Why Your "Eye For Design" Isn't EnoughJun 10, 2022
How are we all feeling after the past 3 years? Bit tired?
The interior design industry has been booming but it has been against a backdrop of global supply chain issues, fluctuating lead times, contractor shortages and rising inflation.
It's safe to say your clients need more from you than just an "eye for design".
- They need you to lead and coordinate others.
- To remain calm in the face of uncertainty.
- To project professionalism and confidence.
- To show up with integrity and transparency.
This isn't about having a contract and a nice letterhead.
It's about being the sort of person who knows how to price their services properly.
Who is capable of having a difficult conversation.
Who is experienced enough to lead themselves and their client through the choppy waters of a many-months-long project.
Who can foresee problems and craft expert solutions that go way beyond a curtain header detail.
Do you learn how to do this stuff in design school? No.
Do you need to learn how to do this stuff. Absolutely.
Because here's the good news -
Better clients are willing to pay MORE for expertise.
Yes they need to buy into your aesthetic but the differentiating factor in whether they choose to hire you will be your expertise and integrity. THIS is the source of your power in the buy-sell relationship and beyond into project delivery.
We're not born knowing how to do this stuff. Expertise is built.
I know what it takes to run a successful interiors business. I've been in the trenches where you've been. I've spent days on the phone to DHL chasing up lost deliveries. Experienced the horror of a mis-placed order and the knock-on effect on the project timeline (and even worse my own bank balance). Had a builder screaming at me that it wasn't his fault he wasn't there for the delivery he agreed to be there for. Had clients change their mind for the gazillionth time.
At the time it feels soul-sapping but all this experience moulds you into the leader you are now.
And it's this experience, just as much as your creativity, that your clients need.
So when you're heading into your next presentation or pitch meeting to a prospective client, ask yourself -
- What images can I show them that will resonate with the brief they've set for their project?
- How can I confidently and transparently present my pricing structure?
- What stories can I share that demonstrate my professionalism and competence in solving problems and in managing projects and people?
- How can I demonstrate that I'm able to listen to their desires and fears? And what can I say that will communicate that I understand and will work in a way that feels collaborative and supportive?
Your clients are looking to you for all of this and - if you can demonstrate it - will be so delighted to have you on their team.
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