I ran into my college classmate, colleague and friend Jim Furr, Managing Principal Emeritus in the Houston office of Gensler, this week, and he reminded me of the Rain’s Rules of Marketing. I thought that I would share them with you.
Jack Rains, attorney, former Secretary of State in Texas and earlier in his career, the President of 3D International, had three rules for successfully marketing the AEC services of the firm to clients around the globe. He drilled these into everyone on his team daily. Rains' Rules of Marketing are very simple.
Rule No. 1 – See the people.
Rule No. 2 – See the people.
Rule No. 3 – See the people.
Rains had the same issue that many of you have with your partners, principals, project managers and marketing teams and that is the failure to understand that clients are people, and people hire people to do their projects whether in design, engineering or construction.
More than that, they hire people they trust and like before they hire strangers they do not know or trust. For people to trust you, it means that they have to know you. For people to know you means that they have to see you, regularly and in a variety of venues.
Many of us have colleagues who like to sit in their offices and grind out their work. The last thing they would consider would be to go see a client or colleague to get feedback, intelligence or just to learn more about what they are thinking and who they really are. You have to find a way to get them out of the office to follow Rains' Rules in order to grow your business.
Rains knew that and so he developed his three rules and he still uses them even today. So do most of the successful contractors, subs, and architects you know and even compete with every day.
Of course we can slice and dice the rules and give you techniques and tricks that will help develop your “elevator” pitch or web strategy of Linkedin and Facebook pages, but if you do not put Rains' Rules into action, you will find that your competition will beat you at every turn. I would suggest that you adopt Rains' Rules today, and as you develop your plans for 2016, that you follow Jack Rains’ lead and make for certain that your team adopts them as well. You will be guaranteed to get more business and keep more clients who will become friends for years to come.
Think about Rains' Rules the next time that one of your new-hire millennials wants to know what he or she can do to make a difference in their career and your business. Tell them about Rains' Rules of Marketing and tell them to “See the people.”