The initial interior design consultation is vital for any firm that wants to secure a potential client partnership. The initial consultation gives a potential client an impression of the quality of service they will receive. At the same time, you learn more about the client’s project and showcase your value as a designer. How can you ensure a successful meeting? This article will discuss preparation, what to discuss, and if you should charge for the consultancy. We reviewed a case study from a kitchen Installation Company about their process.
What is an initial design consultancy?
The initial consultancy is the first meeting between a potential client and the interior designer. For clients in remote areas, it can also be done using webinars. The homeowner proposes the vision for his home. Simultaneously, the designer showcases his or her previous projects, share project terms, and the service charge. The primary goal is to disclose as much information about the project and give the client a best-fit proposal.
The importance of initial design consultation
It’s an opportunity for both the designer and the client to understand the project.
During this meeting, the homeowner explains the vision they would like to accomplish at the end of the project. The designer needs to visit the home and feel the client’s vision. As a designer, observe how the client has utilized space and spot some functional issues requiring fixing.
Explain the terms of the project, processes, and billing.
Explain to the client what they should expect from you, explain the project process, and answer any client’s questions to clear doubt. Let the client know your working style and listen to their views about it.
Form a bond with the client
The ultimate goal is to form a harmonious working relationship with the client, even after completing the project. During the meeting, both parties should create a rapport, and make sure they get to know each other even personally. Having a good impression on the first meeting will foster the creation of a long-term relationship. The duration for the session depends on the size of the project, its scope and company policy.
Should you charge the client for the consultation?
The answer entirely depends on the designer, but after interacting with several designers, they have different views. Some always charge, never charge and sometimes charge for the consultation. Firms that charge for consultation say it’s a way to show the seriousness of the meeting. The designer shows the value of his work and to ensure the client is serious about the project. Designers who offer free services say its consultancy is part of the project, and an opportunity for clients to have their doubts cleared without being scared away.
What to bring with you for the first meeting
The initial meeting is a mix of interviews and site visits. As a designer, bring a tape measure, notebook for sketches, and a camera or phone for documentation. You can have pictures of painting samples with you in case the client requests for them.
How can clients prepare?
To ensure the success of the meeting, the client should come prepared with the following:
- A budget estimate.
- The scope of their project.
- Have sample photos and ideas they want to be implemented.
- Have questions.
- Have house plans ready.
Designers checklist to close a deal successfully
- Showcase your value by openly expressing your knowledge and skills.
- Embrace your brand and try to show the client why you are the right fit for the job.
- Be clear about your practice terms, budget, and timeline.
- Give the client realistic expectations.
- It’s healthy to disagree when discussing but don’t leave the discussion table when you are not satisfied with the agreement.
As a designer, do a follow up with the client, depending on how the meeting went. Clients should contact reputable consultants like Palm Beach Premier Remodeling for great services.