Have been reviewing the latest module and just wanted to get your thoughts on this idea of productising our service.
I can absolutely see how it works for the airline service example but wondering if clients who are after an architect would be turned off by this approach. My initial thought was that clients who want an architect at least for a house are looking for a boutique service. If we turn it into a product even a valuable flashy one don’t we risk turning them off? I may just need to think more creatively about it but interested in anyones thoughts.
Luke Durack – This does require some creative thinking, however we’ve seen a number of our members try it out with some success.
You don’t have to price your services up front to use this approach. You can name your options (the simplest may be a choice between one package offering design, document and permit only and one that includes construction administration) and describe them in a way that allows people to choose their preferred approach, separate from the actual cost (which would vary depending on project size, budget and other factors).
Of course, your Low Commitment Consultation would benefit from a distinctive product name, whether it’s a Needs and Options Review, a Discovery Session, a One Page Action Plan or something else.
These products don’t have to be “flashy” but do need to clearly state the value proposition – what you offer that is valuable to the client, with some differentiation between them. By describing them clearly you can reduce uncertainty.
Thanks Eric Bobrow . As you say it might just be the way in which I articulate the stages. It’s pretty typical to break up stages but perhaps not really seen like this by a client unless clearly outlined.
Luke Durack, I’ve tried now a few times the concept of the proposal with the 3 options of services packages, which I believe is a variation on the concept of productizing our services, and I have had very positive results.
I think overall the change in strategy is basically that this way we give the clients options in what services they want to have, whereas before, I would focus on sending a proposal that would include a long list of services included, thinking this would impress the client, but at the end of the day, the client would always negotiate the price down no matter what.
This way I give them the option to choose a price level, but it is up to them to make the decision if they are willing to receive less services or not. In my activity, they haven’t chosen to receive less services, so they go for the top package.
Started charging for initial site visits last year – nominal fee of $150 that I’d credit to them if they elect to work with us – don’t deliver any product – just provide advice. Rarely get blowback – assume that when I do they just saved me some time. Now that we’re getting started in this program, I need to turn this into a Product – maybe called Initial Site Visit or Initial Site Consult or Architectural Program Review or… and provide some “product” even if a one page assessment. I usually am doing that anyway as a follow-up email when I get to the office anyway. Packaging will help.
Sounds like a great idea John Hrivnak, AIA, MBA, NCARB, LEED AP. In the last two proposals I have sent out I have implemented some level of this packaging along with the LLC / needs and options review and have had positive feedback so will see how we go. I like the idea of charging even for initial site visits.