Many designers have a hard time with the idea of selling their services and try to avoid it because they don’t want their clients to think they are “pushy”.
And I get it, sometimes selling feels sleazy; like the car salesman who didn’t take no for an answer, the telemarketer who won’t stop calling, or the over-the-top commercials that seem to take over our favorite television shows. But this kind of selling is different than what we do as designers.
You provide clients with designs that improve their lives. Your designs allow people to relax at the end of the day, increase the beauty of their surrounding and stay in their homes for an extra 15-20 years longer than they would otherwise. And the only way to get great jobs and create designs that matter (the kind that changes lives for the better) is to actively sell your concepts and ideas to potential clients.
The good news is there’s an easy way to sell your work AND feel good about it.
First, think about what you provide your clients with your designs. For example, I know that my clients are consistently thrilled with the results of my designs and that I can help them become happier in their spaces…but I can’t do anything until they say yes to my offer. So If I have to give them a little push or incentive to get there, it’s OK because they’ll be so very glad that I did.
Next, visualize that you’re offering the gift of a beautiful, functional home that your client will find pleasure and comfort in for years to come. Keep this thought in mind while you listen carefully to what your client wants so you can clarify and secure your relationship by repeating back their requests in their words.
What is the easiest way to do this?
“So you would be happy if your new bathroom had higher countertops and faucet handles that are easy to hold and turn?”
“And it’d be good for the new shower to have easy access because you want to remove a curb to step over?”
“You also want a large bench across the back of the shower, with 2 hand held sprayers on the wall?”
Finally, phrase your questions/replies in a way that “yes” is the easiest and most likely answer. Just like above, the more yes answers you get along the way, the closer you are to the big yes at the end. This way you can ask for sale simply by asking for agreement.
Here’s what to say:
“I can deliver that bathroom for you and make it beautiful as well, staying within your budget of $28,000 including my $4,100 design fee. Shall we get started?” Yes
Sometimes it’s hard for clients to see the big picture and they look to you for guidance – to help them understand what the design will do for them, their lives, and overall happiness. But the only way you can make that impact is by telling them and helping them get to yes. Remember that you’re an agent of change and providing clients with want they want and need is your profession.
There’s still time to join me at the 2015 Designing For Dollars event