fear of designer disruption

Interior Design Tips: Dealing with Client Fear

Did you know… Fear is the number one reason for avoiding interior design changes: fear of cost; fear of disruption; fear of not loving the result?The recent glut of TV decorating shows is good news and bad news for interior designers, boosting the interest and confidence in home decor improvement for many homeowners. First, the good news: they are inspiring. “Wow!” the homeowner thinks, “just look what can be done!”The bad news – and we all know this: the results the design show displays are not nearly as simple, easy, and inexpensive as the producers would like their viewers to think.What people are really afraid of is taking a risk or making a blunder, so that, sometimes, they never get going at all.So, how can you overcome the overly-optimistic impression these types of shows can leave on potential clients?

  • Design Fear #1: Cost of interior design

Being realistic and honest with your clients is the key to overcoming the fear of cost. Whether the project stays within budget will depend on how thoroughly you’ve thought it through for them. If you have done your research on what things cost, requested quotes from contractors, and truly nailed the scope of the project, you can expect to be within a realistic range that your client can accept.For the client, when it comes to implementing projects and keeping the dollars in alignment with their intentions, it all comes back to focus: understanding what is involved so that they can select what they want, within their budget, without getting carried away with add-ons. As their designer, it’s your responsibility to rein them in when they begin to expect more than you’ve promised.Solution: Plan the project thoroughly, know your parameters and limitations and do your research so that you have a realistic budget to work within.

  • Design Fear #2: Disrupting their lives

Many clients will worry about how much time the project is going to take, how their lives will be affected. It’s important to allow time for planning, for thinking through the project, and to help your clients answer questions like, “What is it that I really want this room to do for me? How will we use the room? How will it function? How will it feel? How will it look?”It’s also important to help them understand the time it takes to complete the different aspects of the project, such as: which contractors will be employed and how their schedules may affect the time frame for completion. A good tactic to use is to schedule the project with some buffer time. Look at the sequencing of things that need to happen to complete the project, and schedule that work accordingly.Solution: Think ahead, make a solid plan, and offer full disclosure to your clients – always keeping their expectations, and your own, realistic.

  • Design Fear #3: Will they love the result?

Though third on our list, this fear is pretty high on your client’s list, simply because they want the results to reflect the time, energy, stress, and resources that they’ve invested in creating the space of their dreams.After all, it’s their home – they want it to look, feel, and function according to their own vision and preferences, not yours, however, beautiful and beneficial your intentions.Solution: Again, asking the right questions and offering the right answers, while outlining realistic choices and expectations, are the keys to ensuring your clients will love the work you plan and implement for them.Looking for more interior design marketing tips? Get in touch with TD Fall today.