What Interior Designers Really Think About Design Clients
I love a good back stage scoop; that mischievously off limits glimpse at what you’re not supposed to see, to know or to hear.
Let’s do it peeps. Wanna know what my industry really thinks of you?
Below are the survey results that we found when I interviewed professional designers across the US and into Canada for a writing project. I asked them to give me 2 short lists: Top 5 favorite client traits; Top 5 dreaded client traits. The results may surprise you as much as they did me. I was proud and pleased that $$ never made the Fav list. Character did!
Top 5 Fav Traits
#1 NICE/KIND (I swear I’m not making this up. It was the #1 answer)
#4 SAYS THANK YOU
A little amazing, no? And SO telling about the sensitive nature of my industry!
Top 5 Dreaded Traits
#2 UNHAPPILY MARRIED/SNARKY COUPLES (I say amen here…)
#3 BUDGET IS TOO SMALL FOR PROJECT SIZE (also sometimes stated as “champagne taste, beer budget”).
Builders may have a similar list. I had a builder call me recently saying he had just given my name to a client of his, adding “She’s a mess Don. Can’t make a decision to save her life, thinks she knows design and she is putting her project way behind schedule.”
“Well thanks a lot! If you don’t want her, I certainly don’t want her!” I laughed.
Sure enough she called me that week. The more she talked, the more I knew she was a nightmare client. Though I hated to disappoint this builder, I talked her out of hiring me.
So there’s your list. If you’re currently sizing up a designer, now you know you’re being sized up right back. Use this knowledge to your advantage.
Also, make your OWN list of favorite and dreaded traits in a DESIGNER. This way, when you interview them, you can ask wise and strategic questions.