This post is part 2 in a 5 part series about how Integrators can charge more for their services. In the introductory post we discussed the concept of value-based pricing. The remainder of this series will focus on specific, actionable steps, that we as Integrators can take to raise our perceived value, and along with it our price. In this post we’ll discuss the importance of focusing on the living spaces first, and the technology second.
Many Integrators, myself included, come from a technical background. Although I knew nothing appreciable about architecture and design when I started, it didn’t take long for me to realize the true beauty of well-crafted living space. In conversations with fellow integrators I am often surprised by the amount of architecture and design knowledge being shared. However, it’s been my experience that this knowledge is being under-utilized when it comes to the sale of our professional services.
Many times it’s the designers and architects who bring us to the table on a given project. This is particularly true in the residential side of the business. It’s also typically the case that you’re not the only integrator being asked to submit an estimate. So, unless you want to compete strictly on price (which is what we’re trying to get away from) the question becomes how do you differentiate yourself? Positioning yourself as the integrator with the greatest appreciation and knowledge of architecture and design is a great way to do so.
There are a number of easy ways to get started:
- Read architecture and design trade publications regularly: Here is a list of some publications to get you started
- Learn how to speak the language of design and architecture
- Attend industry events: Finding a local chapter of the American Institute of Architects is a good place to start
- Utilize Social Media, particularly LinkedIn: Here’s a great article about using LinkedIn Groups for B2B Marketing
In the methods above I’ve focused specifically on architects and designers. On the commercial side of the integration business, efforts may need to be shifted slightly. Often times in commercial the ‘gatekeeper’ on a given project is a consultant or technology design firm. In either case, I would still argue that demonstrating a deeper knowledge of design and aesthetics than your competition is an advantage. And the aforementioned networking networking tactics can be used to equal effect on technology consultants as they can on architects and designers.
As integrators, we understand the value of functional design. We see the solutions we can provide to enhance that functionality. Owners want to love their living spaces, be it an office, retail space, or a home. We think things like automated shades, lighting control, beautiful-sounding audio, state-of-the-art displays, and a singular, unified point of control will help them do just that. We believe in our ability to add beauty and functionality to the projects we are involved with.
In order to stand out above the ever-increasing competition, we must place a greater deal of emphasis on our ability to integrate technology while preserving the intended vision of the living spaces we work in. Anyone can sell our clients a pile of boxes. But only savvy integrators posses, and demonstrate, a true appreciation for well-crafted living spaces.
As always, happy integrating!
Check out the next post in this series: “Design, Design, Design”
Posts In This Series:
- Part 1 - 5 Ways Integrators Can Charge More for Their Services
- Part 2 – Living Spaces First, Technology Second
- Part 3 – Design, Design, Design
- Part 4 – Time for Some Recurring Revenue
- Part 5 – Building the Referral Pipeline