Ok, in this blog post we are going to discuss Premiums.
What the hell is a Premium I hear you disclaim?!
Well a Premium is a bribe to get people to contact you, be it get them into your showroom, ring your office for an appointment…
…whatever it is so you can get them in the door to sell them your architectural services.
Offering a Premium can multiply your sales by up to 4x and they are stupidly simple to do.
Now we have already discussed the Low Priced Proposition as part of the 6 Step Filter Funnel.
As a recap a LPP is a low cost offer to push people over the tipping point of giving you money.
An example is an Architect offering a low cost survey or a roofer offering a gutter clean.
Here is a famous example of a LPP:
This is an ad Columbia records used to run back in the day.
They sold cassette tapes (remember them?!) & LP’s.
And this offer pushed people over the edge to start giving them money albeait for a small price.
Why do this?
Well once they got a customer regardless of the price point, they could then make more higher priced offers afterwards.
And once someone gives you money once then they are 11x times more likely to do it again.
This is a Low Priced Proposition in action.
It’s a ridiculous offer that people can’t resist.
It brings more people in the door and we sell them more stuff later.
And the idea of the Premium piggy backs on this.
A Premium is something that people want but don’t want to pay for it.
A great Premium will press mighty hard on the gut greed button and gets someone to do something they wouldn’t necessarily do otherwise.
A tonne of people signed up for the Columbia records deal above but how many really wanted to get the tapes & LP’s every month? A handful.
But how many signed up for the Premium? Pretty much all of them and you can be guaranteed a lot of them bought stuff afterwards and how do I know that?
It’s because Columbia ran that ad for years.
Similarly do you remember when banks would offer a free set of steak knives to apply for a savings account?
What do steak knives have to do with a bank? Absolutely nothing.
Nowadays they offer a couple hundred quid to switch your bank account to them but back in the day it was the knives.
So the first point here is that all a Premium has to be is something someone wants but isn’t willing to pay for.
The second point is that the Premium doesn’t have to be related to what’s being sold at all. It just has to be desirable.
Fritton Lake is a wood cabin holiday estate in East Anglia and essentially they are selling a time share with their log cabins.
So how do they get people to come for their time share pitch?
Well they offer a Premium which in this case is a free nights stay in their pub.
Probably the most famous Premium was the free football phone offer from Sports Illustrated.
And you got this free phone for signing up to a paid subscription of Sports Illustrated.
How many wanted a subscription versus how many wanted the bloody phone?!
This offer was made over a 120 second TV ad, of which a grand total of 14 seconds was spent talking about the subscription the rest about the phone!
So the point here is that if you offer a Premium spend more time talking about the Premium than about the stuff that the Premium will get them in to talk about.
When Sports Illustarted offerd this phone they were going out of business, they only had 300,000 subscribers left.
The free phone sold 1.6 million subscriptions and the weird thing here is that 55% of them were women?!
These phones are collectors items now and it propelled Sports Illustrated to be the 12th biggest magazine in the world.
You’ll notice that AARP are numbers 1 & 2 in that list.
AARP is the American Association of Retired Persons and have over 40 million members.
Guess how they get people in the door?! You guessed it, they do it with a Premium:
They’ve offered that bag for decades, why? Cause it bloody works.
If you want to find a killer Premium for your business simply go on Amazon and find out what people in your market buy.
Ignore the best seller, instead look at the Amazon Wish-List for that market and bingo – you’ve got a killer Premium.
Here’s the Bathroom wishlist:
Here’s one for Kitchens:
If these don’t float your boat you can try a set of steak knives or for starters some nice t-shirts.
Simply offer a set of family t-shirts for them coming in to your kitchen showroom for example.
T-shirts are cheap as chips.
Another good one are playing cards. They cost very little to have them custom printed and work well.
How about a deck of cards and a copy of a book? If you’ve written one why not use it this way?
Credit card wallets, phone cases or flashlights also work well.
Pocket multi-tools & coffee mugs all work well too.
But the thing to remember here is this: People don’t want your stuff, they want the Premium especially if it’s a service you provide.
Now this isn’t universal but the acid test is do people get up in the morning and say to themselves for example – “my life would be so much better of I hired an interior designer today”.
