The HOW of Networking for Interior Design Success

The HOW of Networking and Interior Design Success



The number one complaint I hear from designers is the lack of quality clients. Most designers I talk to have tried everything to find them from, fancy websites, postcard mailings, and of course networking. I can tell you personally that every fantastic client I have ever met, was through some form of networking. You've probably tried networking yourself, and depending on your successes, I have a few new ideas and tips for how to make networking even more productive.




1. Who are you networking with? Don't forget, networking can mean many things from a friend of a friend, a fellow business owner, or an organized networking group.




2. What are you offering them in exchange? The best way to ensure quality, top notch referrals is from someone who respects and values you already. That means you need to give as much as you receive whether it's reciprocating with a lead for them, or a complimentary consultation.




3. Where one finds great clients takes a knowledge of who you're looking for, and a little strategy. Think about it; design clients are people who not only care about where they live, they're willing to ask for help (and pay for), from a quality professional.




It came to me when I learned where Helen, (my coaching client I was boasting about earlier) had found one of her new dream clients. She was networking on Linked-in with a professional organizer. Brilliant! People who are willing to pay a professional to help them organize their home, will probably need help making their home beautiful. So start brainstorming! Who else can you think of who offers services with the same criteria?




4. When should you be networking? (When shouldn't you be networking, is a better question.) One of the most profitable relationships I've ever made was from a store owner I met at a friend's birthday party. You really never know where your next great customer will come from. You never know where your next great customer will come from, so pay attention, or a great opportunity might pass you by.




5. How you network is a critical piece of this profitable puzzle. I know how much success I've had in my own design business through networking, so I know that it works. I've listened to other designers who think they're mining for great clients, and what I actually witness them doing is scaring away prospects by coming off as pushy or overbearing.


The "How" of networking is simply a form of sales, and we know how much designers love to sell... It may not be your strongest skill, but it's critical to your success. I recommend you start doing a little research and work on honing the art of sales. You'll be amazed how simple and fun it can be. Just by knowing a few simple phrases, adjusting your body language (while learning to read others), and understanding client psychology, can fill your design business faster than anything else you'll try.

 


Whether you are just starting out in the design world, or have years of experience, Chelsea Coryell can help you discover the confidence and tools for success in building the design business of your dreams. Drawing from over 20 years of experience as a professional designer and a, "failing business" consultant, she can help you today by visiting http://www.designforaliving.com where you can download a free video series now.


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