Every good system has a series of vital steps. When making bread, you cannot forget to include the flour.
The flour in the Architects Marketing System is how we handle that first incoming phone call.
Muck up this step up and here’s what can happen:
1) You spend an hour on the phone with someone who you can tell is never going to pay you money
2) You squeeze a two site visit into your busy schedule, putting your project under more pressure with someone who ends up only wanting free advice
3) You give away too much information too soon, and they run off with your ideas to someone else
The problem is you are moving too fast. You need to slow down and add the flour.
The Triage Nurse
Within the hospital system, the first stage on arrival at the emergency room is an assessment by the hospital triage nurse. This nurse will evaluate the patient's condition, as well as any changes, and will determine their priority for admission to the Emergency Room and also for treatment.
Wouldn’t it be great to have a triage nurse sort the condition and priority of your potential clients for you?
Only want free information? No problem, the nurse refers you down the road to the architect who specializes in being cheaper than everyone else.
Ready for a serious project? No problem, the triage nurse sets up a phone appointment with you as if you were the important doctor.
The triage nurse needs great tools to be effective.
Questions are the answer to diagnosing the condition and assigning the priority.
The Architects Marketing Academy has a process like this too. It includes a few carefully scripted questions and then a second phone appointment booked or a polite redirect.
Maybe you will be your own triage nurse or maybe you have an assistant who receives incoming calls. Either way the triage step needs to be carefully scripted and rehearsed.
‘Thanks for your call. I cannot help you right now because I am about to go into a meeting. However, if it is ok I will ask you a few questions and then suggest the next step. Would that be ok?’
Here are five great questions the triage nurse for an architect would ask:
1. This is probably something you’ve been thinking about for a while. Why do you think you need an architect now?
2. Why did you call me specifically?
3. Do you have a budget for this or are you looking to talk with me to be able to define a budget?
4. When do you want the project completed by?
5. Apart from you who else is involved in the decision-making process?
The first question is called ‘takeaway selling’. If the prospect answers they are now justifying why they need you.
Just ask Alcoholics Anonymous, making them admit they have a problem out loud is part of the process.
This is powerful.
These few questions should allow you, with your triage nurse outfit on, to be able to assess the condition and evaluate the priority of the patient's need.
Here's what you do next.
The Close (TWO Options)
Thanks for your call, based on what you have told me here is what I think:
A: ‘I do not believe I am the best person for you because what you need is X and I am Y, but here is where I would go next’
B: ‘I think I can help you. Let’s schedule a call to go into your needs in greater detail at 3:30 today? I will have more time then. This is a free consultation to work out what you need. You only start paying if we agree on the next steps and take action on them. This meeting will probably take us about 15-25 minutes’.
That whole triage step should only take 3-10 minutes.
If they qualify they are ready for the ONLY free discussion with you.
That is how you add the flour.
The Architects Marketing Flowchart For A Residential Practice
This month we are giving away our marketing system flowchart for a residential architecture practice (this is the same system we teach in the Architects Marketing Academy).
Get it by clicking here.