Have you ever contemplated hiring an interior designer? If you are considering it, I can imagine just how daunting it is to hand over the keys to your kingdom to a semi-stranger. In essence when I meet a new client, I am subconsciously saying “Do you trust me to enter into your home, understand your vision, execute your vision and achieve all of this within budget?”
The client-designer relationship is at the core of any successful interior design project. While some clients are more open to being led than others, every client wants to know that they can trust you to respect their wants and needs. I have never had a client say, “Here is my checkbook, do whatever you want!” Ha! Instead initial meetings with new clients are opportunities to build and earn their trust. All professions innately build trust; doctors achieve it by keeping your medical information confidential. Designers foster it by listening intently to their client’s desires, as well as, by creating an ambiance of openness and collaboration.
The Heart of a Teacher
One of the unorthodox ways I work on trust building is by educating my clients on interior design and the process. I recently discussed this practice during an interview with LuAnn Nigara, a successful business owner, award winning design professional and talented podcaster who is highly esteemed in the interior design industry. In her popular podcast, A Well-Designed Business, LuAnn invites design professionals to discuss their best practices in an effort to inspire others to positively grow their businesses. She has a rich library of valuable insights from some of the greatest minds in the industry.
Reaching back into my prior career as an educator, I love to teach others what I know. This is the reason why I blog and also guest blog on Tastefully Inspired Blog. While I know it may seem anti-business, this approach works for me. One of my favorite things that LuAnn said is, “You know what you know and you take it for granted that others know it as well.” The truth is that my clients don’t know what I know about design which is why they are hiring me in the first place! Throughout the project, my goal is to go beyond superficial explanations to help my clients buy into my professional recommendations. I know that I personally need to know a good bit of information before I can buy into something and I respect that my clients probably need the same.
One of my former clients described me as a person with high integrity and that was one of the greatest compliments I have ever received. Beyond presenting a space that wows, I want my clients to know that when they hand those keys over to me, they can trust me.
It was such an honor to chat with LuAnn about how I use my teaching background and my role as a blogger to build credibility with clients. Here are some of the topics we discussed during the show:
- Learn how you can use an education degree to help you and your client have a better relationship
- Find out the three things that should always be included in a blog
- Learn the secret to Mark and Karina’s key to success on the blog they have together, Tastefully Inspired
- Learn what the key component to the final product of a blog is
- Understand the importance of balance of family is important and how this works out for Karina and Mark
- Hear why having a schedule for a blog is not always best
- Discover how to enhance your learning from this episode
I invite you to listen to the entire podcast, below. As always, please feel free to send comments my way!
Until next time,