2BD at Beck: Another Reason This is a Great Place to Work
- Aug 28, 2019
By Emily Waldenmeyer, PE LEED AP BD+C, Senior MEP Project Engineer
In 2018, I was able to participate in the inaugural program of 2BD, a business development program for Beck employees interested in learning how to unlock their marketing, client services, and business development potential. It is also a great way to connect with likeminded Beck employees.
Read on to learn about my experience and how I’m using the knowledge since completing the program.
Getting Involved in 2BD
To participate, interested individuals must complete an application. Members from each of Beck’s regional leadership teams review the applications and make selections.
Participants meet quarterly throughout the year and hear from experts on topics like business development, building relationships, networking, branding, and pursuit strategy.
Between the quarterly programs, there are also opportunities for more hands-on training within each participant’s regional office. These opportunities include attending client meetings, pursuit-related events, industry organization programs, and luncheons.
Marketing and Branding at a B2B Firm
The first class in the program coincided with the birth of my first child, Uli. He was twelve days old, and I was so excited to be a part of the program that I jumped on the conference call from my couch at home with Uli on my lap.
The course was a deep dive into the overall structure of marketing and how it connects to business development. We learned about marketing plans and why the firm pursues specific market sectors.
At Beck, we have strong visual branding standards and work hard to be consistent, which is vital because Beck does business in eight regions across the U.S. and Mexico. Similarly, it is essential to be consistent in our written brand because it represents who we are beyond our website to areas like social media and in the press. We also had a chance to hear tips to improve our representation in social media because every Beck employee is a brand ambassador.
Lastly, one of Beck’s thought leaders and the director of Faith-Based design, Tom Greenwood, shared tips for approaching thought leadership. It was my first introduction to learning about thought leadership and its importance in elevating our brand.
Business Development at Beck
The next class was on building and maintaining strategic relationships. As someone who enjoys networking and getting to know others in the industry, this class was an informative way to strategize and get involved without exhausting my time on or off the clock.
Our Chief Marketing Officer Chad Schieber expressed the importance of being involved in the community, and that industry should align with our passions. He noted that, by picking something we genuinely enjoy doing, we are more likely to stay engaged and make stronger personal connections.
Chad also expressed the importance of operating with a singular focus, explaining that it is important not to spread ourselves too thin. With a concentrated focus, we can show off our best self, leaving stronger impressions and getting to know others well.
Selling Design-Build, Architecture, and Construction
At Beck, we are unique in that we have multiple areas of expertise. First and foremost, we specialize in delivering our unique, integrated design-build model. We also offer architecture and construction services. It is integral that we all understand Beck’s strengths to convey our capabilities to current and future clients.
Two of our design leads – Michael Kaiser and Tom Greenwood – used the “Selling Design-Build, Architecture, and Construction” class to help us understand the process of pursuing projects. Learning these strategies allowed me to digest how we are always working to win new projects. These strategies include meeting with clients regularly to keep a relationship active and to keep Beck in consideration for future jobs.
When it comes to formal pursuits, we have strategies for everything from RFQ/RFP’s, to interview preparation. Tom and Michael even took the time to teach us presentation techniques that would equip us for potential future speaking opportunities.
Our fourth and final 2BD class was memorable because our Chief Executive Officer Fred Perpall spoke about the importance of trust and relationships. A thought I took to heart from his presentation is that “I can be myself and be authentic to make friends in this industry. Those turn into business relationships because business relationships are friendships.” I found Fred’s insight essential because I value personal relationships, and my favorite coworkers are also genuine friends.
Maintaining relationships throughout a project is vital for the continuum of business development. Business development does not finish after winning a job – it continues throughout the lifecycle of a project. The way you finish a project is the last thing a client remembers, and a strong ending gives us a leg up for future opportunities.
Fred challenged us to think of novel ways to stand out amongst our peers with thoughtful ideas and questions that many people don’t expect. He explained this strengthens our ability to speak comfortably with people from all walks of life.
Putting the Lessons to Work
Programs such as 2BD solidify my belief that Beck has my best interest at heart and invests in growing my skills. Having a technical background in mechanical engineering, I was not sure how to get involved in business development, but I’ve always had an interest in learning it.
Now I can identify opportunities and have the confidence and tools to capitalize on future business development prospects, which is essential today, and as my career progresses. Thanks to programs like 2BD, I have another way to help better myself and further.