Design Strategy - 5 Tips To "Yes"
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Designing a new space is expensive....How to get to Yes
Whether you are working with a client on their dream home, a business partner on an investment property, a business person on a commercial property, or a spouse....There comes that moment of decision and some things get redlined.
That is very disappointing as a designer because the item(s) would not be in the scheme if you did not believe it were necessary. The trick is...how do you persuade the board room? Or your spouse? Or your business partner? It takes forethought and a willingness to balance. I have some tips to help you in this process - professional or DIY - you may find this useful.
Also, here is a prior article I wrote about the presentation process and getting to success: Presentation for Success
Five Tips For Getting To Yes
1) Like the image up above and below - you see wall treatments. Wall treatments are necessary in some instances and provide a needed layer to a lackluster space. Paint is the least expensive way to do this but we often call wall treatments "feature walls". It is that added thing that elevates the room and design to a higher level. You know this. But it's an expense the person signing the check might not understand.
2) When coming up with an overall scheme, make sure you are able to back up your choices and explain why it's important. Phrases like "This will immediately set the tone for the property" "This is an easy upgrade for resale" "This is a worthwhile investment because this large wall requires detail to balance the space" Explain. There are many ways to say it but each selection should have support information so you can explain the "why" of it. Most people just don't see it like a designer. They see the bottom line and you need to sell it to them.
3) When they love the presentation, then see the proposal and gasp..That is when you get into action. "Every time I use a detail similar to this, my clients say that is the thing that everyone comments on" That is a big seller. It is absolutely true or I would not use it. It is the thing they never considered and the best decision they made. I get that over and over.
4) Describe the unique qualities the treatment or item will lend itself to their space...making it all their own. For instance, a local artisan creates an amazing product....Let the client know its one of a kind and hand made by a local artisan. People love a story. When something in their home has a story, that adds depth and interest they can share with their guests. In a commercial setting," you are exposing a local artisan to many by using this product in your property". That goes a long way...especially if the company is from out of town and they are supporting local trades and artisans.
5) Lastly, don't take a fit. Stay calm...otherwise, you have lost. Stay in control. Here is how:
If they simply cannot embrace the cost of something...work with them. Maybe look to use less expensive rugs, fabrics, etc. If you truly believe in your design, you will successfully sell it but you have to be flexible and come up with solutions right on the spot. People need to feel like they have a "win" too - especially when they are spending large sums of money. Let them win a bit.
It is so important to take your time...tell the story. Let them fall in love with the ideas. But move forward if they aren't budging and make a compromise somewhere else.
If this has been helpful follow the Friday 5 blog - tips, inspiration, and strategies in the world of interior design, for creative entrepreneurs and those just getting started.