The architecture industry is ever evolving and innovating, yet too many organisations employ the same old techniques to try and capture sales from it. It’s time to shake up our sales methods and approaches, to increase, not just our sales levels, but also our meaningful connections within the architecture industry.
Why should an architect work with you?
Here at Borg & Overstrom, we always start with why. If you don’t know why your client should work with you, why should they? There are two primary reasons why architects might switch suppliers;
- Their existing supplier has let them down
- Their existing supplier cannot adequately meet their needs
Architects are creatures of habit, they will not seek out reasons to switch suppliers, therefore, you must become accustomed to their pain points to enable them to understand why their builds would improve in partnership with you.
Research how your competitors may be underdelivering to their customers, and take care to differentiate your company within these areas.
Know your product
We know that you know your product inside out, but do you know the environment that it is most likely to find itself in? Identify the type of building where your product is best suited to, whether it adds value to the building plans, or simply provides a finishing touch. Your next step is to identify architects who are leaders or experts in designing or working with this type of building, and appealing directly to them with the features and benefits of your product
Who are you talking to?
Just as one salesperson is very different to the next, architects differ in terms of how they like to be approached, and what matters to them. Take the time to research who you will be talking to, is this a visionary architect, concerned with aesthetics and form? Or perhaps an architect who is more oriented to the engineering elements of design, and will want to know the exact specifications of your products?
If you are communicating with an in-house architect, your technique must adjust accordingly. These experts mainly focus on performance and maintenance issues – they will want to know how energy efficient your product is, and how easy it will be for contracts to install and maintain it.
Know your place
Architects are not looking for a product, they are looking for a solution. Position your business as a thought leadership contender as opposed merely a product seller. Architects deal in design and aesthetics daily, therefore they will not be impressed with vague, flashy, marketing material! Ensure that your marketing and product content is informative, well written, and comprehensive. It is particularly useful to investigate the areas which commonly affect architects, whether it’s political events, policy change, or the stock market, and produce educational content that’s based around these areas.
We may be used to cold calling using the telephone, or via email, but architects are old hat with this practise. To really connect with architects, our communication techniques may need adjusting. In the modern age, we are increasingly mixing business and socialising. Reach out to your potential clients using social media, not just Linkedin! Most architects have a professional Twitter account which they use to engage with business connections; generate social media content that will appeal to them, and take the time to engage with their posts to create a genuine connection.
Human to human, not business to business
As we mentioned previously, architects are accustomed to being sold to. Appeal to your potential clients on a human level, take the time to understand their role within their organisation, their personal preferences, and what it is they’re looking for. This consideration will lead to a relationship built on trust and understanding, and will lead to a successful working partnership!
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Borg and Overström are a manufacturer, and trade-only supplier, of innovative, quality, water systems.
We take pride in working with our clients to help them to develop their businesses, providing tailored sales, marketing, and technical training and advice.