Turning Architect Objections into Product Objectives

Posted On: 
May 14, 2018
Turning Architect Objections into Product Objectives

“Customers always have concerns or issues that must be satisfied before they will buy,” says author Jeffrey Fox. He notes that customers are concerned about price, delivery, reliability, size, color, warranty, and other issues.

Architects, designers, and contractors may have issues with building products that may be known or not. Every design professional has objections to certain products for specific reasons. For example, is the exterior cladding that an architect likes too expensive and not durable enough for an elementary school project? Could a first grader punch a hole through the papier-mâché walls like a bull in a china shop? Did the CMU manufacturer deliver masonry block three weeks late on the last project and cause problems? Is this beginning to sound like a country music song?

Building product manufacturers should welcome objections from design professionals. Architects, owners, and other decision makers help shape and move markets. Product manufacturers should always be thinking of ways to improve their products and exceed their client’s expectations.

In a previous blog, 3 Reasons Why Architects Specify Certain Building Products, we discussed an AIA study that architects specify building products that are known commodities. If an architect has a major objection to your product, and that obstacle is surmountable, then action should be taken to remedy the situation. Design professionals tend to avoid products that have durability issues, weak warranties, limited colors and sizes, and extreme pricing fluctuations.

If enough customers request that your products be offered in mint green, then an objection can be turned into an opportunity. Innovative product manufacturers ask questions to understand their client’s issues and find solutions. Architects, designers, and contractors want solutions and product manufacturers who encourage discussions about their issued can help earn their trust.

If an architect requests a Health Product Declaration (HPD) for a LEED project, then the manufacturer should provide that information. Prominent firms like HKS, Gensler, Smith Group JJR, and others are specifying healthier materials for projects, especially LEED v4.1 projects. Manufacturers should be prepared to provide the necessary documentation to get their products specified.

Getting products specified is already difficult enough in the marketplace. Not addressing customer objections or meeting their expectations is a sure way to lose market share. How does your company address design professional objections? How does your team improve products based on feedback?

For more information or to discuss the topic of this blog, please contact Brad Blank