How to Handle Sales as an Architect

While it’s essential to ensure that you provide a high-quality service to your clients, unless you have systems in place which brings new clients into your business, you will experience cash flow issues and could struggle to keep your business afloat.

The Pride Road Architecture Franchise contracts various experts to ensure our sales funnel runs efficiently, such as Louise Mosely, our Sales Training Instructor, David Johnson, our Digital Marketing Manager and Social Media Manager, and Rachel Moses, our Marketing & PR Manager, to ensure that our franchisees always have a pipeline of new clients. 

During a recent series of interviews, we asked these experts for their tips on handling and boosting sales as an architect. We also have SEO tips for architects, and Marketing tips for architects.

1. Incorporate CPD sessions in Sales – Louise Mosely

These can give your team a chance to take a step back and reflect on their natural skills as salespeople, and how they use them when interacting with different types of people. The aim is to look at sales from a different perspective in order to find their own voice and more effective ways to connect with others. 

When the Pride Road team had a Franchise Development Day in sales, with Louise Mosely, they enjoyed the opportunity to understand their profiles as saleswomen which helped them realise that they already have the natural skills of building rapport, understanding, and empathising with people. The session has taught them to step back and think about how they use their skills in different situations. Take a look at some of the Franchise Development Day with Louise.

2. Start with Social Media Accounts – David Johnson

According to David Johnson, Pride Road’s Marketing and Social Media Manager, one of the most important places to start bringing in leads is through social media, such as Facebook and Instagram, as that’s where potential architectural clients tend to be. Being active on Social Media helps you to show the kind of work you do, to educate people on the way you work, and to show them design hints and tips. This all helps you be seen as an authority within architecture and builds trust with your audience. Having a website, although important, if you’re just starting out, could be secondary to having a social media presence.

If you can’t afford help, start by scheduling your posts yourself using something like Facebook and Instagram Creator Studio for free. Posting in Facebook Groups is also recommended as that’s where you’ll get a lot of traction and engagement from your local community. If you’re doing it well, and getting busy, you will get to a point where you are too busy to manage your social media on your own, so you should draft in someone to help, so you can run your business while they get you leads and traffic. 

Pride Road Architects Franchise Founder Lisa Raynes with Laura Simpkins, RIBA Chartered Architect and Franchisee for Pride Road New Forest & Bournemouth

3. Make your posts personal

David explains that it is difficult to go wrong with personal posts on social media. Keeping it personal works especially on Facebook as this platform is moving away from showing businesses and public pages, favouring real-life engagement between profiles and people in groups. People also love to see the real side of you, in the end, people buy people, so you need to educate them about who you are, how you work, and how you can help them. 

4. Talk about the benefits you can bring to clients

The vast majority of clients don’t want to know about how your service works, or what you are doing technically; they are very value-focused and results-focused – they want to know what they can get out of it. Therefore, we always talk about the benefits and value stack as best you can. We sell them the pie, not the ingredients.  

Click here for more tips on Social Media Marketing from David 

5. Start by planning your marketing – Rachel Moses

Rachel highlights the importance of planning ahead. The reality today is that there is a great opportunity for you to manage your own marketing, as a lot of it is down to what’s available on social and digital channels. Because of the diversity in channels, there’s a sense of the task being a bit overwhelming – being not sure where to start, so it’s really important to plan and to go back basics.

You do this by starting off with your 5 ‘W’ questions: who you want to talk to, what you want to tell them, why, where, and when. From those basic principles, you can build up to decide which channels to use, and who to say what to, so you can get the targeted and relevant communications that can help your marketing. 

6. Use different social media channels for different purposes

In the Pride Road example, when you are trying to reach homeowners, you should use Facebook. If you are trying to build awareness amongst your peers, LinkedIn is really useful. You could always use Twitter to promote marketing events such as webinars. These are the more established channels, there are newer channels that come and go, and there’s always room for flexibility and growth, which should be built into your plan. 

7. Be authentic and build a resonant message

Be authentic, be yourself, show yourself. Work out what you’re happy to share because it’s all about building a resonant message – you want your message to echo through everything you do, from what you write, to the images and videos that you publish. If you can make it resonate with your audience, it’s a great way to build connections with clients, and people that can help your business to develop and grow. 

Click here for more marketing tips from Rachel 

Getting your social media presence to a point where it is engaging, generating traffic, and creating leads which turn into sales can be quite daunting when you’re trying to set up and run your own practice. Contracting or hiring help for social media, content writing, video editing, SEO, web developing can be very expensive. The advantage of joining a franchise like Pride Road is that everything is set up for you and you have experts such as David on-hand to guide you through and to create content and Louise to teach you about sales.

Of course, we will still want you to post as an individual and it takes some time, but the Franchise is here to help with graphics, images, posts, testimonials, and advice on how to post, how often, and in what format. So, all the pain out of it so that you can focus on running a successful business!

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About the Author

Pride Road was set up by Lisa Raynes, an architect with over 20 years and an active member of the RIBA council.

Before starting her own practice in 2010, Lisa had worked as an architect for over a decade. In 2009, the recession was well underway and Lisa had been made redundant twice during her career – once while on maternity leave. Although setting up her own practice started as a necessity, it turned out to be the best thing that could have happened.

Lisa set up her first business – Raynes Architecture Ltd – in 2010, specialising in home refurbishments and extensions. Through her business, Lisa was able to carve out a meaningful architectural career that also allowed her to balance her family life. Working closely with homeowners and people with smaller projects, she found a stream of business that was able to ride out the downturn comfortable, while giving her the chance to help develop properties that truly contributed to people’s lives.
Recognising that a change was needed in the Architecture industry, for women and working mums in particular, Lisa rebranded her practice to Pride Road – the architectural practice franchise that helps trained architects escape the inflexible and long working hours of traditional architecture practices. Pride Road help others run their own business and achieve a better work-life balance, with the support of Lisa’s experience and brand.Through Pride Road, Lisa wants to give architects the skills, knowledge and resources needed to build their own successful architecture business, while campaigning to make the profession happier, healthier, more diverse and inclusive.