How Do I Get Face-Time With Architects And Designers Today?
Mpowered Podcast, Episode 17 Show Notes
Welcome to Mpowered, the podcast brought to you by Material Bank and created by ThinkLab.
In this bite-sized episode, we tackle the question, “How do I get face-time with architects and designers today?” Host Erica Waayenberg, head of research and content at ThinkLab, looks at how you can get the appointment, creating a draw, and leave a lasting impression.
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Welcome to Mpowered, the podcast brought to you by Material Bank, and created by ThinkLab. I am this week’s host, Erica Waayenberg, head of research and content at ThinkLab. Consider this your weekly dose of bitesized actionable insights to help you succeed as a B2B rep. Each week we will answer one key question, many of them submitted by you. Want to join in? We’ll have details about how to submit your question at the end of this episode.
We’ll be answering one key question each week, many of them submitted by you. Want to join in? We’ll share details about how to submit your question at the end of this episode.
Our question this week: “how do I get face time today?”
We know that during the pandemic, strong ties got stronger, but weak ties got weaker. So, we are hearing from many of you that whether a firm is not familiar with your brand, not familiar with you as a rep, or especially for those of you new to the industry and trying to get your foot in the door... where should you begin when as one rep put it "firms are only allowing reps in on Wednesdays, and there are only so many Wednesdays in a year"?
We know that 95% of the time designers start their product search online before calling and engaging with a rep. Maybe not surprisingly, they’re also often going online to vet a company’s website and social presence or even a rep’s personal LinkedIn page before accepting an invitation to engage with the rep in person.
When it comes to face-to-face appointments there are several factors that need to be considered. Let’s talk through the basics of getting the appointment, creating a draw, and leaving a lasting impression. We know face-to-face time can be hard to come by in certain regions in a hybrid era so let’s help you make the most of that time!
- Getting the appointment. Just like dating in today’s tech centric era, for a firm, inviting a new rep in typically starts with a digital “get to know you” first. As a new rep, offering ways to digitally engage and get to know you and your brand ahead of asking to meet in person will increase your chances of getting a coveted slot on their rep presentation calendar. If you haven’t listened to episode 14 of Mpowered titled “Where do I begin as an A&D rep,” be sure to give that a listen for how-to’s on scheduling.
- When it comes to creating a draw, once you have an appointment scheduled with the firm, now you need to give designers a compelling reason why they should prioritize attending. You can garner some excitement and interest by sharing what the presentation will be focused on through consumable “trailer style” information. Do you have samples you can drop off ahead of time? Do you have a social reel or personalized short product highlights video that you can share with the librarian so that they can distribute to their studios? either way, providing visual inspiration and context to the meeting will better your odds of getting the right audience, and increase your brand awareness to those who may not have need for your product or solution at that moment in time. Remember if it’s not applicable to the projects they are immediately working on, they are less likely to attend. So, the more you know about their firm, projects and focus, the more on point you can be with your “trailer."
- Finally, let’s talk about leaving a positive and lasting impression. Recent research from Forester on the shifts in today’s B2B environment shows that decision makers value confident, consultative, and efficient sellers. ThinkLab research echoes this with one of the top requests for brands being “a knowledgeable rep.” Your audience will have done their research on you and your company, and they expect that you will have done the same. While many of their engagements with you will be digital, they are looking for their sales reps to be effective, efficient, and ready to answer questions when meeting in person. They also appreciate a consultative approach with 80% saying they are more likely to purchase a product or service is the sales experience is consultative. Additionally, in younger generations, they welcome an infusion of fun into getting to know you and your products. 70% of Gen Z B2B decision makers stated that they would like a quiz or poll that helps to guide them to the best fit product for their clients in a gamefied way.
As you know, connecting and building relationships face-to-face is still a critical part of B2B business today. It’s not if A&D want to meet with you in person or not, because they do, it's about knowing the right time and teeing up the interaction with digital content up front. While face-to-face meetings may historically have been where deals were exclusively done, today, with new generations of decision makers, the pressure to close the sale face-to-face should not weigh as heavily as providing a consistent, valuable, and memorable experience through face to face AND digital interactions for the architects and designers you call on.
Thank you for listening in and I invite you to listen each week for more tips and tidbits to empower you as a rep.
If you have a question or topic you’d like us to tackle on air, we’d love to hear from you. Drop us a note with your success story or question through the messaging function on Instagram, or by leaving a comment on LinkedIn.
Special thanks to Material Bank for partnering with us to provide bite-size, valuable insights for B2B reps in the interior design industry.