One thing that separates the pros from the novices in the Interior Design industry is knowing when to say NO! Sometimes even much sought after clients need to be shown the door (regardless of how much you might need the business).
DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME OR LOSE MONEY: Look out for these signs and be prepared to say ciao to your clients before the project even starts:
The couple doesn't agree. DON’T GO THERE! You are not a marriage counselor, mediator or therapist! Clients that bicker a lot will slow down your work (leading on to other sorts of problems) and generally create a bad feeling. One tip is to get your clients to fill in a design questionnaire, TOGETHER, before the first meeting. Surveys such as the online tool - Identistyler, will enable you to identify between those who just need some help communicating and consolidating those ideas, and those who would be better spending their money on a marriage counselor.
They try to get your price down in the first meeting: Yes, in the first stages you need to understand and agree on an overall budget, scope of project, and how you will be paid. But clients who are constantly questioning the price are usually going to give you trouble throughout the project. If they can't pin point a budget in your survey or initial fact-finding meeting, or at least discuss it openly, then it’s time to say "bye bye baby".
You are Interior Designer #4…Alarm bells should be ringing when your client starts telling you how the last 3 interior designers just didn’t understand / workout / charge appropriately etc, etc, etc. TREAD VERY CAUTIOUSLY; make sure the client knows what they actually want, and have an appropriate budget in mind. Again, on line surveys such as Identistyler are brilliant ways to get the clients to actually consolidate their ideas and objectives and be able to communicate them with you. I prefer to send them a survey before the meeting, so I don’t waste any of my time.
Turning down problematic clients means you don’t waste your time, energy or resources on projects that just aren't worth it for your business. Use a check list, an online survey, and most of all go with your gut and know when to say no!
Related Posts: Conducting a First Meeting with Clients; Home Design Software; Interior Design Tools