EP 123: Marketing For Architects, Why You Get Low Quality Inquiries [And How To Solve It]

by Jonathan DeCollibus on July 20, 2018

When an architect comes to us and he or she sits down and they say we have made the decision right now we’re going to solve the marketing problem, and they come to us and they talk, one of the first things that we look at is the quality of inquiries that they currently have. What is the current quality of the inquiry that you currently have?

As you may know, we have what we call the quality quadrant, where we essentially will show you right now. You going to have people who have no need. These are people … That’s about 50% of the marketplace, by the way, and your site should be unattractive to them. Your site should be repellent to them. When I say no need, I don’t mean they’re not in the market. What I mean is they are in the market but they’re a bad fit. They can’t afford you. They don’t have the same design driven desire that you do. They may just want a box built, and they want it built very, very rapidly, and they don’t even want to have all of the beautiful art that you can bring and the creativity you can bring. They just want to have a box built.

Number two is you have people who are happy with their current options. That’s about 40% of the market. Again, these are people who are in the market and could potentially buy what you have to offer. 40% are happy with their current options. Maybe it’s their brother-in-law, maybe they’ve been working with them for the past 25 years and their wife would kill them if they even had a conversation with you.

Then what we have is we have on this side … We have the people who are disappointed with their current options, disappointed meaning that they’re most likely very, very difficult to please. Maybe they just always want things to be cheaper, maybe they always want tons of revisions and they just will never let you do your job. They always want to go back to the agreements and change things. That’s about 7% of the marketplace. So right here now we’ve got 97% of the market who is basically not a good fit for you and you wouldn’t even want them as a client because they would probably not be good for you.

So what are we really talking about? Where should you focus your energy on? What should you be looking for? What you’re really looking for at the end of the day is the pro-active section of the market. That’s the part of the market that is very, very pro-active in finding and looking for the solution to their design problems, so they’re scouring the internet, they’re scouring their network, they’re scouring their Rolodex, looking for, praying for exactly the specific service that you offer. They have an immediate actionable need. They have the resources and means to pay you at your highest fees comfortably. And, best of all, they’re a natural fit in terms of values.

So why do I even bring this up? The reason why I bring this up is because if you can’t identify them up front it’s going to be hard to reverse engineer a marketing plan that’s going to bring them to you. So when we’re talking about this quality quadrant, most of the time when we take a look at someone’s pipeline, if they even have one, the pipeline is full of leads that are basically not a good fit, like people who are a bad fit in terms of values, can’t afford them, they want a timely project done, they want the project done yesterday, they want it done under budget, the want it done X, Y and Z.

If you’re in the residential space you know exactly what I’m talking about. Maybe it’s the person who’s been watching the house network for the past four years and they just want to have the world delivered to them for pennies on the dollar, because that’s what they saw on each and every show that they watch. They just want to micromanage the entire process.

Or maybe if you’re in the commercial space it’s an R&P situation, where it’s highly competitive. You’ve got a lot of firms out there who are all trying to win this project and there’s blood in the water. The sharks are there. People are lowering their prices. They’re making things difficult for you as a professional to deliver a high quality end product, because you can’t do it at the bare bones price.

So when I say high quality leads, high quality inquiries, what we’re talking about is that perfect fit, the resources and means to work with you, are proactive and they have an immediate actionable need which you can solve.

So here’s the way that you can do that. I’m going to give you one strategy right now that you can do as soon as this video is done, in just a couple minutes probably, hopefully in less, because I’ve got to go. But the one exercise is this. Are we clear? Do we have clarity and are we communicating that clarity on our site, in our proposals?

Okay, because the biggest problem that you’re going to face is that by being unclear about who you are, who you are not, what you will do, what you will not do, what fees you work within, what fees you will never work within, et cetera, et cetera … You can just go and break down all those boundaries. By doing that, you’re going to create clarity.

Now clarity expressed correctly creates polarity. I’ll say that again. Clarity expressed correctly creates polarity. What do I mean by that? What I mean is that in your marketing if you’re very, very clear you’re going to reassure the good guys, the good prospects, the good potential clients, the guys who are the best fit. They will be reassured, and you’re going to, okay, remove and repel the bad guys.

So what I would have you do is take a look at your website, take a look at your proposals, take a look at the positioning you have, take a look at all of these details and ask yourself the question A, are we clear about who we are, et cetera, all these questions that we just talked about, are we communicating that clearly to the extent that we are so clear that people that are not a good fit are not even contacting us?

So now there’s probably, like I said, about 10 hours of communication I could give you about this, which would all be gold. It would all be valuable, because we’ve helped hundreds of architects in this arena. Now what I would have you do right now is reach out to us, go on to our site, superiordigitalpartners.com, and simply drop us a line, okay? We’ll have somebody reach out to you within 24 to 48 hours and we will be able to assess and diagnose the problems that you’re facing and help you craft a strategy. We’ll give you recommendations that are based upon reality, not just good ideas. Okay? So thanks for watching, and I’ll see you on the next episode. Thanks guys.

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