Helping Everybody, Every Day: Business of Architecture Influencer Matt Handal

Editor's note: Today's article is a question and answer spotlight honoring an influencer who is moving forward the business of architecture. The Business of Architecture Spotlight honors an individual who makes an impact in the field of architecture through teaching, sharing or contributing knowledge that expands available information on running a successful, profitable architecture firm.

Matt Handal is a marketer specializing in A/E/C firms, an award-winning speaker and author of the book, Proposal Development Secrets: Win More, Work Smarter, and Get Home on Time.

Q: What is your professional focus?

I wear glasses these days so my focus is sort of blurry.

As far as what I do for a living, I’m a business development manager for a group of construction expert witnesses and scheduling gurus. I help them win contracts with various clients across the country.

My general focus is helping everybody every day.

Q: What is one thing you like to do outside of work?

I work in a building in downtown Philadelphia. So, if I’m outside I’m probably wading through the sad reality of the city while trying to hold on to a shred of my own humanity. And I’m probably on my way to get a slice of pizza.

When I’m at home, I’m either parenting, playing music, or helping others in our industry improve their marketing and business development efforts.

Q: What is your favorite article that you’ve posted on your blog?

One time I said to my wife, “I wish I worked somewhere where I could truly be myself.” Her response was, “That place does not exist!”

And she’s right.

On Help Everybody Every Day, I can be more myself. But I still have to be somewhat professional and not embarrass my firm.

A few years ago I wrote a piece called, Why The Technical Staff Doesn’t Respond To Your Requests. That’s a huge problem for people marketing for architecture and engineering firms.

I like it because it gives you a good sense of my personality while addressing this very big problem.

But I will say my most popular post of all time is my Ultimate Guide To The SF330.

That’s how most people get introduced to

Matt Handal being himself
Matt Handal being himself

Q: What is your #1 business tip for architects?

Ok, you want to hear the million dollar tip? It’s what I call the single most important proposal question: “What will the client miss out on if they choose someone else?”

That’s a question to ask yourself whenever you have an RFP in your hand.

Often, it’s a very hard question to answer. And that makes it deep and somewhat scary for a lot of people.

But I believe the quality of your life is often tied to the quality of the questions you ask.

You can get a better explanation here.

For more valuable information on writing client-getting proposals, sign up for Matt Handal's free webinar on Proposal Blunders You Don't Think You're Making (But You Are).



Enoch Bartlett Sears is the founder of the Architect Business Institute, Business of Architecture and co-founder of the Architect Marketing Institute. He helps architects become category leaders in their market. Enoch hosts the #1 rated interview podcast for architects, the Business of Architecture Show where prominent guests like M. Arthur Gensler, Jr. and Thom Mayne share tips and strategies for success in architecture.

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