at your current connections developers and corporations and municipalities and special groups that you’ve not talked with in the past two plus years and identifying some of the gems that are right within arm’s reach, some of the low hanging fruit that is already within your grasp.

And simply by doing that you can build a list based upon people that you already have a current connection with.

Then of course, we can also take a look at who’s been a client that you haven’t talked with in a while who’s been somebody who has given you a lot of their biggest projects and you’ve handled them over and over again but maybe you’ve lost touch over the years.

Lastly, is going to be “Who have you done a small project with?” Think about some of these smaller projects that you may have brushed off.

There is plentiful opportunity simply by going into your current Rolodex and identifying and building a list of 100-250 different organizations that you can reconnect with in re-get in touch with.

This is the very first part of that process of attraction is being able to identify some of these connections that you are not currently interacting with.

Referrals: very important that we cover this. Who is it that you want to work with?

And you can really be very clear again now that you have your perfect project profile in front of you really taking a look at who would be the organization would that be a developer? Would there be a special group? Would it be a corporation? Would that be a landowner?

Who is it specifically who is heading up the project and who would have that project sitting on their desk with a deadline on it that they have to move forward with?

We’re going to go ahead and dip into our current Rolodex and ask yourself the question “Who do we know who knows them?”.

“Who do we have any connection with who already is connected with them?”.

And how can we get an introduction to them via a referral.

Number three is the good old fashioned research.

In this phase of Step 2, what we’re going to be doing is using a variety of tools to search for upcoming projects and developments. And there’s many great tools out there. Probably the most simple to use and the most easy access to use is a tool called Google News.

And if you use Google News the beauty with that is it that’s going to scour the entire Internet, all of the different news sources that are out there and it will give you specific answers based upon a specific criteria that you give it so that you’re not contacting people who are not in a good fit.

Number two is to search for their contact information. There’s many ways you can go after buy premade lists. However, we’ve done this in the past they are largely a bad investment. And I’ll tell you why.

Most of the information in fact right about 85 percent of the leads that we have purchased in the past have several big problems.

They are inaccurate with the information, meaning that the information that they’re giving you is just simply no longer accurate because it’s outdated. That’s number one but number two is there’s a very big benefit in building a very small but very powerful, targeted, relevant list so that you’re only going after you really talking to people who are working proactively on their own project right now versus just going out or talking to all the developers and all of landowners and all the corporations. And that’s a very very tricky place to be.

So the way you can do that is simply by going onto Google, going onto their Website and searching manually for their e-mail address for their phone information for all of their specific detail.

In addition to that, we want to be gathering relevant details about that key decision maker. So things like alumni, geography, are there any common denominators that we have with that person?

Have they worked on any projects that we’ve seen in the past that we can perhaps complement them on? Is there something unique about them that we can mention right anything in particular that may be on their profile on their LinkedIn perhaps that may stand out?

All these details need to be gathered and organized a very specific and clear way. Once that is all completed, then we move in to the reaching out phase and this part is quite simple so we have number one e-mail, number two phone, number three, a handwritten note.

It is in this exact order that we need to be working with first using email secondarily using phone and thirdly using a handwritten note if need be.

Now I’m going to make a few notes here in terms of the e-mails. Try to keep them as brief as possible and I’ll show you on the next slide a few very important things that need to be done on those particular e-mails and on those phone calls and on handwritten notes so that you get the absolute highest response rate out of the entire outrage.

Let’s move on to that, by the way a quick side note on this. There is a fantastic tool out there. It is called Bond.co. And I’m not affiliated with them and you’re not going to get any commission if you go and use them. But Bond.co allows you to send out handwritten notes from anywhere in the world without ever having to pick up a pen. And the way that they do it is they use this mechanical device it actually uses a pen, it’s a robotic arm that actually will write out the notes and then they will handle all be postage to the handle all the sending.

It’s a great way of doing that if you need to send out 50 to a 100 different notes without actually sitting down and writing them all out.

We use a principle called Inspiration versus desperation, that we use when we’re writing communication and when we’re making these phone calls or talking and outreaching to these developers, landowners and corporations.

It’s very important for us to note that everyone, everybody can tell the difference between uninspired conversation a conversation where the person is reaching out to you because they have something of value to give some value to add to you.

That’s a completely different feeling than if somebody is you know in a desperation mode and they’re being salesy. There’s a lot of hype there’s a lot of you know mass communication. It’s not very specific to you.

Again after creatively connecting be sure that we’re living in the world of inspiration not desperation.

Really taking a hard look at all of their social media profiles and all of their maybe their bio on their Website, actually being interested in the person that we’re reaching out to so that we can identify what are these common denominators.

What are the things that we may have in common with them? What are some other unique factors that they may have that are completely unique to them? What are they saying about themselves?

Genuinely complimenting them on those factors and actually again taking interest actually caring rather than just mass blasting people so actually caring.

Once you do all this ask for a meeting, the first question that’s in their mind is “Why is this person reaching out to me?”. So we have to be very clear, very upfront “Hey, I’d love to schedule a short meeting where we can talk about X project that’s coming up?”. And when you do that when you’re direct with that, people can respect that and there’s no shenanigans.

It is very simple and they understand this is a professional reaching out to me add value to me, let’s have a meeting.

That’s your final step there. Now we’re going to move into the payoff phase. This is where I’m gonna walk you through what you can expect from a simple outreach campaign.

So let’s use a bare minimum, which is what I would recommend of nothing less than 250 organizations being contacted on your very first outreach.

Now what kind of response rate can you expect, within our organization we get a 27 percent positive response rate. Meaning if we send a hundred initial e-mails, we will get 27 people raising your hand saying yes we want to connect with you.

That being said on your very first or maybe your first five or six campaigns you can expect to get about a 4 percent positive response.

That’s about 10 people give or take or raising their hand and saying yes we are interested and then out of that we’ll get roughly a 25 percent book rate.

So a 25 percent book rate out of 10 people is four meetings. And typically when our clients do this and clients experience this, they are able to close out of every four meetings are able to get one new contract.

Using the numbers that we have used before on our project profile example where we talked about the 15 million dollar construction cost, multi-family project, there was an 8 percent design fee being used for that creating a 1.2 Million dollar contract in that case of course you’re looking at a 1.2 million Dollar contract.

Your numbers may be larger or your numbers may be smaller but at the end of the day we have to take this into account when we’re looking into how to grow our firm and how to duplicate our best projects.

Because if we can do this correctly, the payoff of this can be tremendous because rather than being reactive and passively waiting for these developers and these corporations and landowners and projects just to come to us, rather than wait, this allows us to procreate and actually be proactive in the creation of new projects in the building own portfolio can really be under control.

Since that we’ve identified the project that you want to duplicate and we’ve identified the strategies on how to attract the developers and landowners the corporations, the decision makers who will say yes to meet with you and to connect with you to have you and your team handle their upcoming project.

Now we have to discuss how to qualify the prospect. What specifically do you have to look for in that prospect? What are you looking for in terms of budgeting deadlines,etc. so that by the time that you get to the meeting you’re talking with someone who absolutely is a perfect fit for your company.

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