Designer and Client: first steps

10th April 2012

You should have seen your face when a potential client is talking to you ...Your eyes light up, gestures become more apparent, "memory storerooms" begin opening in your head. All in all, tail in air and you are ready to take this client at any cost. No matter whether you deal with interior design or websites development, but very often you make mistakes from the first minutes of communication with the customer.

And the first thing I want to talk about is the very acquaintance with the client. You often put so much effort to catch a fish, forgetting that the true art is that it should swim to you on its own. If we change for the design subject, I mean that you should not be intrusive with the customer, do not load him/her at once with your brilliant ideas. Using simple design examples and tips you should only slightly help a person to raise the right questions, understand what he/she needs, and most importantly, to allow that client to hire you – a brilliant designer who happened to be next to him/her. I believe it will be a worthy variant of the first acquaintance.

Further meetings are also very important. You always need 2-3 minutes to approach the person, to ask about life, mood, enter into a spirit with him/her ... Then you should necessarily announce the topic of the meeting and the time, which you posses. A key phase is determining the customer’s needs using open questions such as: “Tell about your work experience with ...", "What exactly did you like about the design? ", "What problems have you solved? ". It is also important to listen actively, hearing out the answer to the end and maintain eye contact. Follow the development of a dialogue, help people to set their minds on the issue of design, if they fail to do it by themselves. Try to find out as much information as possible about the future interior or site. Upon completion of the conversation obtain consent for the design development, advance payment and SHUT UP. Who is the first to speak, cedes the role of the lead!

As soon as you receive the long-awaited order for the creation of the next masterpiece, you rush to search through super fashionable magazines on interior design, look for interesting scripts for the site menu, gradually disconnecting from reality. But remember, Designer, you are not a freelance Artist! Try to share your work, tell the client what’s on the design-menu today, so to speak. Firstly, you can get to know his/her interests and needs, and secondly you will show that the work is advancing. Talk with your colleagues and simply with friends, because outside point of view is very important since you do not do that masterpiece for yourself.

As a result, you should get a unique experience as both a designer and a psychologist that will help you to plan your work more carefully the next time.