These are my Delicious Links for August 18-26
- Writing good apology letters – The main thing to remember about apology letters is the fact that you are addressing them to very angry, and often irrational, people. If you’ve run over your next-door-neighbour’s cat, embezzled millions from the bank, or sold one of your customers a pair of exploding trousers, the chances are that they will want to crucify you.Whilst it’s good to straighten things out, never make more concessions than you actually need. And above all, never admit to other personal weaknesses in your apology (”I once ran over my own cat/ stole my own money/ wore combustible lederhosen” will not help your case). Admissions like this will be used against you. Often.
- When It Comes to Résumés, Remember: You Are the Brand – Human Resources, Architects, Business – Architect Magazine – The job hunt starts with a pitch-perfect résumé, and design consultant-slash-headhunter Marjanne Pearson is the ultimate judge. She knows the business from the inside—despite a lack of architectural training, she’s been partner in a firm—and her ability to communicate and network are legendary. Pearson’s first client when she launched her own consulting practice in 1987 was Frank Gehry. Today, she offers a seemingly uninterrupted feed of news, information, and advice for designers as @NextMoon on Twitter.Thousands of architects are looking for work right now. What’s the best way to go about it?
- FT.com / Companies / Construction – Cost of green homes proves punitive – Barratt’s prototype building is surprisingly low-tech: there are photovoltaic and hot-water solar panels, a heat exchanger and an electronic climate control system, but most of the energy savings come from minimising heat loss through the walls and windows, using heavy concrete floors to store warmth, and venting air on hot summer days.Even so, it would barely be feasible as a commercial design. Barratt won’t confirm the price tag, but visitors touring the BRE are told it cost £1.2m ($2m).
- The Accidental Salesman » Blog Archive » Sell your expertise and not your knowledge – A common mistake experts in business development is that they try and sell their knowledge to clients, thinking this is what they want. An endless stream of knowledge has no value in its own right. The real value is in your experience of applying knowledge to solve problems.Once you start to understand your target audience and begin to focus on their problems, selling gets a whole lot easier – provided you have the expertise to help them solve their problems. A prospect takes a big risk when buying services – they are never sure exactly what they will get for their money until they have got it. A key way of limiting the risk is by working with people that have experience in solving similar problems. The bigger the risk the more that tried, tested, and trusted drives the decision making process. Its the old cliche – ‘You never got sacked for buying IBM’
This is why I advise people I work with to focus on their area of maximum credibility when seeking new clients.
- To Get More Done, Slow Down – Peter Bregman – HarvardBusiness.org – “In the entrepreneurial world, if we all just stopped with our oversize egos and focused on getting quality work done, rather than how much we worked, maybe than attorneys, accountants, and other “fixers” would have less work.”
- “Do you Come Here Often?” The ten best (and worst) ways to start a networking conversation – One of the most common suggestions was to ask the question “What do you do?”. Regular readers may know that this approach is one of my pet hates! To me, “what do you do?” is the networking equivalent of asking an attractive woman “do you come here often?” when you see her in a bar! You’re not genuinely interested in the answer, it’s just a way to get chatting.In other words, it’s an icebreaker, and that’s fine. After all, icebreakers are what we are discussing here. However, do you really want “what do you do?” to be asked of you as an icebreaker, when the person asking isn’t interested in the response? I know I don’t. I want people to have a genuine interest when they ask me that, based on having got to know me and a desire to know more. However generous our spirit when we attend events, we are rarely in that position as soon as we approach people.
- Second time lucky: the Sigma II eco-house – Building – When the Sigma eco-home at the BRE Innovation Park failed to hit the upper bands of the Code for Sustainable Homes, the blame was laid squarely on the building fabric. Now its maker is having another go.In June, housebuilder Stewart Milne published a warts-and-all assessment of the Sigma home it built at the BRE’s innovation park near Watford. Sigma was the first house in the UK to meet level five of the Code for Sustainable Homes and was intended to serve as a prototype to identify the challenges and solutions to building near-zero-carbon, affordable homes. But as the two-year post-completion study shows, housebuilders still face plenty of hurdles.
- The Effect of the Recession on Partnering in the Construction Sector – Don Ward’s slides from the AEC Network meeting in London.
I particularly like slides 31 and 32 on Price – how to escape the ‘lowest price tender trap’ and also 36 on customer benefit.
The question is, how to sell to the smaller client and the smaller contractor how to implement collaborative working? In RSLs there needs to be movement within the management structure to implement it.