How Manufacturers Can Build Strong Relationships with Architects
Architects spend numerous hours researching and selecting products to use for their project. Often during their research, they are comparing products to each other to choose one that is the most suitable for their needs. While you want to be the obvious choice, architects need a little more convincing. That's why this article outlines the steps to building a strong relationship with architects - the kind of relationship that gets your product specified with them every time.
1. Make your product easily accessible
During the research process, architects want to be able to find as much information as possible about your product. They want to know how it works, who it has worked for, and why it is better than the other product they are looking at or have used in the past. This is why it's important to offer supporting product reviews, testimonials for your company, and real-life examples of where the product has been used.
2. Offer them specifications
In addition to offering supporting evidence of your products success, architects also want to see specifications. They not only want to know the colour, style, or size, but also the technical details - like the exact dimensions of your product and the plausibility of it fitting right into their project.
3. Outline the integration of your product with others
One of the most common aspects architects consider when choosing a product is the ability for it to integrate well with their prior choices. So although you're focused on selling your product, you should also consider how you can sell your product alongside the ones they are already considering.
If your product can correspond with the products already chosen, you're more likely to peak the interest of the architect. This is especially true if your product can seamlessly be integrated into their project and already approved materials.
4. Demonstrate the longevity of your product
When it comes to building products, the architect is responsible for selecting ones that will keep the customer happy for a long time after the job has been completed. In addition to the lifespan of the product, they also want to know upfront what additional costs will incur for the maintenance of the product. If each year there will be additional maintenance costs to maintain the structural integrity of your product, they will want to factor that cost into their project plan. It's important to be as transparent as possible when describing the benefits of your product and the guarantee you provide for your product.
5. Highlight the environmental advantage
If possible, you always want to advertise the environmental advantage of your product. This is especially true if you can help the architect achieve their LEED goals. In the instance of being listed on CADdetails, your company will be listed under the SpecGREEN category so architects looking to achieve the certification will be able to find your products.
6. Understand the interconnections within the AEC industry
In addition to understanding the way to sell your product, you also need to understand the relationships that architects have with others within the AEC Industry. These relationships influence the selection of products and the viability of yours getting chosen.
While you may predominately be discussing your product with an architect, it's important to realize that in addition to architects, you'll also be dealing with multiple stakeholders. So you'll need to not only influence the architect of your product but also clients, engineers, contractors and manufacturers.
So for example, when an architect mentions to a contractor that they want to go with a new product instead of one that the contractor has been accustomed to installing, they will have to provide quick facts as to why the choice has been made.
7. Be the expert you're expected to be
When architects come to your website or CADdetails listing, they have an expectation that you're an expert for not only your product but also your industry. Unfortunately, you only have one chance to prove it to them as they browse your products. This is why it's pertinent that you have a user-friendly specification tool like CADdetails to easily show off your product and the details that architects are most interested in.
Whether you're selling flooring, fire pits, or windows. the most important aspect to remember is that you're not just selling a product - you're selling a solution. You've already built the product. Now it's time to use these tips to build the relationship.