Help Everybody Everyday: Real help in the AEC proposal process

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Matt Handal
Matt Handal
Matt Handal's Help Everybody Everyday provides incredible resources. His blog would probably be a finalist if he elected to campaign for votes.
Matt Handal’s Help Everybody Everyday provides incredible resources. His blog would probably be a finalist if he elected to campaign for votes.

Matt Handal’s Help Everybody Everyday title describes his blog’s purpose, intention, and results. If you have any responsibilities relating to proposal development and marketing for architectural, engineering and construction projects, this blog certainly should be on your ‘must bookmark’ list.

I’ve certainly learned much from Matt since meeting him several years ago at a Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) convention. Matt and Tim Klabunde (Design and Construction Network) have successfully applied the number one rule of networking: Think primarily of what you can do for the person you are with, rather than how you can sell your own services. (I hope I’ve lived up to their values/standards in my own performance.) Matt’s speaking, writing and online marketing skills have evolved to the highest level — and so has his blog. It’s a goldmine of free information — with intelligent comments from equally committed readers adding to its value.

Matt Handal
Matt Handal

Consider, for example, this recent posting about How Some Winners Think about Procurement: The “wall of games” of proposal responses:

Remember the board games you played as a kid? My favorites were Hungry Hungry Hippos, Monopoly, Risk, and Sorry. As a child, those made up my board game world.

But as a parent, I walk into Toys R Us and I’m confronted by a wall of games. Now there is a mustache game, several princess games, and even an Olaf game.

Each game has a unique set of rules. If you don’t understand those rules, you’ll surely lose. If you don’t use the rules to your advantage, even a child can beat you.

He elaborates:

When I was a young man starting out in this business, I just assumed you had to go into every procurement with your best qualifications, best approach, and best price. What more could you do, right?

And when I saw a “lesser” firm win, I just figured the client made a stupid decision.

I was wrong. I didn’t understand the game being played around me.

Whether you like it or not, you are playing a game. And games are just that…games.

You must take the time to learn the rules, play strategically, and use the game to your advantage.

He’s absolutely right, of course. Handal lives, breathes, and experiences the procurement process in his day job. My own experiences are a bit different — most of my company’s sales come from sources other than RFP/procurement systems. But there certainly have been some gems won because we played the game to win (and the RFP was ours to win) in a ‘wired’ process. I’m heading to a partners meeting this afternoon for a project that has continued for  six years and generated about $500,000 in revenue because of a well-earned success in the procurement game.

Matt may not elect to campaign actively for finalist status here. If he does, he could easily get out the vote and achieve judge’s consideration. Regardless, I think his is one of the best blogs in the business, especially if you need to compete in the RFP marketplace.

You can vote with the ballot at this link.

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