K+BB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Gail Doby

Gail Doby

Gail Doby, ASID, is co-founder and Chief Vision Officer of Design Success University. She is an Interior Design Business Shortcut and Success Coach to thousands of interior designers globally and is also a Social Media Strategist. More information on Doby, visit www.DesignSuccessU.com.

Sep 04 2013

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LinkedIn Is Underrated


One of my favorite tools is LinkedIn because it allows you to develop relationships within your community. This one social media tool can also provide valuable insights about your prospective client’s background.

Who is on Linkedin? 238 million users in 200 countries.  Even though it may seem that LinkedIn is too broad for your marketing purposes, it isn’t. You can target people very specifically by keywords, titles, cities, etc.

It is a great place to be active because the affluent clients you want to reach are on this site and they want to link with other professionals like them? Be sure to connect with K+BB Designer’s Network and Design Success University. Both groups are great places to get advice and suggestions about challenges with your business, and you can get the inside scoop on key influencers in your metro area.

Who does that include?

  • • Movers and shakers like top executives with corporations in your area
  • • Realtors – these are the people that facilitate the buying and selling of properties in your area. If your firm focuses on commercial design, then you will want to connect with the commercial brokers and agents.
  • • Financial planners – they work with affluent people
  • • Estate attorneys – ditto
  • • Local politicians – they know everyone
  • • Local or regional media – writers, editors, etc.
  • • Service providers that deal with affluent clients like personal trainers, stylists (hair and clothes), boutique shop owners, personal shoppers, personal assistants, personal chefs

Here are a few ways you can start building a strong networking alliance:

  1. Create your own group of people that work with or could benefit from having a connection with you – you’ll be seen as a leader in your area.
  2. Reach out and make individual connections with a target list of people you want to know.

Remember, the information you can get before you have a meeting with a prospect could be invaluable. You’ll find out whom they know, and that alone will help you build a spider web of connections.

You can also build a corporate page for your kitchen and bath firm on LinkedIn, and you can pay for targeted traffic to that page. It costs about $2 per click, and you can specifically target your ideal clients.

Gail Doby, ASID, is the CO-Founder and Chief Vision officer of Design Success University – your shortcut to a more profitable interior design business. Be sure to download your complimentary copy of the 2013 Interior Design Fee & Salary Survey eBook. ($179 Value).

Jul 08 2013

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What Is Your Value to Your Clients?

When you go into a meeting with a prospect, how do you approach the conversation?  Do you start with questions about the scope of work and the budget? If so, you’re starting in the wrong place.

First, let me ask you a question. Do you know why your clients really hire you? It’s not for the reasons you think.

It’s not the beautiful cabinets in your showroom or the years of experience you have as a kitchen and bath designer that ultimately matter. What your prospects and clients really want is “the dream they have of what life will be like after their kitchen or bath remodel.”

So instead of starting out with questions about their scope of work, find out what your client really wants. What do they value? What matters to them? What will be different once they “own” a gourmet kitchen? Will your client be proud of their investment and want to share it with friends and family? Will the new functionality of a well-designed bath solve a problem for them?

If your client has a family member with a disability, making a bathroom accessible is more than a “nice to have” – it’s a “have to have.” So what you’re really providing is a way for your client to give their family member a better quality of life and the dignity they deserve.

Understanding your clients’ priorities and values will help you zero in on what matters to them.  And when you understand what matters to them – what they value – and give them that through your design, they’ll pay you handsomely for your services.

Many designers find it hard to describe the value they bring to their clients. It doesn’t matter what you think your value is. It is what your clients perceive your value to be. Give them what they truly value and they’ll value you!

Would you like to know what questions to ask so you can discover exactly what your client values? Be sure to join Maria Bayer, Design Success University’s Authentic Sales Coach, for a complimentary in-depth webinar, Discover the Secret Formula to STAND OUT from Other Designers and Communicate Your Value So Your Prospects Are Willing To Pay TOP DOLLAR For Your Services.

– Gail Doby is an award winning interior designer, Co-Founder and Chief Vision Officer of Design Success University your shortcut to a more profitable and passion-filled business.

Oct 02 2012

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Why your interior design client says, “I want to think about it.”

We’ve all been there before. You spend a lot of time with a prospective client and just know you’re the right interior designer for them, but then they say, “I want to think about it.” Your heart sinks and you wonder what went wrong. You were so sure you were a good fit.

Why did they say that? Listen up, because this is really important. They want to think about it because you didn’t give them a good way to place a value on the benefits of your services. In other words, they don’t know why they should hire you. They’re confused. Always remember this: “The confused buyer says no.”

Think about the times you were in the market to buy something and you didn’t. If you were not clear about why you should buy something—what will it do for you? How will it solve your problem?—Then you won’t buy. You’ll do nothing.

It’s no different with your prospective clients. You need to maximize the value they see in your services so not only do they select you over other designers, but they pay more for your services, too. You’ll hear me say this a lot because it’s so important: “The more value your client sees in your solution, the more they’ll pay for it—period.”

So strive to build as much value as possible in your client’s eyes. One way to do this is to show how you can solve their problem better than anyone else. What do you do that will help your client achieve their goal better/faster/more easily than anyone else? The more you articulate this, the more value you’re building in your client’s eyes. And when you build value, instead of hearing, “I want to think about it,” you’ll hear, “When can we start?”

Want to learn more? If you missed last week’s groundbreaking complimentary training, you still have a chance to listen to the recording full of immediately applicable tools to transform your ability to close design clients now! Click here to sign up now.

I show interior designers how to take charge of their clients and make more money without being sales-y.

Read what fellow designers around the world are saying…

“…I have completely revamped our Sales/Proposal process and incorporated many of Maria’s techniques. Right out of the gate I am 5 for 5 in terms of closing my last five proposals, which is amazing! These processes work!” – Jamie H-B

“Because of a few simple strategies Maria taught me about being authentic and building rapport, I’ve since built my business on referrals vs. paying for advertising.” – Heather D.

“I was able to win back a client I had lost because of one simple step from your program.” – Jenn G.

“I got exactly what I needed and everything that was missing from my school experience.” – Sarah B.

“Your design solution was the most amazing formula I have ever heard!” – Mary

—Maria Bayer is Design Success University‘s Authentic Sales Coach.

Sep 06 2012

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How are you different from other designers?

Your success in business depends on your ability to answer this question:

“How are you different from other designers?”

You may hear it often from your prospective clients. If your response sounds something like, “I do kitchen design and bath design and …” then keep reading.

One of the biggest reasons that clients use price to select a designer is because you haven’t given them any other way to tell the difference between what you do and what your competitors do. They need to know what you uniquely provide that others don’t. Most importantly, they need to know how you can solve their problem better than anyone else.

How do you get the words to describe your unique value? Ask your best clients! They know better than anyone what makes you different, especially if they chose you over other designers. Once you know your unique value, you’ll not only stand out, but your Ideal Client will know that you’re the right designer for them!

Ask your best clients this question: “What were the key reasons you initially chose me as your designer vs all of the others you met?” and they’ll give you the exact words to describe what makes you stand out.

Want to learn more? Register for a complimentary 3-part series, “Three Secrets to Closing Higher Paying Clients Who Love Working With You.”

—Maria Bayer is Authentic Sales Coach for Design Success University. Her sales career started with a whimper before she learned the real secrets to selling without being sales-y. Bayer became a multimillion dollar salesperson and is known for her natural way of leading her clients to a close without being pushy. She created a sales program just for interior designers that is receiving rave reviews, and most importantly, the designers are making more money and enjoying how easy it is to close business.