Question:

What are the two most important questions that a designer should ask a potential client?

Answer:

It is hard to provide you with just two answers because there are many important aspects that you need to cover but, I will go for my favorites. One, why she thinks she needs a designer, and two, what is the budget will get you the most telling information.

Let me explain why…

Asking her why she needs a designer will expose what it is that she cannot do herself, or very likely, what she had a problem with before. These questions get to the emotional aspect of why she will hire you. Knowing both the problem and the answer lets you set yourself up as the solution.

When you ask about the budget you get into the practical “nuts and bolts” of the situation. Most clients do not know what their budget is, or don’t want to tell you for various reasons. When you invite a prospective client into the “budget on the fly “ conversation you start building your credibility, and showing your expertise immediately. You are creating a scenario where the client is saying “yes” to you multiple times. This is a very soft but very powerful selling tool, as well as an indicator that tells you this job is about Pottery Barn.

Or will it be about Holly Hunt? Wouldn’t you like to know right away?

To learn more about how to create a “Budget on the Fly” with your potential client, see Designing for Dollars – How to Get Paid Twice as Much: Secrets to Winning Over New Clients While Doubling Your Income.

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