How Advisory Services Can Help Architects Gain a Competitive Edge
Architects and engineers aspiring to grow their firms can stand apart from the competition by serving in a true advisory capacity to their clients. Why is this important? Increasingly, your clients and prospects are seeking a collaborative partner that can solve their business problems in ways that extend beyond technical design solutions and competitive pricing.
AEC firms that can deliver customized, personal business solutions to their clients can build a reputation that centers on the client experience. In other words, if you design for your clients with exceptional service and an ongoing advocacy of their business, you can build loyalty and convert clients into becoming advocates of your firm.
Making the Shift to an Advisory Mindset
It is already incumbent in your role as an architect to advise your clients and collaborate about design plans. So how do you take these advisory services to the next level? As you become more informed about your clients’ businesses, you will find you are able to provide more proactive advice—as long as you are perceived as a trusted advisor. While these skills don’t develop overnight, you can take meaningful steps toward becoming more comfortable, confident and skilled at developing and nurturing business relationships. For example, you should learn:
- What do your clients really want from you as an advisor?
- How do you elevate your listening skills to gain a keener understanding of the pain points and core issues your clients and prospects are encountering?
- How do you adapt your behavior to align with their needs?
For some architects and engineers, these skills are second nature. For most, they require skills development.
Utilizing Training Programs
When you can learn the practical tools to learn more about your clients and think differently about your approach to their business issues, you are one step closer to sustained business development success. For example, The Growth Partnership (TGP) works with architects to enhance their listening skills through the introduction of a proven questioning technique that helps them better understand clients’ and prospects’ long-term needs and challenges. We also provide one-on-one coaching to help architects overcome barriers and move them forward to a more advisory-centric approach. TGP also partners with the AIA to deliver the national AIA Leadership Academy. The three-year program helps participants achieve the leadership potential that makes a difference for their firms and professions. The skills offered through the program help to develop critical business and leadership skills that will help further develop the advisory mindset.
Remember, to really become competitive, architects and engineers must offer advisory services to drive value for their clients. The end result? You focus on your clients while we help you drive new revenue streams that will secure your future. Learn more by watching our video below.