Explain business practices, processes and billing.
“My initial design consultations are less about design and more about scoping the project, explaining the process and answering any questions about my working style or working with a designer in general. Many clients have never worked with a designer before, so this is my opportunity to explain what they can expect,” San Francisco-based interior designer Sabrina Alfin says.
Connect with the homeowners.
Successful remodeling projects often result from harmonious working relationships. While this meeting is when designers can explain their business processes to the client, it’s also a chance for both parties to understand each other on a more personal level. “The most important thing for me is gaining rapport with the client — to be perceptive of what they are saying and what they are not saying,” New Orleans-based interior designer Maureen Stevens says. “Draw them out more if need be and truly listen. Their design is, after all, not about me but about them.”
Curtis echoes this sentiment. “At the end of each consultation, I want to make sure that we each feel we have connected in the right way to encourage a longer-term relationship.”