In this article you'll discover a powerful principle that can help you write better architecture proposals and get the client to sign on the ‘X' every time.
Here's the key:
People purchase on emotion and justify with logic.
You'll find this saying popular with sales gurus, however it only starts to scratch the surface of why people REALLY move ahead with a purchase decision.
Have you ever had a ‘gut feeling' or ‘gut instinct'?
Have you ever found later that your gut instinct was correct?
Think this is odd?
Actually, it's a natural phenomenon explained through neuroscience.
Our brain has at least two levels: the conscious level, and the subconscious level.
Our unconscious mind evaluates complex relationships, variables and stimuli that our conscious mind doesn't grasp.
For instance, in one study subjects were given four stacks of cards and told they would either win money or lose money based on the card drawn.
Unknown to them, the decks were carefully prepared.
Some decks were ‘losing decks' and some were ‘winning decks'.
After 40 or 50 selections, participants usually figured out which deck gave the better odds and began choosing the ‘winning' decks.
And yet, researchers measured increased anxiety when subjects hovered over bad decks after only 10 trials, long before subjects realized consciously that the decks were bad.
What's going on here??
The subconscious mind recognizes the pattern and gives an emotion.
We're hard-wired to make decisions based on emotion and intuition.
Great influencers and persuaders realize that emotion is the direct path to our mind and heart and they use it to their advantage.
Remember the Apple's amazing ‘Think Different' campaign?
I dare you to watch it without getting goose bumps…
Nowhere does this advertisement talk about selling computers.
And yet it's hailed as one of the best ads of all time.
Because it makes us feel.
It inspires us.
And now we associate those feelings with … you guessed it: Apple.
Good marketers understand this concept.
Apply this more in your practice, and you'll find that clients and projects are drawn to you mysteriously.
Except it isn't mysterious.
Here's a final example.
Watch this brilliant ad:
Notice how the ad DOESN'T start out – talking about the product being promoted.
Instead it connects with an emotional experience (and a big dose of humor).
You know what I'm talking about – that feeling you got after the last episode of Seinfeld was over, or the last episode of '24'.
Sheesh! Talk about first world problems!!
And yet, you can identify with that empty feeling you get after you finish a great T.V. series or a good book.
If only there were more!!
But wait! There is! (you'll need to watch the ad above to see what I'm talking about – it's only 31 seconds long)
Now let's bring this home to how you can make your writing and communication more effective, including your proposals:
Take the problems you solve and benefits you provide as an architect to your clients and translate them into emotional experiences.
This is what the brain understands and what prompts action.
Here's a real-world example:
Say you design custom luxury, very high-end homes for multi-millionaire clients.
You give them a place to gather the family, to go on vacation, or to get away.
Yes, that's the function, but what's the emotion?
A feeling of arrival.
Help your client visualize how they will feel entertaining their friends.
Which is more powerful:
We'll deliver your home on time and on budget..
pshaw … so overused.
How about instead …
… a client testimonial which says “I secretly think my friends are envious of my new home. Everyone asks me who designed it.”
That'll get the ego-imagination going!
Or perhaps you do institutional work.
Facility managers don't purchase on emotion right?
All facts and figures.
At the end of the day they want what we all want: recognition and to look good in front of their higher ups.
Include a testimonial from a client talking about how “the board of directors loves the new building!” or tell a story of a previous client who got a promotion because of their good work.
You get the idea.
You're smart and motivated – that's why you read Business of Architecture – I'm sure you can figure out how to use this in your marketing and messaging.
Oh and here's a bonus, check out this ad from jeweler Cartier – what are they selling here, jewelry or experience?
Leave your comment below and let me know what YOU think.