Customer’s Awareness Matrix explained for an architect

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I failed to resonate with my customers’ needs

For years, I was a dedicated architect pouring my heart and soul into every project.

My days were filled with long hours and hard work, yet my career seemed to plateau.

I couldn't understand why my efforts weren't translating into the success I had envisioned.

Something was missing.

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I vividly recall a project that perfectly encapsulated my struggle.

Long story, short.

A potential client came to me seeking a solution for their commercial space.

As I passionately described my previous projects and tried to convey the impact I could make.

Their eyes glazed over.

But despite my genuine enthusiasm, I failed to resonate with their needs.

What was I doing wrong?

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It was then that I realized I had been navigating blindfolded.

I had been using a one-size-fits-all approach.

Assuming that every client would understand and appreciate my architectural vision.

Huge mistake!

Another one to add to the list 21 Mistakes I Made – And Every New Architect Will Make

The wake-up call came when I lost that project to a competitor who knew exactly how to communicate their value.

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It hurt me so much, that I started reading about these customer needs.

It’s when I discovered the Customer's Awareness Matrix.

I began to understand the importance of adapting my approach according to the client's level of awareness.

I learned to speak their language, address their concerns, and showcase my expertise in a way that truly resonated.

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The results were astounding.

Engaging with clients became a dance of connection and understanding.

I could see the shift in their eyes as they realized I was the missing piece to their puzzle.

With the Awareness Matrix, I transformed from an architect struggling to convey my worth into a trusted guide, offering solutions that changed lives.

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Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly?

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Today, my architectural journey is on a new trajectory.

It has not only revitalized my career but also rekindled my passion.

I wouldn't even know how to explain it to you.

I've found joy in helping clients navigate their architectural dreams and turn them into reality.

It's like I've been given a secret code to unlock doors of opportunity.

And I can't wait to see where this newfound clarity takes me.

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This is how I did it.

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Understanding the Matrix: What's It All About?

In order to make it easy to understand, let me give you an example.

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Imagine you're an architect with a map.

A map that shows you where your potential clients are hiding in their thoughts.

Interesting, right?

Well, this map has four zones, like different areas on a game board.

Each zone represents a different stage of awareness.

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1. The "Unaware" Stage

Clients in this stage might not even realize they have a need for architectural services.

It's like they're going about their lives, content with what they have.

Your role here is to shine a light on the potential they're missing out on.

Think of yourself as a guide, leading them from the shadows.

Think about the possibilities that architecture can offer them.

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2. The "Problem-Aware" Stage

Picture a puzzle-solving scenario.

Clients in this stage have identified a challenge, like missing puzzle pieces.

They know something isn't quite right, but they might not have connected the dots to architecture just yet.

You're the detective here.

Reveal how your architectural expertise can provide the missing piece to solve their puzzle.

It's about showing them how your skills align with their needs and offering solutions that make their challenges disappear.

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3. The "Curious" Stage

Imagine someone standing at the entrance of a garden, intrigued by the beauty within.

Clients in this stage have a sense that architecture could bring positive change.

But they're not entirely sure how.

It's like they're peering through the gate, curious to explore further.

Your role is to open that gate wider, offering them a glimpse of the enchanting world of architecture.

You're the storyteller, weaving tales of transformation and igniting their curiosity to learn more.

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4. The "Aware" Stage

Visualize a spotlight shining directly on a stage.

Clients in this stage are standing right under that spotlight, fully aware that they need an architect's expertise.

They're actively seeking someone who can turn their dreams into reality.

Here, your task is to showcase your skills and experience.

It's like being on a grand stage, presenting your portfolio and success stories.

They see you as the architect who can make their vision come true.

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5. The "Engaged" Stage

Picture two people locked in a deep conversation, engrossed in each other's words.

This is the stage where clients are not only aware of their need for architecture but are fully engaged with you.

It's like you're on a journey together, discussing their vision, challenges, and how your expertise aligns perfectly.

Here, you're not just an architect.

You're a trusted partner who understands their goals and is committed to making them a reality.

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Think of these zones as hiding spots.

Your goal is to figure out where your potential clients are hiding and talk to them in a way that makes sense to them.

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Let me show you how can you connect them, step by step.

