Have you ever had a client ask you for more than what you included in your Letter of Agreement? It happens all the time!
You wrote a good agreement. It lists three possible space plans, and you have already provided them. It also has three possible selections for any given item, and you’ve also presented those. But somehow, your client doesn’t think they have enough to make a decision. We’re all familiar with this because it happens all the time.
What to Do When a Client Wants More Than What’s in Your Letter of Agreement
Some clients are good with just one selection. They just want you to do it, and we love that! Then, there are some people who need a couple of items to choose from, and that’s fine. Most people are too busy to have a whole lot of things to choose from, so they really don’t want to do that. But every now and then, you get a client with the mindset where they have to see everything before they make a decision. Now, what happens in that situation is that you need to stick to your boundaries. When they ask you for more, you very graciously, politely, and nicely say, “Sure, I’d be happy to do more for you; however, I have fulfilled all the pieces of my contract and used up all the time I allowed for that. So, if you’d like me to do some more, I’m happy to do so. I just need another five-hour time block that would be $750. Is that okay with you? “ Now, you just told them that you’ll do it, and what it costs. Mostly, you’ll get the response of, “Oh my goodness! I think we could make a decision with what we’ve got. That’s okay!”
The Importance of Sticking to Your Boundaries
People sometimes want to play with the decorator and keep going back and forth. So, when you stick to your boundaries, you’re really protecting your time. Plus, you’re helping them make better decisions. Because quite frankly, they don’t realize that you already looked at a thousand items to get to the three best ones. If you look at another thousand, it’s not going to be a thousand better ones. It’s going to be a thousand that aren’t quite as good. And that’s because you’ve already spent time looking at the good stuff. You could look at this as an upsell opportunity. When you stand by your boundaries and use a similar script when that situation comes up, you’re really protecting your time and worth. So, the best interior design business advice I can give you in this situation is to stand by your boundaries and say, “Yeah, I’d be happy to do so, but this is what it costs.” Now, the logical thing that will happen is that the client will decline. However, you can still direct them to make a choice out of the three you initially gave them. It’s going to lead to a better choice anyway, instead of researching it again and getting off track. And it will protect your time as well. Until next time, design something beautiful and get paid what you’re worth!