Selling to Architects
Every month, thousands of projects have planning approval granted while hundreds of larger projects reach the tender stage.
If you are specified by an architect, he is selling your product to his client and your sales force has increased exponentially.
It should be remembered that on small to medium building projects, specified products usually go through unchallenged, whilst only major projects generate extreme competition with main contractors, sub contractors or others offering alternative products that meet the same technical specification but may offer better lifetime value or environmental credentials.
The key to selling to architects – and getting your product specified – is to make it as easy as you can for the architect to specify you. Make it easy for him to obtain the information he needs and keep your name in front of him, so he automatically thinks of you when specifying the type of product you supply.
There are numerous ways to get your product specified, but basically they fall into two separate categories, these being Proactive and Reactive. Keeping in mind literature should be clear, precise, and without sales patter. Give any unique selling points for your product, and ensure all technical performance is listed along with any independent testing certification you may hold. The golden rule with architects is to use high quality photography and imagery.
Option here include having your products entered into the RIBA Product Selector, this is available in hard copy or on line from the Royal Institute of British Architects.
The hard copy is a book in which you can include details and photos of your product and company, but what is the point if your competitors are in there too and if it is sitting on a shelf in the practice library instead of being in front of the architect?
The on line version is interactive allowing the specifier to find companies who deal with the product he is looking for; but this still contains your competitors information.
Advertising to architects and specifiers in magazines such as the Architects Journal or Building Design has the same problem if your competitors are advertising in the same magazine and what is the point if the magazine goes straight to the practice library and is seldom opened?
The National Building Specification (NBS) is part of RIBA and will work with you to produce the type of specification clause used by architects and specifiers. The use of these clauses is generally considered essential if you wish to obtain repeat specifications, but if you have your own technical installation clauses covering product and installation, these can be used in conjunction with the generic NBS clauses the specifier will be using. Inclusion in the NBS carries significant cost.
This can usually consist of technical presentations and events which are approved by the RIBA and contribute to CPD (Continuing Professional Development) for the architects who attend the event. Using a database of architects to promote CPD’s is an excellent way of promoting your products and services.
Alternatively, you can directly promote your products and services to architects and architect practices using direct mail and email marketing. Following up with a telephone call is also a useful option to make an appointment to demonstrate your products.
Direct marketing to architects is tried and tested and will produce results, but only if you have the right database to work with. Out of date information wastes money and time.
Our database of architects and specifiers is regularly updated and refreshed to ensure you have relevant, targeted contacts and can be used simply as a mailing list or extended as follows:
- Architects mailing list
- Architects email list
- Architects telephone list