Business Building Tip: What your clients don’t know can hurt them – and you!

business building tipSmall business owners of all types spend a great deal of time on lead generation and client acquisition. This makes sense because virtually every “marketing expert” on the planet claims this is the best (or only) way to build a business. But, as an interior designer, you have a valuable business building resource you may be ignoring – your current clients.

In a recent article at, an online source for targeted, industry-specific news briefs, author Fred Berns makes a strong case for the value of building lasting relationships with existing clients. When you realize that satisfied clients have other needs that you can satisfy, the next logical step is to make yourself available to do so.

According to Berns, “Your current clients are your best ones. They’re the ones who know, trust and value you. They’re the ones most likely to refer you. And they’re the ones as interested in forging lasting partnerships as you are. Perhaps more so."

“They’re looking for a professional they know and trust to handle their future challenges. They know it is less time-consuming and expensive to develop a lasting relationship with a single firm. It’s in their best interest, as well as yours, to develop long-term relationships.”

When you think about it even briefly, this makes a great deal of sense. After all, if landing new design clients is difficult for you, imagine how difficult it might be for a homeowner or business owner to find a designer they can trust and whose vision corresponds with theirs.

Keeping Clients Interested in Your Design Services

When it comes to keeping existing clients interested in your interior design services, Berns offers a simple tip: use the “What about…” question. “No question leads to more sales than one with those two words,” he writes.

For example:

  • “What about your kitchen?”
  • “What about your vacation home?
  • “What about new furniture for the regional offices, too?”
  • “What about having us redesign all your hotel lobbies?”

While many clients will need additional services beyond a single project, very few will know the full range of design services you have to offer – unless you tell them.

In fact, they may have no idea that there is further work to be done. They are not the expert here, you are. It’s not their responsibility to know what you can do for them, it’s your responsibility to let them know.

According to Berns, current clients are the greatest asset you possess for building your design business and a hugely valuable resource for boosting your bottom line:

“A repeat customer spends an average of 67% more than a new one. The long-term value of each client is over 100 times the value of a single transaction. The cost of retaining an existing client is a mere 20% of what it costs to attract a new one.”

Also, “…the average company has a 1 in 14 chance of doing business with a prospect, but a 1 in 4 chance of working more with a customer.”

With numbers like these, it’s obvious that what your clients don’t about you know can hurt them – and you!

Looking for more business building tips for your design business, new home design trends, designer marketing tips, and product ideas? Get in touch with TD Fall today.