5 Ways to Grow Survey for Design Services at Your Land Surveying or Civil Engineering Firm

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Grow Revenue Through
Land Development Survey Services

Alyssa Martin

The field of land surveying offers a diverse list of services. To keep up with the growing competition, it is important to always be thinking about the next step in improving your business.

The success of your business is determined by the effort you are willing to put in to constantly learn more information about your industry.

We all know that leading a business or survey department is not easy.

The steps to growing a successful book of business as a professional land surveyor require hard work, but you can work smarter by executing on these 5 steps.

1. Focus on Service

Great customer service is something people never forget, and it’s a sure way to keep them coming back.

If you provide a great experience, most people are likely to show their loyalty. A strong customer relationship holds a lot of value when they return to you for help on subsequent projects.

People who have received great service are more willing to tell their friends about the work they have had done by your company, which is a great way to increase inbound interest for your survey for design services.

Keys to Great Customer Service

Fast Response Times

When your customers are looking for a solution, their search is always time sensitive.

In fact, 66% of your customers believe the most important thing you can do is value their time.

When the phone rings, answer it. When you receive an email from a customer, reply as quickly as possible. Even if it’s just to acknowledge that you’ve received the message and will get them a full response shortly, you’re adding to a strong customer experience.

Over Communicate

Just like the formula your grade-school teacher used when teaching you how to write a solid 5-paragraph essay, ‘Tell them what you’re going to say, say it, and then tell them what you said.’

In the case of providing good customer service as a land surveyor, the update to that wisdom is: ‘Tell them what you’re going to do, do it, and then tell them what you did.’

Good customer service means setting proper expectations and living up to those expectations.

Seek Customer Feedback

Don’t assume you know what your customers want or how they felt about a particular project you worked on for them.

Reach out to them. Gather their input and use it to improve your services, workflow, and deliverables.

If you are regularly reaching out to customers for feedback, this creates a two-way dialog building an even stronger relationship.

2. Adopt Technology That Makes You More Efficient

When low bids win, the A/E/C world can feel like competing in a race to the bottom, unless you’re leading the pack in efficiency.

Regardless of the industry, a service provider who can provide a better work product in less time and at a better price is always going to come out on top.

Adopting new technology doesn’t mean you will cause the hard-working and loyal members of your team to be redundant – putting them on a course to be out of a livelihood.

In fact, quite the opposite is true. The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that within the next decade there will be an increase of around 800 jobs for licensed land surveyors.

Your company can be among the top firms hiring when you’re winning more work than anyone else in town by providing the best work product in less time at the best price.

All you have to do is be capable of those feats.

Of course, incorporating the latest technologies in remote sensing and mapping would make that task much easier.

As would management systems and software that helps you track the status of jobs, survey crew timecards, and expedite the invoicing process in less time.

The less time you lose on these activities every week is more time you could be doing work that actually makes you money.

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3. Always Be Networking

As a leader in your business, establishing relationships with other professionals in the industry isn’t something you can take lightly.

It’s something you need to be intentional about and you need to be consistent with. Otherwise, you’re going to be disappointed with the results.

For many survey and engineering professionals, this isn’t a reality their excited about. However, in the words of Amanda Payne at Horner & Shifrin, “Business development is just developing a relationship with someone and gaining their trust.”

Being able to do this means generating more opportunities for all your lines of business, not just your survey for design and topographic services.

Or course, networking isn’t just about meeting new people. You need to star in touch too.

Your company’s efforts to create new marketing content and then push that content out to customers through various channels can help you stay top of mind with your growing list of networking contacts, but you also need to make a point to reconnect and follow up every now and again.

If an entry-level sales rep at your local survey equipment dealer can cold-call 100 surveyors every day, you can make a point to attend an industry event every month and follow up with 2-3 people you already know once a week.

4. Omni Present Thought Leadership

Word of mouth is often touted as a key component to the growth of any business.

But how do you get people to talk about your business and the survey for design services you offer?

You can start by giving your ideal customers the opportunity to get to know, like, and trust you by amplifying the thought leadership you already have.

As a leader in your department or firm, you have a level of expertise that is not only appreciated by your customers, but by the staff that supports your work.

Seeking out opportunities to speak at industry conferences, real estate development events, or even at events organized by your local chamber of commerce you’re able to share that expertise and thought leadership with even more people.

Each of these speaking opportunities can be a huge opportunity on its own, but you’ll get even greater reach and generate even more business opportunities by recording these talks and repurposing them online.

