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Best career advice for interior designers: never share your discount with clients!

Doing so opens a pandora’s box of issues and you’re setting up a potential nightmare for both you and your client.

The first issue with sharing your discount with a client is it tells them that you’re desperate for a job. It telegraphs to them that you’ll do (nearly) anything to get a job.

Plus, not only have you given them the upper hand in the working relationship, but you’ve also set the precedent for your boundaries to get run over in other ways.

The next major issue: it’s not financially sustainable.

When you sell a product to clients (furniture, rugs, drapery treatments, or bathroom fixtures), you’re placing your reputation (and profit) on the line.

If you’ve been in the business for a few years, then you know that we always hope the vendor will stand for the quality of the product… but it isn’t a guarantee.

There are times where you won’t get any customer support, product replacements, or even some simple help from the vendor; they may instead just ignore your requests and blow you off.

This means you have to put your money where your mouth is and do whatever is necessary to make your client happy.

Think about it…

When clients are talking about their experience of working with you to others, are they going to explain how your vendor let them down?

Of course not!

They’re going to talk about how you didn’t take care of them and something didn’t work.

How do you protect yourself and your reputation?

Create a savings account on the side from your purchasing fee when you sell a product.

Not only will it cover this type of situation with your clients, but also ensures your referral base gets stronger as you’ll be known for taking care of your clients.

Don’t underestimate the importance of your fee.

It may seem like a little thing at the moment, but no matter if it’s a bathroom faucet or a $10,000 dining room table, but the best career advice for interior designers is to have that purchasing fee margin so you:

  1. Can take care of your clients
  2. Run your business like a real business
  3. Avoid financial collapse because of a vendor issue
  4. Last, but not least, because you deserve to be paid well!

You absolutely deserve to be paid well for your creativity and your concierge-level service. Your creativity comes directly from your heart, and your focus on all the details of a project changes your client’s lives for the better.

Setting boundaries can be difficult, along with ensuring all the pieces of how your business can support your bigger reasons for living this life.

If you’re struggling to get your arms around the details of the business or want greater support in reaching your goals so you can support those around you — let’s talk.

CLICK HERE for a complimentary Clarity Session with an IDBA Coach.

This session will help you understand what challenges might be in your way, or even stopping you, in reaching your goals along with the best next step for you to take in business and life.

Until we talk, remember to design something beautiful and get paid what you’re worth!

Author: Terri

Terri breaks down the walls of secrecy by sharing her 30 years of professional interior design and remodeling experience to help interior designers work smarter, not harder, and get paid what they’re really worth.

She provides private and group coaching to interior designers who want both a financially sustainable business and a life outside of work.

Terri teaches wealth consciousness and business systems that simplify and streamline their business processes.

Terri received her NCIDQ certification in 1993, and is a professional member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and Interior Design Society (IDS). She also received the 2000 ASID Interior Design Award of Excellence and holds an Arizona Contractor’s License.