Why Do You Buy Interior Design Leads?

I recently spoke with an interior designer who purchases interior design leads to maintain a stable client base. She has a lot of word of mouth clients but she feels it is still necessary for her to develop new clients outside of her current network.

Upon further discussion about the quality of her leads I discovered that there was an underlying problem she was having. Even though the leads were fresh she was finding that when she called on them they were less than happy to hear from her. In some cases they would be upset and ask to be removed from “the list”.

The leads that she was buying were unfortunately of very low quality. This is not uncommon as some lead sources will recycle their lead database by selling a lead to multiple buyers or re-introducing old leads into the system. In her case what was happening was her leads were enticed by a free gift in order to fill out a lead form. Not really a high quality lead.

When you decide to take control of your lead source by in effect being your own lead source you receive many long term advantages:

1) You completely control where your interior design leads come from.

2) Your brand is not adversely affected by leads being introduced to your company for the first time when you call them instead of through the lead creation process itself. Creating brand awareness before you even call.

3) Eventually, if you follow the proper guidelines of keyword research, target market research and list management you will have very low cost and often free group of people waiting to buy from you.

4) Most importantly, your brands image will grow as you ad more and more content to the web. This is the only way to ensure you create more value for the search engines every time you invest in your website traffic.

Remember, when you buy leads you are simply buying names of people who may be interested in interior design services. When you create your own leads by developing and maintaining an effective lead funnel you grow your brand and develop a following. Always provide value to your list of potential clients. When you bring an offer forward they will be eager to bite.

What to Expect in Your First Meeting With an Interior Designer

So, you are considering consulting with an interior designer or decorator to assist with an upcoming project. How do you select one designer over another? And what should you expect at the first meeting? Here are some things to keep in mind.

  1. Decide on the scope of the project – What is it that you are really looking to get done? Are you remodeling the entire kitchen or just need help select colors for the kitchen walls? Are you in love with a chair or piece of furniture but not sure how to make it fit in the room? Ensure you KNOW THE ANSWERS to these questions definitively before you start your search. The very first question an interior designer or decorator will ask is -What is the project? The scope of the project will determine the type of help you will need – from a design build firm to an interior re-designer or somewhere in-between.
  2. Talk to local friends about experience with a similar project -Now that you are confident about the scope of project, ask friends and family about their experience in the same arena. If your friend started out with a simple color consultation that blew up into a major home remodel, you can talk to he/she to learn how it happened. And how to avoid the same situation from happening to you.
  3. Gather pictures and ideas of rooms that appeal to you -When you say ‘modern’, it can mean totally different things to an architect, designer and/or decorator. Show pictures instead! Collect pictures of rooms and ideas from magazines, web pages, pictures of friends homes, books and prepare them to show the designers in your first meeting. Additionally, if you like the décor of a local store, take pictures for yourself and ask the salespeople which designers shop there frequently. You may learn of additional designers to consider as well.

Now – you are prepared to meet with an interior decorator or designer and have narrowed down the list of possible companies. What should you expect next? As you contact and meet designers, keep the following things in mind.

  1. Expect a nominal initial consultation fee – As the old adage goes – time is money! Expect an experienced and preferred designer to charge for the initial visit. An hourly fee or set fee for the first meeting is common and some designers may apply it to the first order. Hint: Savvy interior designers use this as a gauge for new clients. If a prospect grumbles or complains about the initial consultation fee, the designer may assume the prospect will have trouble paying subsequent fees and not interested in taking the prospect on as a client.
  2. Expect to answer lots of questions about your taste and style – Since this is the first time that the designer is meeting you, he/she will do what they can to learn about your style. He/She will take notice of the current state of your home, your furniture choices (if those are evident) and how you and your family currently live in your space. If you have any big dislikes or likes, now is the time to express those – i.e. – no roosters in the kitchen décor or a desire for a water element in your bedroom. And don’t forget to show the pictures that you collected, as discussed earlier!
  3. Ensure important decision makers are available – Even if your spouse/significant other will not be involved with the process, if he/she will live in the space, then include her/him in the initial meeting. Especially if the room is shared, like the kitchen or master bathroom. Don’t set up this meeting during the day when the spouse/significant other is not available. This can easily become a cause for contention once the project gets underway.
  4. Expect to discuss budget – This can be a touchy subject but not talking about it won’t make it go away! Be sure to be clear about what your budget limitations are and ask the designer/decorator if your budget expectations match the reality of the project. And if the designers don’t mention budget, be sure to bring it up – you deserve to get a sense of things before any plans get started.
  5. Know what you like but be open to explore new things – The saavy designer won’t design an entire room at the first meeting, but he/she may suggest a few things to gauge your reactions to different ideas. If you find yourself reacting negatively to the suggestions, keep looking! Soon you find a designer/decorator who speaks your language…but keep yourself open to learn a few new words in that language! (I hope that analogy makes sense). That is what you are paying a designer to do – bring new and fresh ideas to your space!

We hope the above advice is useful as you consider hiring a design professional for your next project. The list was developed from our own experiences and interactions with clients before, during and after home projects.

Things You Need to Know When Hiring an Interior Designer

Everyone deserves to love the home they live in. Sadly, a lot of people are unhappy with the space they have created for themselves, and often are not sure why. This is where an Interior Designer plays a valuable role, as liaison between you and your home.

After you have made the decision to hire a Designer, finding the right one may seem like a daunting task. Start by asking asking your friends or relatives if they have someone to recommend. If you have seen a room or home with a design that you really liked, find out who the designer was. Searching online is also a good place to start. Most designers have a web site where you can instantly see their previous work and get a feel for how they design. The local ASID chapter can help facilitate this. Start out with 2 or 3 choices and schedule consultations. This is a good time to view the portfolios and most importantly, see if it “feels” like a good fit. By this I mean, use your intuition. You could potentially be working with this person for an extended period of time, while it’s not necessary that you become friends, you still want to be heard when it comes to expressing your thoughts and desires for creating a better space.

Some questions to ask the Designer during this process are:
o Describe your design style.
o Are you open to my ideas and wishes during the creative process?
o What aspect of design is of most importance to you (i.e. lighting, color scheme etc.)
o How do you structure your fee?
o Do you have a list of previous clients that I can talk to?
o Most Designers won’t give away too many ideas during this part of the process, but it wouldn’t hurt to ask for an impromptu idea or two to see if you’re on the same page.
o Your instincts can play a big role at this stage, so be sure to listen to them!

When you have made your decision, you should receive a contract with the scope of work, timeline and fees involved. Be sure to read it thoroughly and don’t be afraid to ask questions if there is something you don’t quite understand. This is the time to work out any concerns and to ask questions. If the Designer is honest and has integrity, she/he will be very forthcoming with her/his answers.

Just remember that this should be a fun process! With the right prep work beforehand, you and your Interior Designer can have a productive and creative relationship.