Do you know what it takes to be a successful interior designer?
Being a successful interior designer requires you to maximize your revenues from every project.
But how does someone do this?
The most effective way to maximize your revenues is to deliver more of what your clients want in less time.
Because time is money, after all, right?
By doing this, you’ll earn more in less time and avoid the challenge of creative loose ends and lost focus.
So stop making excuses about why you might not be successful (here are some of the most popular excuses people make), and start taking action by following these tips.
A successful designer doesn’t give their time and expertise away on free consultations – and they’re not afraid to take risks.
Let me share a real-life example from my practice.
When a client – let’s call her Stephanie – called me about her interior design project, she said they planned to invest just $15K.
That wasn’t a number I usually even considered, my minimum was $50K.
We connected well by phone and she agreed to my Home Review (a paid consultation) so I scheduled the call.
As Stephanie walked me through the house, the large outdoor living space, and the pool, I mentioned that the scope of the project had grown significantly since our phone conversation.
I went out on a total limb and said: “have you considered a home equity line for your interior design?”
Stephanie came back with the greatest comment ever…
“Oh, we’ve got money!” (I had to try hard not to do my happy dance right in front of her!)
To be a successful interior design, you’ve got to know how to read between the lines.
I’ve dealt with both good and bad clients, and a part of my job is knowing how to handle clients who aren’t exactly sure of what they want (here are some of my tips on how to deal with bad clients).
I had already learned that Stephanie was the primary breadwinner and decision-maker, even if her husband wrote the checks. But Stephanie didn’t know exactly what it would take to reach her goals.
I had to help her get there.
In the next 45 days, we went from $15K to $150K in interior design investment.
(That is not a typo! The investment went up by 10 times!)
They approved every item, every change. They were aware of every step of the way.
If I had taken her initial “budget” of $15K as gospel, she wouldn’t have gotten the design she wanted or deserved, and I’d have left $135K on the table. That’s a massive amount of money.
Instead, as with all of my design clients over the years, I took that as a starting point and read between the lines into what she really wanted.
Being a successful interior designer is about becoming a master of listening and reading your client.
You never force, you educate.
Never push; guide.
You never manipulate, you influence.
You’re never sneaky, you get approval at every step.
If this sounds like something you want to implement in your design practice, you can.
It isn’t an overnight shift, it takes time to adopt a new mindset, update your language and communication skills, and learn to educate instead of sell.
So there you have it, 3 great tips on how to be a successful designer. If you would like some more tips on how to be a successful interior designer, check out this blog post.
To learn how you can be a successful interior designer, consider attending one of my keynotes, workshops, or events, where I use a combination of motivational speaking and marketing strategy to show you how you can grow your business and become more successful!
I’m Melissa Galt, an interior design business consultant and business coach for interior designers. I’ve been practicing design for over two decades and have been an interior design business coach and consultant for over a decade. You want to earn more and I’m here to help you make that happen. Contact me today to see how I can help.
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This article was originally published on September 20, 2017 and has been updated.