We talk to companies across the construction industry daily. Recently we had a conversation with a business owner, who told us that architects don’t like to get phone calls. He said they’re impossible to get a hold of and difficult to reach. And that architects will only reach out when they’re ready to buy.
Because of this, what he’s been doing, is relying on referrals, however, his obvious concern and one that we’ve heard across the industry, from building products suppliers to service providers, is that the number of referrals is dropping off. This is not a good sign if your sole source of business leads are coming from referrals and repeat business.
Now our friend doesn’t know how much longer he’s going to be able to sustain his business. If you’re in a similar position or can see your business being in this position soon, then you can’t continue with this approach of waiting for architects to come to you.
So the question is, is there a way to have a persuasive impact on the architect without having a phone call?
And the answer to that is yes.
How do architects specify?
Let’s back up a little bit and think about where an architect is coming from. What’s their process and how are they getting to the place where they’re giving you a phone call.
It starts with them working on a project, they’re designing something and they’ve got a vision of what they want. They then look up the different products that they could use. They might first turn to some resources that their practice has available, such as magazines or a database. But then they want something fresh, so they go online. They look those products up to understand the technical features and see the aesthetics and the options available. Then they research a bit further to assess whether they will work well, look good and integrate with the rest of the design.
How can you get specified?
That brings us back to that question; is there something that you can do earlier in the process, before you’re phoning them, to influence the possibility of them phoning you.
The inbound methodology teaches that you should position yourself as a helpful advisor and guide for potential clients early in the buying process. Provide them with blogs around key questions and topics such as sustainability, durability, aesthetics or how to integrate with different products. Or perhaps provide BIM files or other things that allow the architect to learn about your product.
Create these resources that provide an architect with the answers to the questions that they have. So then your product and business are in their mind. Then they’re in a much more informed position when it comes to considering their next purchase. This will then lead them to pick up the phone and give you a call at that point because you’ve already proved your value and knowledge by answering their concerns in your blogs.
It’s never a good idea to just wait for business to come to you. You may have some concerns around content creation, there’s still a bigger focus on sales in the construction industry and creating marketing materials can sound like too much work. But this barrier between sales and marketing needs to come down because both practices need to work together now and very much in this industry. And as you increase the alignment of sales and marketing, you can form great content by combining the expertise of both to create leads and convert them.
For a Project Prospecta campaign, content forms the backbone of what we do, because those helpful pieces of content are leveraged using email marketing. We can send them out to architects, directly to their inbox to speed this process up, so you don’t wait for them to come to you.
The aim is to send them helpful content that will help guide the process of specification and so then when they think who do I want to work with on my next project, you’re the natural go-to company for them to get in touch with and have a further conversation.
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