Then, make “pain” your priority. You’ll market yourself much more effectively and substantially increase your sales if you address the most pressing design challenges that your prospects face.
Design professionals should follow Dr. Phil’s lead on this. The TV personality may not know diddly about design, but he often asks a compelling question that every interior designer, everywhere needs to memorize.
There he is, talking on his TV show to some cheating spouse or troubled teen or gambling addict about their behavior when he poses the captivating query:
“How’s that workin’ for ya?”
For interior design professionals, that can be the phrase that pays. It can work wonders, whether you’re discussing kitchens, cabinets or corporate offices. It’s a simple but strong key to upselling, cross selling, and smart selling.
Picture yourself face to face with a high end homeowner, or the building manager at a medical facility You’re walking along during your initial consultation when you stop and do your Dr. Phil imitation bysaying: “How’s that family room working for you?” Or, “How’s that cafeteria working for you?”
Fact is, residential or commercial prospects are never fully satisfied with their interiors. Something always spooks them about their space, whether it’s their bathrooms or their basements or their break rooms.
But they may only ponder that pain when you pose the question: the Dr. Phil “How’s that working for ya?” question.
When it comes to connecting with your clients, before you can determine “What Works?” you need to determine “What Hurts?” What frustrates and flummoxes and bothers and bewilders those clients when it comes to the design, or redesign of their space?
Ask them, and they’ll tell you they don’t have the time, expertise and resources to deal with design decisions. Or they’ll say they’re clueless about how to start the project, plan their space, select furnishings – and a whole lot more.
The most financially successful design professionals talk, tweet, text, comment, converse and blog about the most pressing design challenges their ideal clients face. Then they promote their capability to help clients overcome those challenges.
By doing so, they attach greater value to themselves and convey the impression that their services are a necessity rather than a frill. That’s especially important at a time when interior designers compete with everyone from car dealers to vacation resorts for a client’s discretionary dollars
As you address client challenges, it’s critical to boost your benefits. Explain how you save people time, money and stress, and help them avoid design disasters, as well as enlighten them about what’s in, what’s out, what’s hot, what’s not, and what works.
Remember that those you seek to influence are tuned into radio station WII-FM, as in What’s in it for me?
You need to make it clear from the outset that’s what’s in it for them is a vital, valuable service provided by a uniquely-qualified, one-of-a-kind professional – a professional who can help their overcome the biggest pains associated with their interior design project.
America’s highest paid professionals, on average, are physicians and surgeons. People will take any steps and pay any price to get their pain relieved.
That’s why you should “play doctor” in your design business. Successful selling is about pinpointing the pain your prospects feel when it comes to decorating their interiors – and positioning yourself as the caregiver.
Fred Berns is an interior design industry sales and marketing trainer and copy writer.