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How to Handle Clients Who Say They Can’t Afford You

Dealing with a sales pitch that gets rejected because of the pricing can be tough. As an interior designer, you have spent a lot of time and effort putting together the perfect project for the client and everything is just 'perfecto'. Except, he, or she, is not in agreement with your fees. And you are left wondering: how do I deal with the situation? What is the best way to react on the spot? To help tackle these situations, here’s your go-to-guide on handling clients who say they cannot afford you.

A. Write Down The Reasons

The first step is writing the client’s reasons down. Writing helps you remember each reason that the client mentioned so that you can successfully address them all without forgetting any. It also adds a personal touch as the client can sense your concern and willingness to help. Reasons might involve anything from personal mortgages to company downsizing and cost-cutting. Writing down the reasons are also good for personal references. You might have to tackle a similar situation in the future.

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B. Empathize with The Situation

After a client tells you that your services are too expensive, you might be fuming inside. Moreover, you might suspect this is a trick to get you to give an additional discount. No matter how you really feel, always empathize with the client. Using phrases like, “I understand your concerns” or “I can imagine this is an additional business expense” will make you seem human and concerned and might even turn things around in a couple of days.

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C. Show Them Your Worth

If a client tries too hard to negotiate or says that your rates are too high, do consider that maybe he, or she, does not know the value of certain services you will offer. Till date, many people are actually unaware how the exact work of an interior designer runs deeper than merely planning the aesthetics of a home. Without offering to lower your price, ask the client for an opportunity to show in detail how your work will simplify the process of interior design for them and why they should hire your services.

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D. Find Possible Alternatives

Finding suitable alternatives is a great way to work around the cost. For instance, if you have a project to remodel any home and the client cannot afford the price, try to find cheaper alternatives in bathroom fittings and tapestry. Do let the client know that cheaper alternatives might not be as durable as the original ones, but they will make do for the time being. Finding alternative fittings is a good way to lower the project price without you, the designer, taking a personal hit.

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E. Maintain Your Integrity

Finally, if everything else fails, maintain your ground, nevertheless. Sometimes, a client may not be on the same page as you in terms of interior design ideas. By saying he or she can’t afford you, they are simply trying to let go without hurting your professional relationship or work ideals. At other times, some clients may simply not see the value in the services that you offer. Lowering your price is usually the last resort that can often be seen as desperate and may even affect your standing in the market.

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Keeping your work open for negotiation can often hamper prospects in the interior design industry, if word goes around that you settle for less. However sometimes, negotiations are inevitable. Depending on how long your relationship has stretched with the client and the value of the project, do take the right decision.

Joanna D'Souza

Joanna D'Souza

Joanna is a writer and pet parent. She spends time away from work with her dog and traveling with her husband. She’s a fan of the Beatles and loves rock and pop from the 80's.

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