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1. The Unaware Zone: Shining a Light on Hidden Opportunities

Now, let's venture into the "Unaware" zone.

It’s a place where clients are going about their lives, not realizing that an architect could bring a touch of magic to their spaces.

It's like they're in a dimly lit room, unaware of the beauty that could surround them.

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Imagine you're a storyteller.

You are sharing tales of how architects can transform ordinary spaces into extraordinary ones.

Paint a picture of how a simple room can become a haven of creativity and comfort with your expertise.

To catch the attention of clients in the "Unaware" zone, you need to turn on the lights and show them what they're missing.

You create content that introduces them to the world of architecture in a simple and relatable way.

Use everyday examples to help them see the possibilities.

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It's like you're inviting them to a party they didn't even know existed.

Make them feel excited about the idea of having a beautiful, functional space that enhances their lives.

When you talk to clients in the "Unaware" zone, be patient and gentle.

It's like helping someone discover a hidden treasure.

You want to guide them with care and enthusiasm.

Use clear language and relatable stories to make your message resonate.

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2. Helping with Problems: The Problem-Aware Zone

Now, let's dive into the "Problem-Aware" zone.

It’s a place where clients are like puzzle solvers searching for missing pieces.

They know they have a challenge, but they might not realize that an architect can be their solution.

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Imagine you're a problem-solving wizard.

You’re ready to assist these clients with your magical architectural skills.

It's like offering them the final piece of their puzzle to create a complete and harmonious picture.

To connect with clients in the "Problem-Aware" zone, show them how your expertise can solve their specific challenges.

Share your stories of how you've helped others overcome similar obstacles.

Show them a road map that leads to their desired destination.

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(Just like this article you are reading right now)

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Use clear examples and relatable situations to explain how your architectural solutions can make their lives easier and more enjoyable.

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When you talk to clients in the "Problem-Aware" zone, be empathetic and understanding.

Don’t be a dic$.

Put yourself in their shoes, acknowledging their challenges and concerns.

Avoid any negative or dismissive behavior that could be off-putting.

Treating them with respect and kindness not only fosters a positive connection but also sets the stage for meaningful conversations.

Your aim is to be a supportive guide, and help them navigate their issues with your architectural expertise.

By demonstrating sincere compassion, you create a foundation of trust that can lead to fruitful collaborations.

It's like being a supportive friend who listens and offers valuable advice.

Use your words to assure them that you're here to provide the missing piece they've been searching for.

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3. The Curious Zone: Guiding the Curious Clients

Now, let's explore the "Curious" zone.

It’s a place where clients are like explorers, wondering if an architect can make a difference in their world.

They're not completely sure, but they're interested to know more.

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Think of these clients as curious kids peeking into a treasure chest.

They're intrigued by what's inside, but they're not sure if it's worth opening the lid.

Your job is to create content that piques their curiosity and answers their questions.

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Imagine you're writing a story that captures their attention.

You could share articles, videos, or even social media posts.

Talk about how architecture can transform spaces.

And use simple words and clear examples to explain the magic you can bring.

Just like a tour guide in a new city, you're showing them around the world of architecture.

You're highlighting the amazing places they can visit and the exciting experiences they can have.

Make them feel like they're taking a journey with you.

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When you communicate with clients in the "Curious" zone, be friendly and approachable.

It's like talking to a new friend who wants to learn more about your adventures.

Encourage them to ask questions and explore further.

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4. The Aware Zone: Reaching the Ready-to-Engage Clients

Let's focus on the "Aware" zone.

It's like a zone where clients are already waving their hands and saying, "Hey, I need an architect!"

These are the clients who know they want your architectural magic to transform their spaces.

To connect with these clients, show them your treasure chest of previous work and success stories.

Imagine you're telling them exciting tales of how you turned dull spaces into breathtaking wonders.

Share pictures of your completed projects, like a superhero showing off their super feats.

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These success stories help these clients see the fantastic things you can do.

They get a glimpse of how their spaces could transform with your help.

It's like showing them a sneak peek of a movie – they can't wait to see more.

When you talk to clients in the "Aware" zone, use words that reassure them.

Tell them you understand their needs and are ready to make their dreams come true.