Ways to Market Land Surveying Services Through Repurposed Content

  1. A 30-60 minute presentation about how your firm’s particular approach to capturing TOPO data is saving owners 10%-20% on the cost of surveys can be published on YouTube.
  2. The transcript YouTube automatically generates for you when you upload can be downloaded and then edited for publishing as a blog post on your company’s website.
  3. You can embed the original YouTube video into the blog post, making it more engaging for the non-readers you find your blog.

– Inside Baseball –
Google will rank your web pages higher in search results
based on how long website visitors engage
with those practical pages.

So if you make a page engaging for both the readers and the
non-readers that land on the page, by embedding the video
from which the transcript was created, Google will reward
you by funneling more prospective customers to your website.

  1. That same video you published to YouTube can be cut up into 30-60 second sound bites for sharing on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.

Similar to why you’d want to seek out opportunities to speak at events, the repurposing of these speaking engagements online gives your ideal customers the opportunity to get to know, like, and trust you – but at scale.

These content pieces (blog articles, videos, social media posts, etc.) make it easier for the customers who already want to share the greatness of your survey for design service with others. All they have to do is tag their contacts in a comment below your videos or email them a link to your latest blog article.

The publishing and republishing of this content also serves as a subtle reminder to existing customers that you’re really good at what you do and that they should invite you to bid their next job.

And Yes – if you’re going to take the time to create content you need to promote it over and over again.

Most of your contacts won’t see it the first time you share a video or article on social media or in an email newsletter.

Don’t shy away from sharing the same piece via email one week, then on LinkedIn the next week, on Facebook the following week, and then 6 months later you might be able to repeat the entire cycle of sharing that content piece.

If you think that’s a lot of promotion for a single video or article, try thinking of it like your favorite episode of Friends (and don’t act like you don’t like Friends because everyone likes Friends).

Your favorite episode of Friends didn’t just air once. Friends still lives on in reruns and on streaming services today because it’s good and people will watch the same episode several times over.

When you create insightful or helpful content that answers people’s burning questions, they’ll want to revisit it from time to time and be reminded of it on occasion.

What’s more important to remember, however, is that the Marketing Rule of 7 states that for a prospect to even consider working with you they need to hear your message at least 7 times.

Any interaction, as long as it’s positive, will provide prospects with the nudge they need to consider you as the one to receive their business.

This is why you need to be everywhere they are, at the conferences, on social media, in their email inbox. You need to be omni present with your thought leadership content.

Elinor Stutz, author of the international bestselling book, Nice Girls DO Get the Sale suggests that only 25% of your online content should promote your services or content that lives on other platforms.

As a land surveying professional, the other 75% of the content you publish online should be one of two things…

1. Capable of conveying valuable insights on the platform on which you shared it.

This means you’re not sharing a link on LinkedIn that would take people to your company blog or YouTube channel.

In most cases the customers hanging out on LinkedIn, on YouTube, or on your blog are there for a reason. So meet them where they are with valuable insight when you can instead of trying to fight inertia.

2. Sharing of insights, content, or events originally published by other content creators.

Part of establishing omni present thought leadership requires acknowledging that great leaders call on the work of others to drive home the wisdom they are trying to share.

Sometimes sharing the words of others makes you instantly more credible.

At the same time the goodwill you win by sharing the insight of other content creators with your audience is likely to lead to them sharing your work with their audience.

5. Share and Collaborate

Promoting others and collaborating with peers is like networking and thought leadership marketing all at once.

If you’ve already committed to attending 1-2 networking events a month you might as well make sure those rooms are filled with the people you want facetime with.

By promoting events in conversation and online you’ll win the attention of not only your ideal customers but from invaluable networking partners who can introduce new people to your services and content.

Believe it or not, your customers are looking for opportunities to network too. They’ll be thankful when you turn them on to an event they hadn’t heard of yet. They will also appreciate having a familiar face in the room.

In the end, you might get more facetime with customers than you anticipate because your familiarity will serve as their social life raft until they get acclimated with the new group of people.

Promoting events – much like promoting the online content of others can be a source of flattery. Even when people know you’re buttering them up they’re not likely to miss that opportunity to return the favor.

You can supercharge the marketing momentum of cross-promotion with content creators and networking contacts who aligned with your business by choosing to collaborate on content or hosting an event together.

By choosing to work together you’ll gain access to their audience and they’ll gain access to yours, each with the others endorsement.

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