A. We have a wonderful client base, many that we have worked with for years, others who we may have done one project for, and some others who have been, let’s say “challenging”.
B. We have an excellent qualifying system but every now and then, a crazy, whacko client slips through the cracks.
2. The RED FLAGS
A. They’ve worked with multiple designers that “didn’t work out”
B. They want you to meet on evenings or weekends (they don’t value your time or treat you like a professional).
C. They question your rates – looking for a bargain or “deal”. They ask you to lower your fees. Or the typical – “Does the consult fee go towards anything?”
D. They ask if they can use their great aunt to make the window treatments and their cousins best friend to get them a deal on cabinetry.
E. They don’t ask if you’d like something to drink when you come to the consultation (i.e. another sign of respect).
3. CHAMPAGNE TASTE/BEER BUDGET
A. They constantly bring up HGTV (unrealistic expectations).
B. They are disappointed that they can’t get what they want and want you to figure out how to make it happen
C. They haven’t done any research and have a huge laundry list of wants with minimal money to spend.
A. They over analyze everything and can’t make a decision
B. They don’t communicate well.
C. They get’ too many opinions – friend, sister, etc. told me I should do ……
5. A FEW STORIES
A. An out of state, wealthy client who was “taken advantage of” by other designers. Wanted everything to have a “wow factor”. Nothing would make her happy.
B. Client called us to help renovate her entire ranch home. She asked for specific items, which we presented to her, and then decided that it wasn’t what she wanted. She picked apart about 80% of the design. We bent over backwards to make her happy but she ended up only doing a small portion of the project.
C. Clients who are not prepared for install – We were installing an entire first floor of a home. The woman of the house was traveling on business and the man of the house did not have anything prepared. His office had thousands of wires with computers everywhere, there were knickknacks all over the house that weren’t going to be used, bookshelves were emptied but hundreds of books where in stacks all over the room.
An older woman who invited us to her lovely mountain home to update several rooms. After a 3.5 hour consultation and drafting of the lengthy design proposal, she decided to just do the master bedroom. At presentation time, she was thrilled with the design but later starting asking questioning our design decisions like how we fabricate window treatments and questioning the space plan and that items of furniture would fit and why is the mirror that size etc… . On install day, she was so happy she literally burst into tears. Later, we got a call that she wanted the window treatment remade because there was a seam (they were double width panels???) . Anyway, we told her that we were unable to address her concerns.