You wanna know how to sell yourself as an interior designer without feeling dirty, because when no one is buying, you've got a problem of epic proportions (and feeling dirty ain't one of them).
There's some really bad advice out there from "experts" on how you're supposed to sell yourself as an interior designer. And if you're following their lead on how to sell yourself as an interior designer, you're probably not getting the results you'd like.
There are some people out there want you to believe that the reason you're not getting closing the sale is because clients just don't understand the cost of furniture, accessories, etc.
Clients aren't dumbasses.
They are all too aware of how much things cost. They do go shopping. They do browse the internet. They don't live in caves and think that a sofa costs $5 plus tax.
So the advice then goes on to say to educate them on what they don't know about the cost. They don't understand the cost of custom pieces.They don't understand the cost of you allowing your wonderful contractors the opportunity to work for them. The cost of knowing where to find the good quality stuff.They don't understand the cost of finding them the perfectly sized piece. They don't understand the cost of time lost.
Why don't we turn this around. Because more often than not I'm pretty sure clients get this part. They just don't think you get them.
Too often designers don't feel like they are valued or paid what they think they are worth. Do you think you're really going to solve your client's problem by sitting your clients down for an impromptu study hall sesh?
Forget the education, share the happy ending
You could spend all this time educating clients on every detail you must handle to try and show them why your rates are what they are. Sure, there are some clients who don't understand everything a designer does or how a designer will be a big benefit to redoing their home. They usually just don't care about the details which doesn't mean they are clueless. They just want you to sell them on "the dream".
Be more about your client's needs and not your need to educate them
Clients would love nothing more than to find a designer who knows exactly what they are going through and has the perfect solution. This said solution, if presented correctly, is invaluable to the client. And it doesn't involve teaching them about what 8-way hand-tied construction is. It's about getting their weekends back or having a space that makes the neighbors jealous.
Lots of Designers Love To Be Know-It-Alls, Instead They Should Try To Be Friends
And I don't mean you're gonna be meeting up later at the bar to do some shots. No, no, no. I mean be the friendly designer that they would love to be friends with. Not the designer who wants to show them how much they don't know and that's why they aren't buying from you.
I'd much rather buy from someone that I consider a friend than some person I can just tell wants the sale from me.
First Comes Caring, Then Comes Selling
You aren't going to convince any client to buy from you if you educate them on the cost of everything. You will get a client to buy from you when you show them you know exactly where they are coming from and you are on their side.
For a client to buy from you, they need to trust you. Tell them a story about what working with you is like. Stories sell.
Involve your client in your process. Let them see themselves in your stories.
Alycia Wicker is a business coach for creative entrepreneurs. Her clients land more of their own dream clients and make more cash, period. Celebrity gossip whore. Elvis-obsessed.