Have a client that keeps changing their minds? That selection after selection they want to see more options and it’s stalling the process?
While you may want to chalk this up to being your client’s personality, there are steps that you can take before and during the process to help curtail this.
I’ve presented you with some ideas below that you can use to keep clients focused, keep your project on schedule, and get to that beautifully designed home that you both want.
How to Get a Client to Make a Decision
Remember that this is their home, they are spending a lot of money, they’re paying you to facilitate this process, and choosing items for a home can feel quite permanent. In other words, have compassion and understanding. Especially if this is their first big home project/ reno/ decoration.
Remind them that your job is to find the best solution for their particular project and that is what you’ve done. Keep reminding if necessary. Reassure them of your role and skills. Let them know that you see and have seen thousands of products and selections - they hired you to sort through those and make the best choice on their behalf.
In my experience, indecisive clients ultimately go with the first option, if that is your experience, share it with the client!
Prepare the client and set up their expectations by providing a timeline and deadlines for their project.
Have a specialty - when clients hire you to create and execute a design because they love your work, they’re more likely to trust your selections.
For smaller, lower budget projects have a set number of reselects spelled out in your contract. This sets up client expectations of what they are getting and paying for.
Before you accept a new client ask how decisive they are - the more you know.
Have confidence, when you’re show certainty and decisiveness this also helps your clients feel good about their choices. This one is BIG. Remember, you’re the authority and expert in this situation, they’re looking to you to be the leader and set an example. When you lack confidence, the client’s will lack confidence in you.
Try to uncover why they keep changing their minds. Are the main decision-makers not on the same page? Are they having a hard time seeing it as a complete and finished project? Are they concerned about costs? Do they feel like they are missing out on seeing something? When you know why they are being indecisive and continually changing their minds you can better address it.
Present all selections together, when clients can see the full picture (this is why turn-key installations usually work better than piecemeal) they are less likely to pick apart each individual component. Read: Should You Give Clients Options
Get other professionals on board with you. If the architect or contractor are also experiencing or even enabling this indecisive behavior, get everyone on the same page. Clear communication keeps projects from failing.
Gently remind them of the endgame. Interior design can be a big undertaking and it can quickly get overwhelming and client’s can get lost in the details and all the decisions. Remind them of their goal - a finished home and keep them working toward the finished product.
This may be the wrong client and the wrong project for you. If this is the case, it may be time to let them go - How to Get Out of A Project with Grace