A recent attention-getting article at Houzz.com offers three opinions on how to recognize when a client is a good fit. As part of their new “Pro Panel” series, a landscape designer, an interior designer, and an architect describe what they look for in a dream client. Now, while the guidance offered certainly has value, it merely scratches the surface of designer marketing tips for defining the ideal client.In a previous post, subtitled Do You Know Your Ideal Client Profile? we offered quite a few tips designed to help you sketch the types of people who would best respond to your marketing approach for interior design services. While each of the suggestions we offered then has real value, they were somewhat general and slightly impersonal in nature. In today’s post, we would like to offer a more nuanced, individualized profile of the potential clients with whom you would most like to work.Of course, it goes without saying that your ideal client must be local; should both need and want your services, and is willing to pay you for them. Beyond that, however, the “perfect client” will also be a joy to work with. They will be the type of client whose personality meshes well with your own and will be someone you love to work with more than any other.Because, after all, you don’t want to work with just anyone. You want to work with people you LOVE and who bring you joy.Ideal Client Personality ProfileIn a perfect world, every client (and potential client) would match your description of perfect. But, while the world we live in is certainly not perfect and you will be forced to work with design clients you would rather not if you set your sights on perfection you are far more likely to reach that goal more often.As your guide, you might want to remember this quote from famed football coach Vince Lombardi:“Perfection is not attainable but, if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.”While not a “wish-list” for a client who does not exist, your personality profile of an excellent client might then include:
- Open and receptive to new ideas – Even clients who possess a firm idea of what they would like their space to become can be open to a different approach to getting there. Always remember that the space you're working in belongs to them, not you and that the ultimate goal is to make them comfortable and happy. As long as this is top-of-mind for you at all times, being creative with your ideas for giving them what they want will be appreciated, rather than resented.
- Positive mindset and attitude – Negative energy affects all who feel it. Working with clients who are constantly pessimistic or gloomy will suck the energy right out of you. Instead, look for people who are eager to work with you and who possess a positive outlook on the potential outcome. People like this are far more likely to accept a creative approach to reaching their goals and will be much more accepting of your ideas. You will also be better able to maintain your own positive attitude when working with them face-to-face.
- Realistic aspirations, goals, and dreams – Finding clients who grasp the limitations of what is possible, for them and for you, may be one of the most important characteristics of your ideal client personality profile. These folks understand that working within certain parameters, such as budgetary limits, time constraints, and the size of the space to be remodeled, will determine the final product. The client who can accept all of these, and more, can definitely be placed in the “excellent” category.
- Open about worries and fears – without being overly negative. We’ve spoken about client fear before but, the client who is open enough to share their worries with you will also be more accepting of your explanations and attempts to calm them. Simply be as open with them as they’ve been with you and freely share your thoughts and experiences with overcoming these fears with other clients. This will create a win/win situation for both of you.
- Interested in the process – without being controlling or overbearing. Working with clients who are willing to learn from you can be energizing and encouraging. Since these folks enjoy the process as much as the result, just like you do, they have fewer fears to overcome. This will make the job enjoyable for both of you.
- Likable and outgoing – Working with people you like makes any job more enjoyable and fun. The more you like the person, the harder you will work for them and, the fewer problems they will create for you.
Remember, your ideal client personality profile is all about YOU. It is an outline of the types of people you would MOST like to work with and, while not every client or prospect will match every characteristic you develop for them, it’s OK to be selfish and hope for the best here. After all, if you can’t enjoy the design work you're doing, and the people for whom you're doing it, what’s the point?Looking for more new designer marketing tips, design trends, products, and ideas? Get in touch with TD Fall today.