----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 10:07
Subject: RE: Advertising
The phone book is a waste of your money. Good
prospective clients don't find engineers through the Yellow Pages.
They find them through referrals from your former clients and your current
peers. Engineering services are basically sold through
networking. That means that you have to actually go out and talk with
people ... not just those that might want to hire you, but also those that
might refer work to you.
When I answer the phone and find that it is a total stranger
who picked my firm out of the Yellow Pages, I know that the conversation
isn't going to go anywhere. I quickly but politely explain that we
don't do house inspections, foundation repairs, or whatever they might want,
and refer them to some starving colleague that might be able to help
them. If it is a solicitor, on the other hand, I quietly set the phone
on the floor and let them yak away to the carpet until they are
exhausted. Usually, they go 3-5 minutes before hanging up, and the
carpet still hasn't bought anything.
With regard to advertising in general, it is
overrated. Everyone starting a new engineering business assumes that
the key to success is having a great brochure and/or website.
Nonsense! Brochures and websites don't sell any engineering services,
even if they are professionally done. You must plan to do the selling
yourself, because that is, in fact, exactly what you are selling!
Nevertheless, a poorly done brochure or website can kill or hinder a sale by
projecting a sloppy or unprofessional image.
One final thing, PE Boards insist that all of your
advertising be honest and not embellished.
Now then, go forth and prosper!
Stan R. Caldwell, P.E.
[my website is www.halff.com]
Light travels faster than sound.
This is why
some people appear
bright until you hear them
Gerard Madden wrote:
What are the rules regarding placing a listing in the phone
book? Most firms
listed in my phone book are basic,
name, address, and phone number. However,
a couple that have bold text, large text, color, boxes etc... I
remember reading somewhere that the state boards can frown
or punish those
who use elaborate advertising - is
this true? I know that full page ads are
in engineering magazines and business card size ads as well (i.e.
URS or a plan checking firm).
The reason I ask is a phone book salesman can give me a bold
line and a
website listing for cheaper than a plain
ad since I'd be a new customer.
through my state board website, I was wondering if someone
here could help out. I think it would be usefull because I'll
only small projects to start out with,
probably residential, and most home
owners look in
the phone book if their architect doesn't hire someone for