Why your clients need you … and your Needs and Options Review for architectural projects.
Did you ever play the game of Scrabble? The first time you ever played it, probably someone, such as your granny, said, ‘Let’s not keep score, just give it a try.’ And you did, and you thought you knew what you were doing. You felt confident. Look at that triple letter score, you said, 24 points in one blow. I can do this.
Never mind that you proceed to lose miserably against your mum and your granny who’ve been playing Scrabble for 120 years between them. Because that’s what happens when you are keeping score against the experts.
Stop a minute.
‘I can do this’ … that sounds familiar. Isn’t that sometimes what your prospects say? Or, ‘I have a draftsman down the road who can do this. Why should I hire you?’
Well, you are now the Scrabble player extraordinaire. You remember that feeling of being able to win with absolutely no specialized training. So now you know how your client is feeling when he or she is skeptical about needing an architect.
But you also know what happens when you decide to keep score.
Speak your prospect's language.
Well, let’s keep score. Mr. Prospect comes in and touts his draftsman. Now let’s keep score.
‘Okay, Mr. Prospect …
‘Out of ten how clear are you on exactly what you need?’ Wait and record the score.
‘Out of ten how aware are you of all the various options your site will accommodate?’ Wait and record the score, this number should be lower and come with a confused expression on the face.
‘Out of ten how confident are you that you're aware of all the legal requirements?’ Wait and record the score. The head should be shaking slowly from side to side now. Uncertainty is taking over, and a sense of ‘not ready’ is starting to invade the prospect's mind. This is like watching a statue melt, enjoy it.
‘Out of ten how aware are you of the process you will need to have in place to get the project completed on time and on budget?’ Wait and record the score. Expect a frustrated even disappointed expression as they realize they are not even on the starting line and more work is needed.
‘Out of ten how confident are you that your budget will achieve your needs?’ Wait and record the score. Now comes resigned acceptance of defeat. They may feel a little embarrassed at their lack of preparation. This is an excellent emotion to have installed in the once proud type A warrior. The warrior is now reduced to a small child and is looking for a confident hand to hold.
Recommend Needs and Options Review.
Now with a firm fatherly tone say …
‘Don’t worry about not being able to answer these questions yet. The Needs and Options Review for architectural projects will allow us to fill in the gaps and get you ready to move to the design phase.
The first step you will need to complete next is the Needs and Options Review.
We designed this process a few years ago because there is a huge issue of people starting design and construction BEFORE they have fully done their homework.
We would see many renovation projects go over time and over budget.’
What have we achieved?
They know now they are not ready to proceed to the design phase.
That the project could easily go over time and budget without this information.
That the Needs and Options Review for architectural projects will fill the gap and save the day.