It’s one of the many challenges interior designers and decorators face in growing their business: Getting clients (in this case, homeowners) to value what you do so they pay accordingly. It’s a challenge because – to tell you the truth – they don’t really understand what you do and all that goes into doing it.
I attended a seminar at SOFA (Source of Furniture & Accessories) www.visitsofa.com a few weeks ago. I’ve been told that I’m a really good note-taker – so here are my notes!
Not an interior designer or decorator?
That’s OK, plenty of value for you too:
- If you work with a designer or decorator, these notes will help you understand their challenges (i.e. THEIR raw CE2.0 data) and may even spark some ideas about how you can help them. Oh, and please feel free to pass this along to those you know.
- These concepts are easily transferable to anyone providing services to a homeowner. Can you find the fit with your service?
Topic: The Value Proposition: How To Have Clients Value What You Do
Speaker: Glen Peloso (Peloso Alexander Interiors among other credits)
Sponsors: Green Mountain Soapstone and Lorocque Custom Wall Beds
Key messages from the session:
1. What you’re worth starts with YOU valuing what you do.
2. The Client-Designer Relationship is a R-E-L-A-T-I-O-N-S-H-I-P. At the heart of it is communication.
<JoyfulProfit observation: A relationship takes two. Both client and supplier need clearly defined roles in advance and agreement on them.>
3. A home is a reflection of who a person is, their identity and their status in society. Needless to say, this is EXTREMELY important to an individual. So not surprising, a ton of emotions are packed into the relationship you have with a homeowner.
4. Clients are buying an IDEA of what the space can be. They are paying for a designer’s creative experience, not the build.
<JoyfulProfit observation: Absolute need to have a solid relationship with the build side (i.e. contractors and trades) and to help the homeowner understand where one’s services ends and the other’s begins. Despite what you may think, homeowners are not clear on this. It’s up to you to help them understand.>
5. Homeowners are confused about what things cost. Don’t be shy about your fees. Set the price and be consistent. Your fees should be constant or increasing.
6. Your advice is worth something! You have credentials. You belong to a profession. You are a professional.
7. If a potential client has trouble with your consulting fee, it’s a foreshadow of what’s to come.
8. Educate clients on your process and set some ground rules. Your process is specific to you – be clear about it. It is not up for negotiation. Do not allow your client to ‘play’ with it. Think about it, do we negotiate fees or fee structures with our doctor or dentist?
9. Ask that your clients trust you.
<JoyfulProfit observation: Why is it so hard for clients to trust you? Ahhh…that’s the raw CE2.0 data for you to uncover! A helpful hint: When you are showcasing your experience and expertise with past projects, include not only before and after pics – but pictures of the ‘during’ phase too. This is an easy way to provide the education part at the same time as instilling trust.>
10. Don’t share your resources and relationships – they are worth $$!
11. Custom creations – customize everything you can, then you eliminate the comparison shopping a client might feel inclined to do.
Overall a fantastic session. Jamie Alexander joined Glen for the Q&A portion of the seminar. They are true leaders in the design community, with high integrity to elevating the professionalism of the industry so collectively YOU all can get the props your expertise deserves!
Remember, your homeowner clients are dropping hints about their raw CE2.0 data all over the place. If your receiver is not tuned to the frequency of this data, you can’t hear it. It’s that simple.
Ask yourself if it’s time for a tune-up.
Enjoy all that comes your way today (because within it lies raw CE2.0 data), and until next time, we wish you good business success.