It's like speaking the same language and making them feel comfortable.

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5. The Engaged Stage: Transforming Visions into Reality

This is where the magic happens.

Where potential clients are not only aware of their architectural needs but are fully invested in the journey with you.

It's like finding a perfect dance partner, moving in harmony toward a shared goal.

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In this stage, your role transcends that of a traditional architect.

You become a confidant, a visionary, and a creative collaborator.

It's like crafting a masterpiece together, combining your architectural expertise with their unique aspirations.

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Communication becomes a symphony of ideas.

You listen attentively, tuning in to their desires and requirements.

You share your insights and expertise, guiding them through the process with confidence and clarity.

It's like a duo of minds working in perfect harmony to shape spaces that reflect their vision.

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Trust is the cornerstone of the "Engaged" stage.

Clients feel assured that you understand their goals and are dedicated to making them a reality.

A mutual understanding that deepens with every interaction.

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Your commitment to their project creates a bond that extends beyond mere business.

It's a partnership built on shared aspirations.

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As you navigate the Engaged stage, keep the lines of communication open and transparent.

Discuss every detail, address any concerns, and celebrate milestones together.

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In the end, this stage isn't just about completing a project.

It's about creating an experience.

You're not only crafting spaces.

You're crafting memories, emotions, and a lasting impact on your clients' lives.

Do you feel me?

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Tailoring Your Approach: Finding the Right Path

So, we've already explored the different zones of the Awareness Matrix.

Now it's time to become a master navigator.

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How?

Tailor your approach

Start by identifying which zone your potential clients are in.

  • Are they waving their hands in the "Aware" zone,
  • peeking with curiosity in the "Curious" zone,
  • going about their business in the "Unaware" zone,
  • or seeking a solution in the "Problem-Aware" zone?

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Tailor your approach to each awareness zone, and speak the language of your clients.

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Adjust the message

Once you've pinpointed their zone, adjust your message to match their needs.

Use words and examples that resonate with their level of awareness.

You need to speak their dialect and make them feel comfortable.

Think of yourself as a guide, leading them through the landscape of architecture.

Show them the sights that matter most to them, whether it's the beauty of completed projects or the solutions to their challenges.

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When you approach clients based on their awareness level, you’ll have a personalized key to their hearts. They'll feel understood and valued, increasing the chances of building a strong connection.

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What did I learn?

There are many key takeaways that I learned when playing with the Awareness Matrix.

But if I had to resume into 5-6 key points, they would be:

  • The Customer's Awareness Matrix is like finding different players in a game of hide and seek.
  • In the "Aware" zone, clients already want your architectural expertise. Show them your success stories and make them feel confident that you're the right architect for the job.
  • The "Curious" zone is full of potential clients who want to learn more. Create engaging content to spark their interest and help them see the value of your architectural expertise.
  • The "Unaware" zone holds potential clients who haven't yet realized the benefits of architectural expertise. Show them the wonderful opportunities that they will discover once they buy your stuff.
  • The "Problem-Aware" zone holds clients who are looking for solutions. Showcase how your architectural expertise can solve their challenges and help them create spaces that bring joy and functionality.
  • Tailor your approach to each awareness zone, and speak the language of your clients. It helps you build rapport and makes them more receptive to your message.

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Conclusions

As you apply the Matrix, it's like unlocking a new level in a game.

This Awareness Matrix is going to be your compass, guiding you towards connecting with clients on a deeper level.

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As you move forward, be adaptable and open to refining your approach.

The Matrix isn't a one-size-fits-all solution.

It's a versatile tool that evolves with your journey.

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You've now gained the treasure map of the Customer's Awareness Matrix.

Imagine yourself as a coach, who empowers your clients to make informed decisions about their spaces.

Each interaction will become an opportunity to engage and inspire your clients.

Use that opportunity to help each one of your customers.

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You're not just an architect.

You're a guide, a source of inspiration, and a problem solver, all rolled into one.

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My tip

🎓 Understanding the different zones and tailor your approach to your customers with the Audience – Awareness Matrix Challenge. It will equip you with the knowledge to navigate the seas of client engagement.

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I hope you found it useful.

And you make a ton of new customers.

And remember…

Have fun ✌🏼

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