Why Your Client Hated Your Design Presentation

Why Your Client Hated Your Presentation

It doesn’t happen often (hopefully!), but we have all had the experience of showcasing a presentation to a client, only to hear crickets at the end. UGH!! There is nothing worse! And when it does happen, we either have NO clue why, or we have a sneaking suspicion and ignored it. There are a few common reasons why your client hated the presentation. I’ll give you the most common ones – and how to avoid them in the future. But be sure to read ALL the way to the bottom! I’m letting you in on a BIG secret there!

You Didn’t Listen

Sigh. This is a big one, and the most common reason the presentation fell flat. And it’s also the one mistake that you probably know, deep down, that you made. It’s completely understandable that you got stars in your eyes when you saw their house. You probably had it all planned out before you even finished that first walkthrough. And you just KNEW it would look amazing. But you forgot about what the CLIENT wants. Sometimes what they want is DEFINITELY not what we want. But there has to be compromise. After all, it’s their money, their house, their lifestyle. So if a client told you they wanted soapstone counters, but you knew that was the wrong decision and you ignored it – well that’s on YOU. That doesn’t mean you have to give them everything they want. But you have to listen to them and then help guide them to what will work and will make them happy. So be sure you listen!

You Didn’t Ask the Right Questions

I’ll never forget one presentation that went sideways for me. I asked my client to make pinboards to show me things they liked. And for some reason, just about everything they pinned was blue. So, OF COURSE, I created a house filled with blue!! Turns out, they hated blue. It was just a coincidence – YIKES! If I had asked questions like “tell me what you like about this room,” I could have avoided a huge problem. That’s also why an extensive client questionnaire is so important. You not only need to know what they like and what they dislike, but you also want to know how they entertain, if they let their pets on the furniture, if they’re germaphobes (hello, touchless faucets!), and if they watch a lot of TV. Questions like those will practically ensure your presentation is a BIG hit!

You Forgot About the Budget

Even if you don’t have a single price included in your presentation, you know your clients will see some clues. And if you’re presenting full marble bathrooms and a La Cornue range, they’re going to understand that the design is not going to come cheap! And that’s okay if they told you they have an unlimited budget. But if they gave you a more moderate price range and you’re WAY beyond that, they are NOT going to be happy. No one wants to be shown the most stunning home in the world, only to be told they can’t have it. And that’s really what you’re doing when you’re showing them things outside of their budget range. They could also be embarrassed because they’re going to have to say they don’t have that kind of cash. Don’t put your client in that position!

You’re Too Old School

If you’re still pulling out boards with fabrics pinned to them, you might want to rethink your presentation methods! I love a good board with fabric on it, but there are SO many cool tools out there to make you look like a tech whiz. There’s 3D modeling, video walkthroughs, and incredible online presentation software. You can even create an exclusive password-protected page on your website for your client! Bring out all the bells and whistles! They not only show that you’re in touch with the times, but they also create a sense that you’re definitely worth the money your client is investing. And of course, you can still show fabric and tile samples so the client gets that tactile hit – but just be sure you’re looking modern and up-to-date at the same time.

To help you, please download my Guide to Design Presentation Success here! It will help you avoid that scary moment when you know it’s all going downhill.

 And speaking of that – it’s time for my BIG secret!! I’m having one HECK of a sale on my Return on Interiors system AND on my new Project Management System Course. WHEN? On the Friday after Thanksgiving, which is less than 10 days away!! Don’t miss out – be sure to watch your inbox for insider details! And if you are new to my blog and don’t receive my emails, just sign up on the right-hand column at the top of the blog. Then YOU will be in the know, too!

Digital Design Presentation Success 



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