In our weekly Q & A calls here at Interior Design Business Academy, we’ve been discussing how clients aren’t quite behaving as we want them to these days. I want to talk about that more because I know many of us are dealing with that challenge.
I want to share a story with you that I call “Design by Default.” One of our designers worked on a remodel job and provided all the selections, but the client wasn’t making any choices. Unfortunately, you know how this story goes.
You present three or four good choices, and no decision gets made. You’re doing all the work, but you don’t have any specifications because there is no decision. Part of this remodel job was a specification for the sink. The research was done seven weeks ago, no decision was made, and the contractor just called yesterday needing a template for the sink.
Of course, the sink was never ordered because a choice wasn’t made. The result of this was “Design by Default.”
When the sink was finally ordered, there was a 60-day backorder, which isn’t uncommon these days. However, it would have been on time if the decision had been made when it was presented. They had to purchase what was in stock, which was a basic option. That’s okay, but you have to wonder why you’re doing this if that’s the endpoint.
It’s a frustrating situation all around. For the client, they’re not going to get the design they wanted. And for you, because you’re trying to do something right, but it’s not working because your client isn’t cooperating.
Watch the video above, where I explain in detail why it is crucial to set up the agreement correctly at the beginning to prevent this situation from happening. I explain how your client needs to understand their role in making decisions so that the project goes the way it’s supposed to. By having running rules in place from the start, they will know that they can’t simply blow off making essential decisions.
Your client’s responsibility is to make decisions in a timely manner to keep things on track, and your responsibility is to hold them accountable. You may need to be persistent because it’s your job to make it happen. Remember, “being nice” often isn’t going to get you anywhere, and you’re the one in charge.
Besides, if it all gets messed up, you will likely be the one thrown under the bus. But by setting up the rules of the game at the beginning and having an agreement in place, your projects will work out much better in the long run.
If you’d like to learn more about our education and coaching programs, join one of our coaches for a clarity call. It’s a fun and informative conversation where you can find out all the details and see if it’s a good fit for you. We’d be happy to talk with you and learn more about your design business.
Until next time, design something beautiful and get paid what you’re worth.