Marketing Services: Impact of Court Rulings

by Peter C. Johnson, (M.ASCE), Group Vice Pres.; O'Brien & Gere Engrs., Inc., Suite 1760, 1617 J.F. Kennedy Boulevard, Philadelphia. Pa. 19103,

Serial Information: Issues in Engineering: Journal of Professional Activities, 1981, Vol. 107, Issue 2, Pg. 129-138

Document Type: Journal Paper


Consulting engineers have been the target of numerous court suits to remove uniform fee structures, lift bans on advertising, and permit competitive bidding of professional services. A review of past marketing practices demonstrates a dependence on personal and developmental selling to obtain new assignments, with client satisfaction representing the key element in developing new business for many firms. Most definitions of professional services marketing cite client satisfaction, delivery of services and creditable professional norms as key elements in any firm's sales program. The disadvantages of price competition include: difficulty in preparing a uniform scope of services, a client's limited capability to evaluate proposals, potential for defensive engineering and loss of professionalism. Methods for engineers in private practice to react to the new competitive environment are examined.

Subject Headings: Professional practice | Marketing | Court decisions | Consulting services | Client relationships | Fees | Permits | Bids

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