Successful construction marketing: Do what you love and do well (2)


I?ve received several responses to the ?two questions? survey which validate my belief that, in developing your marketing and business development strategies, you should follow your strengths ? that is, do what you love doing and do well.  This topic is the main story in the current issue of The Design and Construction Report which you can discover at

John Vaughn

This response from John Vaughn of Flannery Construction in St. Paul, MN  shows how you can apply these insights in a career change (or in possibly recruiting someone for business development work)

Describe what you enjoy the most about your work and business. Clue: This is when you are so engaged you almost forget time happens and you are totally in your ?zone??

When I am on the scent of a potential project (or in my past life a program too) and things I have been doing to position the organization are in play ? as in a plan is coming together ? and the players are in my comfort zone; meaning local nonprofit and elected officials I have had relationships with for some time.

I should note that I have been in construction BD for six months after 20 years in local Mpls./St. Paul nonprofits -all inner-city; mostly as the executive director.

What are you better at than most people? This can be work-related or totally unrelated. Generally, this will be the trait, skill or ability that causes people to look with you in some form of awe. And yes, you have at least one ability that fits this category.

My son calls it my ability to make people I just meet my best friend ? how I treat people in public, at stores, etc. I learned it from my dad. I should caution that I am an introvert with an extroverted facade and this type of detached relationship is best for me because it doesn?t suck too much energy.

And yes, Mark, I bought your book!

From left ? Carpenters Pat Maher, Doug Kahler, Chris Cohoe, and Denny Lundblad, Senior Project Manager Colleen Ladd, Job Superintendent Grant House, and Carpenter Wayde Wright From left ? Flannery Construction carpenters Pat Maher, Doug Kahler, Chris Cohoe, and Denny Lundblad, Senior Project Manager Colleen Ladd, Job Superintendent Grant House, and Carpenter Wayde Wright

In this case, John doesn?t need to force himself out of shape ? and character ? to develop  relationships and discover the opportunities essential for business development and marketing success.  I certainly don?t need to give him any advice on how to do his work!  (He may also be suited for politics ? although he dd not win the recent primary to be elected Mayor of Stillwater, MN, he gained experience and could succeed the next time around.)

As I?ve noted earlier, my introversion and social awkwardness is an order-of-magnitude higher than most people; I will freeze into ?withdrawal mode? in virtually any group/crowd situation where I don?t have a clear role or somehow am made to feel more comfortable.  I?m not afraid to speak in front of crowds:  My parents, trying to help me overcome my shyness, sent me to the Dale Carnegie course when I was 17 years old ? making me the youngest graduate of the program in Vancouver at the time.

But that is okay, as I love writing and journalistic inquiry along with business, so blogging and publishing are ?naturals? for me.  This also creates an irony.  While the experts say you should work on, not in, your business, I am discovering that I am happiest and get the best overall business results when I do plenty of hands-on journalism and writing.  So if you are a crafts person who loves working with your hands, I hope you don?t follow the advice of others and spend all your time administering the business and trying to find new clients ? but you get out on the job site and do some real work, as well.  You may discover this real work helps your business grow faster and with greater satisfaction than if you follow the rule-books of delegation.  (And, yes, follow this advice with caution, because it is not the standard program for business growth and success.)

You can still participate in the two question survey here. And if you wish, read some reviews and connect with links to free preview pages for my Construction Marketing Ideas book.

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