You know how to explain what you do and how you do it. You are very comfortable standing up at the top of the room and presenting your methodologies, your processes, your technical skills. But chances are the people listening already know you can do the job, they also know a handful of your competitors can do it too. You’ll win the work if you can capture their hearts as well as their minds, but for that you need to fully understand and communicate your psychological differentiator. Your purpose, vision, values and culture are what makes you different.
I work with a lot of construction and engineering industry firms. I was told years ago that construction is a commodity, but I refused to believe it. I know that providers of any product or service can be differentiated from their competitors. How? By accessing their soft power.
Soft Power and Having the Craic
Soft power allows you to connect emotionally with people. Call it EQ if you like - but EQ optimised with strategy and skill - storytelling, communication, narrative, character traits and empathy. Soft power builds strong relationships with clients, staff and suppliers. These relationships drive business growth, reputation, and profitability, but also underpin your psychological differentiator.
Technical skills are no longer enough to succeed. Clients are looking for helpful, trusted partners with whom they can have the bit of craic and in return they bring orders (even if you’re not the cheapest), profitability and loyalty.
The Mindset of Helpfulness and Its Impact on Business Growth
Positioning yourself as helpful is a great way to differentiate yourself from the rest - because very few companies are doing it properly in their marketing. Every day I say to clients ‘Be helpful, not salesy’. Being helpful is about going above and beyond what is expected of you. It's about taking the time to understand the goals of the people you are working with and doing everything you can to help them. The attitude of helpfulness is crucial because it helps to build trust, credibility, and loyalty.
You can read more on So what’s a ‘mindset of helpfulness’ and what does it mean for your marketing strategy? here.
Successful Companies that Prioritise Soft Skills
There are many successful companies in the building, construction, and engineering industry that prioritise soft skills in their business model.
Watch the video about the New Children’s Hospital for Jones Engineering here to see how a mindset of helpfulness wins big projects.
Another example is ADCO, where we worked on their employer brand strategy and core values. Those are focusing on health & safety, work life balance and social impact: be yourself! By highlighting trust and care for their employees, ADCO ensures to attract the best candidates. You can learn more on Do you know why your employees get out of bed in the morning? here.
At last, Built Interiors successfully communicate their soft skills in their communication strategy. They developed a mindset of helpfulness by sharing high value, thought leadership content around fit-out and construction for their prospects on LinkedIn, but also by adding value for the price through communication and trust. The latest video on Adding Value For The Price gives a great example on how to build relationships through soft skills.
Metec convey their culture of helpfulness here in this video about Sustainable Real Estate.
If you want to know more about understanding and communicating your soft power, get on to Tiff.