Nobody said it would be easy to become your own boss and especially working as your own boss. Besides the marketing, accounting and fun projects, there are first of all those design consultations to succeed to get a job.
How to master the initial interior design consultation?
Set up a meeting.
For a design consultation it’s best to set up a meeting. Once you called your client back, make sure you get the correct address and an overall idea of what the job is about. The worst is to step into a meeting and having no idea what it’s going to be about. It doesn’t hurt to ask a couple more questions beforehand. If you client feels uncomfortable to talk about the budget over the phone, fee that question for the meeting.
Send a follow up.
Once you set up an appointment, make sure that you follow up with your client about the meeting. This can be right after the phone conversation or the day before. This way, you make sure that the meeting day and time is understood on both sides. It’s also important to follow up with your client after the meeting. Guide your client what he/she will expect and what will be done next during your design consultation, but it doesn’t hurt to outline that in an email again.
Most important, for any meeting, be prepared. Make a list of things you need for a design consultation if you attend to forget things. I have 3 most important things: My phone, something to write and sketch and my measurement tape. It will help you being prepared for any questions your client may have.
Don’t try to be someone else. Be true to yourself. Your client hired you because he/she is interested in YOU and your design, not someone else’s.
With your own energy and drive you will succeed and the client will be more then happy to have met you.
Guide your client.
Guide your client wherever you can. This meeting might be your client’s first design consultation and might not have the same experience as you do.
Everything that seem very usual to you, might not seem usual to your client.
Guiding your client includes as well making sure that the whole design process is understood and agreed. In lots of cases the designer has a certain way of design process, which might not be the perfect way for all potential clients. Which make me switch to our next and last point below.
Communicate with your client.
Figure out what exactly your client’s needs are while you are on site. This is the moment, where you can throw every single question in space and hopefully get your information you need. This is very important to get to know your client and his goals. Your goal is your client’s goal and a smooth process without any discrepancy. Make sure you and your client are on one page before your start the design process.
Write up an agreement.
After your consultation and a follow up email it’s important to write out all the goals and statements in an agreement, that have been discussed. That agreement will be a guidance for your client and yourself. It includes a description of the design process, how much work and hours you will apply to that job and your wage. This needs to be agreed and best signed by your client, before your design process starts.
I hope you enjoyed my little statement. Comment below if you have any questions or anything to add? Thank you.