"Meet the people, meet the people, meet the people."

I didn't coin this phrase. Nor did I ever use it when I was younger and building my practice. I heard it recently quoted by a LinkedIn connection and it resonated so loudly, it was like having my head inside a cathedral bell. Powerful and simple.  He attributed it to Jack M. Raines, a co-founder of 3DI Architecture as a 3 step marketing program for any who would seek to grow their business. No big secret, no magic formula, just common sense.

"All elements together intentionally position the principals in front of former, current and prospective clients."

The difference between Jack's wisdom above, and my version, is intent. Here's mine: Vision, Strategy and Design. Same tripartite form, but each component relies on information and analysis much of which comes uniquely from each client to form their vision. From this evolves a custom strategy that fits your time and professional experience and goals. The final element is the design of a selection of marketing tools to touch clients in ways impossible for a principal to attain personally. Each element supports the next, beginning with the tools that support the strategy and the strategy that support the vision. All elements together intentionally position the principals in front of former, current and prospective clients.

I talk to lots of firms, some are 3 to 5 year start-ups and some are mid-level firms with 8 to 12 years of operation who ask, "What can I do to jump-start my business? In the early years we were firing on all cylinders but now it's like we're running out of steam." It's confusing to owners when faced with time and money constraints and it's perplexing many firms, especially younger firms who do not have the advantage of the strong brand and momentum of more established firms. That's when my phone rings and I share my version of Jack's wisdom with my callers. The principals are seeking answers they can use, as simply and effectively as "Meet the People".

The best play is to combine ideas and strategies blending your best time frame to "meet the people" along with a supportive strategy of web, social media, direct mail and other ideas to be present when you cannot. My idea is a combination of Business Development and Marketing that recognizes today's principals rarely can be dedicated to outside sales. Many of today's principals need to run a lean operation which can place them in that role of "Seller-Doer". Attaining Work/Life balance splits their day into work, family and rest, and by definition means most of the operations of their firm has an 8 to 10 hour window to occur.

If you are finding your time constrained and your firm in need of a custom vision and strategy to lead you out of the fog, give me a call. I'd enjoy a visit to discuss process and options to see if there is a fit. I'll bet there is.

William M. Burwell is a retired Architect and Interior Designer whose career focused on corporate interior architecture in sole proprietorships, and partnerships from 9 to 120 staff. Bill retired in 2014 and began Burwell Consulting providing Business Development and Marketing Guidance and to share the wisdom and experience of those 45 years. Bill writes articles sharing his experience in keystone practice areas: Entrepreneurship, Business Development and Marketing. He graduated from the University of Houston College of Architecture in 1971 and now serves the College on the Dean's Leadership Council. Check him out at www.burwell-consulting.com .