The title of this blog is a little misleading, because I am not going to discuss the products as much as I am going to discuss the process. From the time that I originally receive their email or phone call expressing their desire to have a consultation, I’m trying to figure out how to best solve their design or functional issues. That desire to make sure that they are satisfied doesn’t end until after the products are installed in the clients home or office.
One of the biggest problems that I regularly confront is the challenge of not prejudging my clients. There are a million clues out there as to what kind of person this client will be; from the car they drive to the neighborhood that they chose to live in, to the clothing or handbag they selected that day. But, over the years, while many of these stereotypes have proved true, had I not been willing to truly communicate, I would have missed opportunities to listen and then provide better solutions.
One example that I can vividly remember was that of an older woman who was combining households with her single middle aged daughter. They bought a home in an extremely modest neighborhood, read inexpensive home, and there were no clues as to designer anything or that they liked to splurge on things. Under those circumstances, I don’t think that anyone would have blamed a window covering professional for suggesting some basic blinds or shades in that home. But, by taking a few minutes to consult with the family, I was able to determine that full draperies were more to their liking. What surprised me the most was that they spent more than ten percent of the value of the home on window coverings and drapery treatments.
I’ve always tried to spend more time with my clients than others typically do, so I can dig down deep into their true desires. It pays to have a degree in psychology. I don’t have one, but I still think the truism remains.
In conclusion, the question is product versus process. As with all life dilemmas, the answer falls somewhere in the middle, but you deserve to work with someone who at least knows the difference.