A NEW CLIENT HAS JUST HIRED YOU: NOW WHAT?
September 29, 2011
Last Thursday, I wrote about setting clear boundaries as soon as you meet a potential client. This Thursday I want to discuss important considerations once you’ve gotten the job. This is when the real work begins!
1. You’ve gotten that exciting phone call; you’re hired! The first thing you should do now is send your new client an email expressing your gratitude and excitement about working together. Also, before you lift even a finger, ask for a deposit or a “save the date,” which will be applied to the full amount of the event. Do not start the design process until you have this deposit!
2. If you’re a florist or a designer, now comes the fun part: you get to design! Gather all of your notes and ideas, and create a concept story board. This is your inspiration, and you should not hesitate to include images from your client as well as any images you find on your own. This board will help you create something new and great; your freshest ideas will likely be inspired by this board. Just remember that sometimes those ideas arrive with a whisper, while other times they arrive with a bang!
3. Schedule a day and a time to make your presentation to your client. Be thorough! When presenting, describe every single detail of your vision for the client’s event.
4. The worst is when a client says something like, “Preston, this is not what I had in mind, and I think you’re way off.” To avoid this terrible scenario, I usually design three different concepts. Like all people, clients like options!
5. This is how I break down the different designs I present:
Design A – This design is whatever the client requested.
Design B – This design is based on what the client requested, but I take a few liberties and incorporate some of my own ideas.
Design C – This design is what I like to think of as “my design.” I go all out, and design the event the way I would do it if it were my own party.
Many of my clients pick Design C, but some also end up selecting elements from each of the three designs that they like. The great, and unsurprising, news is that clients are always more eager to pay for something they got to choose themselves!
Dear Readers, do you create multiple designs for your clients to choose from? Or do you worry multiple designs might confuse them? Do you present with storyboards or do you create life-size versions of your ideas so clients can see exactly what their event will look like? Please share your approach in the comments.
And be sure to check back tomorrow as I’ll be tackling the next big client hurdle, and it’s a doozy: Pricing!