You know what happens when you have a shitty interior design questionnaire? You don't get the information you need. Which means you waste time. Time is money and you can't be wasting it.
magine this: She hated blue. All shades of blue. How could anyone hate blue? Well she did and I just spent all that time that could have made me profitable on this job and now I have to redo the entire effing job. This is gonna suck the life out of me. Cue the embalmer and drain me of my life.
Then the resentment sets in.
Why does she hate blue? Blue is such a beautiful color. She doesn't really know how amazing this room is going to look with all these things that came together like a design orgasm.
Then you do a half-ass job.
Your internal dialogue: "Grrr. Fuck this shit. This sofa is good enough for her. Dumb bitch doesn't want blue so I'm gonna give her what she wants, I mean this is totally not as cute as the other sofa I picked out but whatever."
But, this is really your fault. Your interior design questionnaire didn't ask her the right questions so you could show her that you're a mother-fuckin' awesome designer.
It didn't have to be this way.
Instead you could have found out from the beginning that she hated blue. You would have found out that blue was the color of the room she was trapped in for long periods of time as a child where she was abused.
Then you feel like shit. You didn't really know why she hated blue so much and now you feel like a complete bitch for judging her hate of blue. In fact, it's a color that brings you instant happiness, but for her it's a trigger. A trigger that makes her go back to a time in her life that she hated.
Next time, you'll save yourself the trouble.
All it takes is a bit of communication and getting to know your clients. Getting all the information from the beginning will set you and your client's project up for success.
You'll have an interior design questionnaire.
Many times before I started any design project I read the interior design questionnaire I gave my client and sat with it. I absorbed it and it helped me to get into their shoes. Even if they didn't express why they hated blue, they had told me upfront that they simply did.
An interior design questionnaire saves you time, makes you more profitable and gives your clients what they really want.
You can't read minds and often times clients can't tell you everything they think you should know. Look, they aren't designers and don't know how to design a room, that's why they hire you to begin with. Our design process starts in our minds, but to make it a successful design for our clients we need the critical 411 before we start being the creative mavens that we are.
Your interior design questionnaire makes it easy for your clients.
When you have a process in place your clients know what to expect and so do you. Communication and getting everything laid out, to begin with saves you time and creates trust within your clients.
Your interior design questionnaire should:
Get their contact information, their preferred communication method, who is the main point of contact and how they found you
Find out who is living in the house, their lifestyle, how long they plan to stay in their home
What is their current style, if they want to keep it and what their favorite pieces are that they'd like to keep
Discover what colors/ patterns they love and hate
And the secret questions that help you find out what type of client you're really dealing with. Here's one for you that is very telling: "Have you worked with a designer before? How'd that go?"
Your interior design questionnaire is the KEY to making sure your project doesn't go off the rails from the beginning. If you don't have one, I've done the work for you and you can get it and an interior design welcome packet to send out to your clients. Plus a shit ton more to make your business run a hell of a lot smoother.
Alycia Wicker is an interior design business coach specializing in online marketing strategies.Her clients land more of their own dream clients and make more cash, period. Celebrity gossip whore. Elvis-obsessed.