Selling to architects is challenging. To start with, there are only approximately 57,000 architects in all of England. A relatively small market. Then, it’s difficult to stand out. Architects don’t like getting pitched on products.
The key to good marketing is to accommodate the buyer. How does the buyer like to buy?
Architects don’t like sales messages, but they don’t mind CPD’s from knowledgeable building product businesses. After all, they’re required to complete 35 hours of CPD per year to maintain their RIBA membership. If the CPD is interesting and helpful, then they’re willing to spend lunchtime learning all about the problems and solutions related to your product.
And you don’t have to do this in person. You can conduct a CPD meeting over Teams, Zoom, or whichever video conferencing platform you prefer.
Here are two anecdotal reasons you should try this:
I was talking to a sales director who wanted our marketing campaign to deliver sales-ready leads. I asked him how he had grown his business thus far. He said through CPD. I asked how long from CPD to purchase. He said three years.
I hated to break it to him – but there is no shortcut. You can’t force buyers to buy like you want. You have to let them by how they want.
Then, I spoke to an architect and current marketer Paul Iddon (you can read one of his great articles here). He mentioned that CPD is the best way to sell to architects. And he should know. He was one.
Now that we have discussed “Why CPD”, let’s move into “How”. How do you get the message out and get people to sign up for it?
Find the Insight
When trying to communicate to a wide audience in a powerful way it’s important to have an insight into what your audience cares about. Then you can present a genuinely profound solution.
This generally starts with a bit of research. By researching your previous CPD participants, or your CPD prospects, you can learn which issues they genuinely wonder about. Or even uncover problems they didn’t even know they had.
Then you can present insights you have from your experience and expertise. By making sure your content is insightful, it makes it easier to promote. And more valuable to your audience.
Frictionless Sign Up
Now that you have identified the main messaging and purpose of your CPD, how do you get people to sign up?
Barbour ABI and Glenigan both offer lists of architects working on the particular types of projects your product may be needed on. Now you have relevant contacts.
The key to frictionless sign-up is sending them a virtual calendar. You can get a free account with Calendly here. This way they can take a look at your availability and schedule a time that works for them.
If you’d rather not have random CPD’s booked you could create a separate email, and block out every hour except for your lunchtimes. This way only lunchtimes would show as available.
So what if someone takes a look at your calendar and can’t find a time that works for them? They click away and forget about your CPD.
But you saw that coming, and you set up a retargeting email. Using a CRM, you set up an automated email to be sent to anyone who views the calendar but doesn’t sign up. This is called retargeting and is often used in eCommerce when people abandon carts before checkout. But it works for architects too.
We’ve seen this approach result in 8 CPD’s per month for one of our clients. How much is this worth in revenue? It’s impossible to measure in the short term, but long term it will be significant (for a very low upfront cost).
What are your barriers to CPD? Do you think no one is interested in what you have to say? If you find the insight, they will be. Do you think it will take up a lot of time to promote? Not if you automate a frictionless sign-up process. And retargeting will make sure every lead gets a second chance.
If you are trying to reach architects, CPD is a highly effective way of doing so. And this promotional strategy ensures an audience. If you’d like help with setting this up for your business click the button below or schedule a meeting here.