K+BB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Oct 05 2010

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Don’t ask about budgets

Asking clients for their kitchen and bath design “budget” wastes their time—and yours. Budget questions limit their thinking—and your income.

It’s not just that most clients don’t know their budget for design.

They don’t even have a clue.

That’s why it makes absolutely no sense to ask clients up front what they want or expect or plan on spending for a kitchen and bath remodel, new home furnishings, etc.

You do your customers a disservice by forcing them to come up with and keep their minds on some random budget numbers.

Zeroing in only on those numbers limits their choices and may prevent you from showing them the cabinet or countertop or lighting options that would best meet their needs.

Customers hire you not as a financial adviser, but as a design consultant.

Your job is not to fix their finances. It’s to help them identify their design priorities, needs and wants, and provide the products and services that will fulfill them.

You earn your customers trust by informing them of your qualifications. And by explaining how you charge for your expertise. And by advising them to look elsewhere if they’re seeking the cheapest design services and products.

As the best, it’s your responsibility to inform your customers of the best options—whatever the price. Not until they find that price unsatisfactory should you advise them of less worthy but cheaper alternatives.

Surely you want to present your clients with good value at a fair price. But they can’t make an informed decision on how best to spend their money until you’ve identified and presented solutions to their design challenges.

Focusing exclusively on budget cheats your customer, and also prevents you from earning the fees and margins you deserve.

There’s a word for that: dumb.

Fred Berns coaches design professionals on how to dramatically increase sales and promote themselves more effectively. For his FREE report on how to Supersize Your Sales in Challenging Economic Times: visit www.fredforfree.com.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 5th, 2010 at 6:00 AM and is filed under Business, Inspiration. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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