In the new 2016 Houzz State of the Industry report, building professionals of all types, but especially interior designers, cite as a major challenge consumer concerns about costs. Although the economy continues to improve, employment is up, and home prices are increasing in most areas of the country, consumers remain cautious. Understandably so, since every day brings news of some new red flag popping up somewhere in the global economy or corporate America. At the same time, other industry reports show considerable pent-up demand for home renovation, and that suggests there is business to be had if consumers are approached in the right way.
While concerns about cost are legitimate, they can also mask other concerns a prospective client may have. After all, everything has a cost. The issue is not cost itself but how much one has to pay to get a certain result, whether that’s a new smartphone, car, garment or house. We all know that consumers today think professional interior design results cost less than they actually do, so they may be hesitant when faced with the facts. Rather than trying to talk to them about budgets, discounts or value for dollar, talk to them about results. Presumably you are selling a customized, professional service, so show them the difference between the results you will deliver and what they see on design TV shows and DYI websites. Clients are actually willing to spend more than they originally planned when they see the results they will get and how those results will improve their quality of life.
Don’t be dismissive of clients concerns or their budgets. Work with them to find a balance between their means and their expectations. If you’re uncertain about how to have that conversation, let’s talk. I’ve helped dozens of designers to win more clients and, in many cases, increase their fees as well. Contact me to learn more.