Of course they don’t, they see you as an obstacle to what they want, a necessary evil.
If they could get what they want without using you they would.
People reluctantly buy what they need but freely buy what they want.
So offer a Premium that people want so you get to pitch your business to them.
The best way to use a Premium is to use it to sell your Low Priced Proposition.
So for example an Architect could offer a set of t-shirts as a Premium for buying a LPP of a house survey.
Also when selling your LPP with a Premium, concentrate on the Premium, reference the football phone above and how they did it.
Of course you can skip the LPP and use Premiums to sell your Main Offer if you choose.
Try it out, I think you’ll be happily surprised.
So there you have an introduction into using Premiums.
Please post any feedback, questions or comments below and let us know what you think!
My name is Declan Connolly, founder of Affluent Architect.
I’ve been designing homes since 2000.
I started my own practice in 2009.
And now I teach Architects from all over the world how to generate Custom Residential projects for their practices.
And after all that, I can safely say:
The ‘normal’ way of educating potential clients on the benefits of hiring an Architect…
...is NOT THE ANSWER to getting great clients & projects.
If that worked Architects wouldn’t find themselves in the constant battle of:
❌ Talking to people only interested in free advice…
❌ Writing proposals for people who only use them as a fee shopping exercise…
❌ Being underpaid & treated like a commodity…
These problems happen because Architects haven’t been taught something crucial:
How to articulate the value of their services in a way that impacts their clients on an EMOTIONAL level.
Instead, they try to ‘logically’ educate potential clients on:
❌ Reasons to hire an Architect…
❌ Project process…
❌ How they deliver their services, etc…
But high-quality clients don’t care about these things.
In fact, they view these things as OBSTACLES to them getting their new home.
It’s like when someone books a flight for a holiday.
They don’t care about the number of rivets in the plane & the stitching in the seats.
All they care about is enjoying their holiday at the end destination.
Similarly, all that matters to the potential client is the new home.
Along with all the lovely lifestyle benefits it will give them.
All the ‘logical’ based approach does is position Architects as a ‘set of plans to get the permit’.
So, here’s how we fix this.
My Architects attract creative residential projects with clients that pay top dollar for great design.
And the key to this is my proprietary A.V.I.D. Method (Articulate Value & Influence Design Method)...
…which creates marketing messages that emotionally connect with their potential clients.
This A.V.I.D. Method has been developed by trial & error in the real world since 2009.
And it’s the only method specific to the single-family residential market for Architects on the planet.
It’s enabled me & my Architect students to:
✅ Work with celebrity clients on their new home like Mark Owen from the pop band Take That...
✅ Work on jobs that have been featured on the TV Show Grand Designs…
✅ Work on homes worth as much as $18.75 million…
And the secret to this is something I learned when I was struggling to get decent projects for my practice.
I had hit a brick wall and decided to study how past Architects managed to do it.
And who better than Sir Norman Foster himself.
He got started in the high-tech industrial market.
Which is a super-competitive market against far bigger and more established firms.
Sir Norman Foster didn’t go and try and ‘logically’ educate potential clients.
Instead, he described what his target clients’ businesses would be like AFTER they built one of these buildings.
And once I applied this same principle to Custom Residential it completely changed the game for me.
Describing a potential client’s life AFTER they have built their new home is what gets their attention.
✅ It instantly creates trust & respect because we are describing what they really want...
✅ It creates an air of 'exclusivity' & ‘uniqueness’ around our services which clients pay more for...
✅ Defines who our target clients should be & where to find them…
However, it must be done in a certain sequence.
And that’s exactly what I’m going to show you on a special Case Study recording.
Where I show you how the A.V.I.D. Method works.
As well as how it creates my students’ marketing for them which saves a bunch of time.
This Case Study also shows you loads of examples of our students' marketing that is working like crazy in the Custom Resi market:
So, if you're sick and tired of being treated like a commodity...
And you want to finally work with appreciative clients who value what you do…
…get paid the fees that you deserve & have a great income for a change…
…and work on fulfilling creative jobs without sacrificing time with your family…
Then let’s get the A.V.I.D. Method working for your practice.