Jeff Stephenson, P.E., is the Team Leader of [...]
My philosophy is that people want to do business with people they know and like. This is why it’s so important for not only me, but every employee in our firm, to take on a role of marketing within the company.
For example, the person answering the phone makes the first impression for the company. The person doing our invoicing sends a message in the work that they do that goes out to every client. Our designers who work on projects market themselves and our company by doing high quality work. While each individual’s marketing role may vary widely depending on their job duties and responsibilities, the entire experience of working with our company is a form of marketing.
People sometimes think marketing is just about going out and making sales, but it’s much more than that. Many times employees don’t see themselves as playing a role in marketing, so it’s important to constantly work with staff to promote the philosophy that they do.
Here are some of the best ways we’ve found to let staff members know how they fit in with marketing, what their roles are and how they can be helpful.
- Provide coaching and guidance. Our employees are encouraged to develop their own personal marketing plans,and I help coach them. Each one is tailored to the individual, but they have their own plan with goals that they personally would like to achieve. This could involve growing their contact list, speaking at an event, being the author of a blog post, etc.
- Make introductions. I think it helps our staff with their marketing if they have a more personal relationship with the clients they serve. Even if they are working behind the scenes and not meeting in person, I like to introduce our teams to clients through client outings.
- Educate regularly. We do a lot of education with our staff and constantly communicate that everyone has a role in marketing and a circle of influence. Their circle involves the people they went to school with, people at church, family friends, members of civic organizations or clubs they might a part of, etc. Everyone has connections, and sometimes they can be assets.
One great example of this last point is our work with the City of Irondale. I live in Irondale, and for 15-20 years I’ve served on the city’s planning commission as part of my personal community service. In part through being involved in that way, our firm was asked to be the City Engineer for Irondale. We might not have had that opportunity if we weren’t visible and active in that community.
When we are out in our communities, it’s also very important to always think about our behavior even when not in a work setting. How we act and the things we do when away from work also represent our company. The character that we show reflects the kind of people we are, and the type of company that we have.
In the end, marketing is good for each of us individually and as a company. It helps us grow personally and it helps the company grow.
Sain Associates, Inc., is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, with offices in Pulaski, Tennessee and Mandeville, Louisiana. Sain is a site engineering, traffic/transportation engineering and planning and land surveying firm with experience in more than thirty states.