To all my Interior Designer mates out there: Do you have a hard time selling a concept to a client after working on it for days?
At some point during our career, we [Interior Designers] have a hard time selling a concept to our client, especially the ones that ask us to give them an idea on how the space is going to look, how much it’s going to cost and how long it’s going to take.
It seems that these three questions are the obstacles in the Interior Design Industry.
First, not only do you have to put a presentation together but you also have to make sure that it is exactly what they want, therefore, you have to gather all the information in the beginning. Second, you start working on a concept or an idea, so you have to do some research up front. Last but not least you should have an idea of the project cost and how long its going to take. So lets say you never done a similar project in the past, you have to contact your contractor and discuss the project, they might need to visit the site. You get the point – I can sit here and write about all the things you have to do to present the concept and sell it to your client and at the end you hope for a YES.
Well, if you find yourself going through the same exact steps and you are not getting to YES, here are a few reasons and steps you have to take prior to taking a client.
Before you even consider approaching a prospective client to sell your idea, be sure you’re clear in the following areas:
- Know your market. This means gathering as much feedback as possible on your own idea. Focus group testing, even among friends and family, is one good way. You should also compile data on similar and competing products/information on what’s out there, what’s selling and who’s producing it.
- Do some legwork. Do some Programming on the zip code and the area code that you want to work in. Make sure your programming is accurate and be prepared to deal with your targeted clientele.
- Look into production. Learning about the production process can be extremely helpful, particularly if your idea calls for unique materials or unusual design.
All the businesses of the world depend on three basic factors:
- Idea or concept
- Production or execution
- Marketing and Sales
Likewise, in the business of Interior Design, an Interior Designer has to undergo all three steps in order to earn from his/her work. The Internet is filled with information relating to the first two steps of business in Interior designing. In this post, however, we are going to discuss the third part of the business i.e. Marketing or Sale of your product.
In the business of Interior Design designing (both freelance and company based), selling your work is very important, as it completes the business cycle and you get the reward of your creativity and hard work. Designers, however, don’t pay much attention to the selling-factor of their work and take it for granted most of the time. Although, selling your work to the client is pretty difficult, but by keeping the following things in mind and taking a few wise steps, you can get your designs sold in quite a hassle-free way.
It is quite a general perception among the designer community that if you have understood your client and project well enough and put lots of hard work in it, then your design should sell itself. Here is where you are mistaken. A good design and even the best concepts are nothing if you don’t y advocate them in front of the client. Walking your client through the concept of the design and indulging in a discussion always has a stronger impact and a higher probability for approval.
Following are some important tricks of the trade that might help you get your design sold:
Understanding the nature of your client is very important for selling your design work properly. It can be very tricky, because most clients do not show their true colors until you present your work to them. Your contact person can be your source and you can ask him about the taste of the decision-maker.
Also, It is highly important to know who will be reviewing your work, and it is equally important for you to make sure that the one who will review your work ‘should’ be the decision-maker himself (and not his assistant or any other colleague). Doing this will help you tailor your presentation according to your target person and can influence your design decisions as well.
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