Streamlining Custom Design Jobs
Here are some simple ways to introduce clients to custom tile design, honoring the budget they have to work with and establishing yourself as a credible source:
n Acquire insurance for setting tile. This is different from being a licensed contractor, and is very affordable. It protects you and your client.
Don't pretend to know answers. Utilize local professional resources to get quality information about products.
Discuss budget. Knowing the general price guidelines of the project can save time when designing.
Educate your clients on the beauty of blending handmade tile with commercial tile. Many clients may not be aware of how far their dollar will stretch and the options available to them.
Be willing to give a complimentary consultation. The client doesn't have to take a financial risk from the beginning.
Design pricing so you can provide a bid on the spot. The longer you wait to give your client a bid, the more time he or she will have to go to another source. When you give a bid quickly and accurately, you can make necessary adjustments sooner, rather than later.
Answer and acknowledge any and all questions a client has, or direct them to sources to answer their questions. Avoid talking in tangents and getting off topic. Set time to meet, and be respectful of everyone’s time.
Keep in communication with your clients. All custom work has its problems. Nothing is ever perfect and free of barriers. Give updates. When problems arise, have solutions. It adds to your credibility and reassures clients. After all, the way you deal with the things that went wrong leave an impression of your professionalism. These are valuable assets that earn strong referrals and repeat business.
by Mercedes Austin
125 W. Broadway Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55411