This morning I want to share with you some wisdom about some of the technical things we need to be working on. These days it’s tough to source. Between the shipping delays and availability issues, it’s a time-consuming part of our job.
The problem I hear from designers everywhere is that the clients don’t understand the current time investment and logistics required for putting an entire room together.
Once you get that proposal out, you need to get the project funded within 24 hours so you can get orders placed. The client doesn’t understand the sense of urgency, so they mosey around and send you a check ten days later. This means it’s about two weeks before you get the check and can order the items.
By then, half of the items are gone, and the price has changed on the rest.
I have a plan to get this sorted out so you’re no longer bearing the brunt of this uncertainty that results from not having a clear system that the client understands.
After you get your letter of agreement signed, you want to sit down with the client and talk about how the current shipping and inventory issues can affect them, their project, and you as their designer. Explain how difficult it is to get enough products from reliable, well-known, trustworthy vendors and how quickly you have to act once decisions are made.
Get them on board with working together on a purchasing strategy.
Make sure they understand that once the details are ironed out, and the purchase proposal is in place, you need them to fund it that day to ensure their project goes smoothly, stays on budget, and results in a beautiful space.
Communicate to the client that you can guarantee the prices on your purchase proposal for only 24-48 hours.
After that, whatever happens, happens, and the project faces likely price increases or unavailable merchandise. This should help get the client on your side and reduce stress for both of you.
Another suggestion you can make is for the client to put their credit card on file within your financial system. This will allow for faster processing once they review the proposal and give the green light to secure the merchandise.
If your client doesn’t feel comfortable putting their card on file, the next best thing is to send an invoice with the proposal and make sure it includes a link to pay online immediately. Once you see the charge has gone through, you can proceed with your purchase orders.
This planning sequence is something we do here at Interior Design Business Academy. Having systems like this makes things more efficient because you don’t have to think about it anymore.
It’s just the way you do it.
I hope this tip helps you reduce the amount of time you spend redoing orders and going in circles because it makes you crazy. We don’t want to charge the client more because we’re spending more time trying to get the product, so it’s best to get their cooperation in the beginning to prevent that from ever becoming an issue.
That also means when you’re doing the letter of agreement and explaining how that works, you will have a purchasing meeting defined. The client needs to understand that once you present the plan and show them what it will look like, they will be expected to purchase right away to ensure product availability.
This makes it harder for them to back out of purchasing the project.
You walk through this repeatable system with every client, and purchasing is just part of that system. It prepares your client, so they aren’t a deer in headlights when it comes time to purchase.
Watch the video above to learn more about the system we use at Interior Design Business Academy. You’ll find that if you set these jobs up where the client knows what to expect, things typically go really well.
If you want to be in a community of support and knowledge-sharing, give us a call. Book a clarity call or strategy session with one of our coaches. It’s no pressure and a lot of fun!
Until next time, design something beautiful and get paid what you’re worth.