Win More Architecture Projects Starting Right Now
Ever get frustrated when someone else is hired for the project, even though you know that you are the best person for the job? Today, I'll show you how to immediately begin to win more architecture projects with very little effort. You can increase your likelihood of success through a simple change in mindset and communication.
You are about to learn how to win projects in the first 9 seconds by using my secret FAB Benefit-Busting selling strategy (even when you are up against a larger or more experienced firm).
Ready for a breakthrough? Okay, picture this.
Imagine trying to sell your product or services in a foreign land where no one speaks your language.
No matter what you say, the people just do not understand.
Luckily, a good Samaritan comes along and saves your business by teaching you the local language.
Armed with your new language abilities, people suddenly understand you. They are excited and motivated to buy from you.
But How Does This Apply To Selling Architecture?
When it comes to the ability to win more architecture projects consistently, it's necessary to understand that selling architecture services means that you must be fluent in two languages.
These languages are:
- Client language
- Architect language
All architects think they speak ‘client’ language, yet only a handful actually do.
Those who are able to understand and speak client language always win architecture projects consistently and get to work on projects they love, regardless of experience.
The difference between those who easily sell and those who struggle is that the ones who sell understand the importance of using the right language.
While most architects don't even realize that they can't speak ‘client', the poor client is still trying to understand what ‘concept drawings’ are.
Features vs. Benefits
Most architects try to sell their services based on what we call FEATURES. You assume that potential clients understand the value of virtual reality, 3D models, concept drawings and CAD (or BIM). This is a very costly (and incorrect) assumption.
I have been coaching architects on marketing strategy for years … and I still don’t completely understand what you do.
Architecture is overly complex and confusing and there is a lot of detail. It's dangerous to assume that the average person will have in-depth knowledge of the architecture field because, trust me, they don't. You won't win over a potential client by detailing the ‘features' you provide when they have no clue what those features really are.
People buy on emotion
Allow me to provide you an example of what I'm getting at.
My wife, Julia, wanted a new Toyota Highlander 4WD. Julia gave her requirements to our friend, Andy, who knows a lot about cars. Here are the features she was looking for.
- 4-wheel drive
- Less than 3 years old
- Under $40,000
- 7 seats
Andy took her list of wants and actually found a car that met every one of Julia's feature requirements. In fact, what Andy found was probably better than what Julia thought she wanted.
When Julia got a look at her ‘perfect' vehicle, however, she immediately said, “No. That car is maroon.”
People buy on emotion … and justify with logic.
The color maroon did not make Julia feel good, even though the vehicle offered every single feature she was looking for.
Logic just got BUSTED by the emotion of color.
Speak the client's language
Do you think that hiring an architect is much different? It's not.
When trying to win a project, here is common architect language:
- 25 years experience
- XYZ qualifications in BIM ZIM and WIM
- 15 projects similar to yours
- Concept drawings, working drawings, construction documentation
Here is what the client is thinking:
- He/she seems very serious … might get angry with me if I ask for clarification.
- I have no idea what he/she is talking about.
- I wonder what he/she charges per hour.
- When will this be over?
When I explained this concept to the architects who joined us for a live training recently, they were admittedly skeptical. Within half an hour, however, they had been converted to understanding the necessity of being fluent speakers of client language.
Emotion-based language moves people
These architects could feel the power achieved simply by speaking in a client-centered way. Suddenly, everyone was talking more persuasively and felt comfortable in ‘selling' their ability to win more architecture projects using this method.
Logical speaking has its place … in the back seat.
In the front seat is the same language used by the most powerful influencers throughout history, such as JFK, Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King and Muhammad Ali.
Language can move nations and inspire people to great things. It can even help you to get that dream project.
So how do you win more architecture projects consistently? By speaking your client's language!
Okay, so here is the FAB Formula secret.
Repeat after me. ‘People buy on emotion … and justify with logic’.
F stands for FEATURES and a feature is about what the service or product is.
A stands for ADVANTAGES and this is what a service does.
B stands for BENEFITS and this is how your service can emotionally impact your client's life.
Features are logical.
Benefits are emotional.
You'll win more architecture projects by identifying and speaking your client's emotional language.
Feature, Advantage, Benefit
Feature: This car has an airbag safety system.
Advantage: Which means in the event of a severe accident the system will automatically deploy a cushioning system for the occupant.
Benefit: This airbag will SAVE YOUR LIFE!
Did you get that?
Which statement is the ‘money shot’, airbag or save your life?
The following is an architecture example to help you better understand.
Feature: My firm uses BIM, which is a process that begins with creating intelligent 3D design.
Client: “Yaaaaaaawn – sorry about that, I suddenly felt sleepy!”
Advantage: This helps you make more informed decisions earlier.
Client: “Interesting – had a late night last night …”
Benefit: BIM-ran projects turn project sponsors, like you, into heroes. My last client got promoted because his BIM run project turned out so well.
Client “What? Promotion? How?”
Winston Churchill did not say the following sentence, but he could have. It is literal and honest and almost exactly what the plan was, but it wasn't effective to reach his goal.
“We will use 30,000 soldiers, 1,000 aircraft and 123 ships out to fight the Germans until we win or lose – at that point we will reassess the situation.” (logical)
Instead, Churchill tailored his speech to his ‘target audience' and said the following, instead:
“We shall fight them on the beaches. We shall fight them on the landing grounds. We shall fight them in the air … and in a thousand years from now, they will look back and say that this was their finest hour.” (emotional)
How do you want to feel?
Again, people buy on emotion and justify with logic.
Kevin Roberts, the global head of Saatchi and Saatchi advertising agency, said this. “The whole of advertising has got it wrong. They are asking ‘What do you want?’ instead of asking ‘How do you want to feel?’”
It makes a difference.
Here is one final example for my architects.
Architect A is talking to a potential client and outlines his training, his experience and his work examples – hoping to win the job. The meeting finishes after 60 minutes. Architect A is seemingly the best person for the job.
Architect B walks in and looks the wife in the eye and asks her, “Have you ever walked into an amazing, beautiful home and say to yourself, ‘I love the feel of this place and I would love to wake up here every day?’”
The architect pauses for an answer.
The wife smiles and nods, clearly remembering exactly how it felt to walk into that home. As a matter of fact, she called an architect specifically because she's looking to recapture that exact feeling with her own home.
The architect then says, I “want to design a house for you that makes you feel that way, every day … for the rest of your life.”
Win that battle
The battle between the architects was over after 9 seconds because Architect B understood the difference between a FEATURE (logic) and a BENEFIT (emotional).
Win more architecture projects by using emotion-based language with your potential clients. I'd love to hear how well it works for you!