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Qualifying Potential Clients on the First Phone Call

Your phone may be ringing off the hook with new clients and job leads, but how many are “warm” referrals from past clients or your referral partners instead of cold calls from Houzz?

While it’s exciting to get leads from your Houzz listings, these leads are completely unqualified and it’s important to determine if they’re a true potential client before offering a free visit for the potential project.

The key to gathering all the information you need before deciding to meet with them is having a good new client interview template. Here are some tips on how to go about this:

Start by asking how they found you. If they’re a referral be sure to make note of who sent them so that you can thank them later. If they came from the internet, it’s good to make note that the marketing strategies you’ve created are working.

Next, ask questions about the project – the location and address, scope of work they want to address, if they’ve ever worked with a designer before, etc. Ask questions to get a feel for what they’re looking for and to also start establishing a relationship with them.

Then, query what they’ve been looking at and whom they’re talking to. You want to know which stores they’re shopping locally and via the internet, and if they’ve interviewed other designers and/or are talking with contractors.

Once you’ve covered the basics and you decide that you want to move forward with them as a client, offer a 2 hour working appointment and charge between $300 – $800 for the visit. This will let you talk freely about your design ideas and their project before making an offer to complete it.

The bonus is that all the valuable work done at this appointment can be used to go forward on the project, if they decide to continue with you.

If not, the client has moved ahead on their project and you were well paid for your time. (And there is NO HOMEWORK)

One whole session of the 2015 Designing for Dollars LIVE event is all about the first phone call with a prospective client and I’ll share my First Call Template with the attending designers.

Look forward to sharing more with you then or stay tuned for a special offer after we return from High Point!

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