Engineering covers many disciplines and requires a vast array of talents to overcome the challenges in construction, electrical, aeronautic and mechanical engineering. Anyone that has aspirations to become a consultant within the industry is primed to put pen to paper and cursor to pixel to demonstrate their abilities to solve engineering problems, but very rarely encouraged to develop sales techniques. We take a look at the essential skills Engineering Consultants require to get to the top of their game.
Whether engineering consultants work for an established firm or independently, they need to hone their sales skills to win contracts and impress prospective clients. Experts in the industry indicate three main points that can be used by engineering consultants to maximize chances of winning a contract. These have been based on general sales skills used in other industries, but there is more emphasis on balancing the need to demonstrate competence without giving too much away before the contract is signed.
The first rule for engineering consultants is to give an air of authority and confidence. The advice is to understand how a company that wants to solve a major engineering problem views the credentials of someone that comes through the door offering a solution. The last thing an engineering consultant should do is look like he or she is only there to get the work because they need the money. Self belief and an attitude of confidence will help the prospective client build belief in the services being offered.
The second rule is to keep something back. Apparently it is inherent within engineering consultants to want to prove how much they know, and how capable they are of problem solving. The trouble with this, as any sales person will tell you, is that if you tell a prospective client the solution before a contract is signed, they may not feel they need to enter into the contract at all. Look upon the project as a long term job. Prove skills in the immediate situation, the first step of the solution as it were, then provide a plan where other parts will come together.
To make this strategy work, the third rule comes into play. Successful engineering consultants aren’t there to sell a service, they are there to understand a problem and prescribe a solution. This could be compared to a medical professional making a diagnosis and providing treatment, or choosing to hand over a first aid kit. Ultimately, understanding what the company expects from an engineering professional will help the consultant tailor techniques in the board room.