Converting and Engaging New Clients within the Architectural Field
The architectural industry within the United Kingdom is extremely competitive. Therefore, espousing the most effective sales and marketing techniques has never been more important. An undeniable fact is that optimising the customer experience goes far beyond the point of sale. As opposed to the traditional “funnel” concept, one of the best ways to get clients and maintain their loyalty is to employ what is known as an “hourglass” approach. Let us take a look at this process and how it relates to the architect.
The target market and all demographic information need to be extremely relevant (imagine a scalpel as opposed to a broadsword). For example, an architectural firm that is specifically involved with commercial projects should tap into this audience and present the most pertinent information as opposed to sending out details to a wide spectrum of recipients.
How is the architectural firm presented? Is this presentation equal across numerous avenues such as social media, newsletters and emails? Is the site itself able to accommodate mobile phones as well as a static computer? By taking these metrics into account, the firm will be able to viewed as a niche product. In turn, potential clients are much more likely to engage with the company and (hopefully) convert.
Due to the aforementioned competition in the world of architects, building trust is absolutely critical. Case studies, testimonials in regards to the success of past projects and client referrals are excellent ways to build such trust. Any architect must be considered an expert in his or her respective field. A firm that is viewed as an authority is much more likely to retain existing clients and obtain new ones in the future.
While no construction or engineering project is based off of a free trial, there are other methods to present valuable information and talents. In the realm of architecture, this could be in the form of a public seminar, an interactive online presentation or attending a trade fair. Even tours of buildings that have been produced by this firm will fall into this category. The main takeaway point here is that displaying previous work illustrates confidence and expertise. This can also be viewed as a proactive form of traditional marketing.
While a firm commitment to an upcoming construction project is indeed valuable, this process should be further streamlined. In this manner, the “buy” phase should also provide specific contractual breakdowns, expected completion dates, professional consultancy (during each phase) and excellent levels of customer support.
Client loyalty will also arise from timely engagement. Does the architectural firm send out regular newsletters? Are there discounts or other amenities offered to existing customers? While it is important to get clients initially attracted, a one-off project is not nearly as rewarding as a firm which will enjoy multiple ventures with a pleased customer.
There should always be referral incentives to architectural clients and partners. In this manner, networking can be a powerful tool to increase branding awareness and reputation. “Spreading the word” is therefore critical to obtain new clients. When this practice is combined with the aforementioned steps, greater exposure and communications will lead to a more successful presence within a niche market.
In essence, this hourglass model is just as concerned with the client experience as it is with sales alone. Unlike other industries, success the field of architecture is heavily based upon customer satisfaction as opposed to a one-off purchase. These approaches will provide any marketing strategy with a great number of additional tools to guarantee a steady and reliable customer base.