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How engineers find new clients

Searching For New Architectural Clients

Contacts

Hopefully, as a Consulting Engineer you are usually busy, but it is always smart to promote work from new sources to keep the pipe line full. This article is about how engineers find new clients. Expand your list of potential clients to include those who you have not worked with in the past. First look through the list of contacts that you have acquired since you started working; both in the course of business and in your work with engineering societies. Those who you have impressed are often willing to introduce you to potential clients.

Networking

Continue attending some of the meetings of the engineering and industry societies to which you belong.

If you haven’t already, also become an associate/affiliate member of the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and attend some meetings. There, you will see some of your current and past clients, who may introduce you to potential clients.

Consulting Engineers

Consulting engineers of a different “specialty” are often willing to share clients. I often got good leads from mechanical engineers, civil engineers, and structural engineers. They frequently provided firm names and contact information, as well as names of upcoming projects. We were not competitors and I reciprocated when I could.

Land Surveyors

Land surveyors often find out about proposed projects, even before an architect is selected. Making friends with them and periodically contacting them can provide good leads. Passing this information along, to your architectural clients, who specialize in the type of project planned, can pay off for this and future projects.

Newspapers

Up-coming major projects are often mentioned in “News” Items in your local newspapers. If the architect is mentioned, give him a call. Express congratulations and ask if your specialty is not yet committed. If already pledged, ask about other projects coming up.

If the architect is not identified in the article, get his name from the project contractor, developer, local building inspector, mayor’s office, or Chamber of Commerce.

Another source of leads is the Classifieds. Government agencies publish “Requests for Proposals” (RFPs) for Architect & Engineers for most upcoming projects. Most of them are for Architectural Services. Most architects are “generalists” and will pursue any kind of project. Others specialize in one or few types of projects. (Historic Restoration; Custom Homes; Libraries; Housing Authorities, etc.). Ahead of time, prepare an e-mail list for each of the most common categories of clients, along with a standard message:

Attached is a recent RFP to which you may be interested in responding. If so, we would like to be part of your team. Attached is a copy of our company description; my resume; and a list of our related projects. Let me know if you need any additional information. As always, I am available to attend an interview with you.

Once you have this system set up, your secretary can do most of the work.

Construction Lead Services

Construction lead service companies provide leads for contractors. Friendly contractor may be willing to share appropriate leads with you.

Excerpted from The “Complete Guide” to CONSULTING ENGINEERING © 2015 John D. Gaskell. Used with permission of Professional Value Books, Inc. All rights reserved. Order at http://www.TheEngineersResource.com. Use coupon code “paperback” and save.