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  • Emily Murphy, CPSM, MA

The Seller-Doer Model for Engineering Firms

As the A/E/C (Architecture/Engineering/Construction) industry continues to grow and thrive, we are witness to the ever-growing popularity of the Seller-Doer Model. Seller-Doers, to be brief, are technical staff who are responsible for completing their technical (billable) work, as well as for marketing the firm and bringing in new work, largely from existing clients. Seller-Doers help build the 80/20 model of revenue, which states that 80% of a company’s revenue generally comes from existing clients, while 20% comes from new clients. Drawn from “Sell. Do. Win Business.: A Report on How A/E/C Firms are Using Staff to Win More Work” (Society for Marketing Professional Services, 2016) and “Architecture and Engineering Industry Study: 36th Annual Comprehensive Report” (Deltek, 2015), below are some facts about the Seller-Doer Model in engineering firms (or in the A/E/C industry as a whole): - 84% of engineering firms currently utilize a Seller-Doer Model. - 1/3 of engineering firms report that 25-50% of their technical staff members have business development responsibilities. - Only 4% of engineering Seller-Doers focus on existing clients. 51% focus heavily on existing clients with some focus on new clients. - Seller-Doers spend the majority of their time on the following tasks: o Participating in client meetings o Participating in short-list presentations o Writing proposals o Setting up appointments with potential clients o Participating in client organizations - 70% of A/E/C firms utilize a Seller-Doer model because clients expect to meet with the individuals that they will be working with. - A large percentage of A/E/C firms indicate an intent to increase the number of Seller-Doers at their respective firms in the near future, as well as to increase the amount of time that Seller-Doers spend “selling.” As is demonstrated by these facts, the Seller-Doer model is alive and growing quickly in the A/E/C industry. If your engineering firm is not incorporating a Seller-Doer model, you’re at risk of losing your clients to other Seller-Doers who are out networking. So quick – develop your Seller-Doer program today.

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