Are you an aspiring interior designer or new to the business? Getting qualified home décor leads may not be as easy as you thought it would be. And what do you do with those leads to convert them to clients? When you are pitching a dining room makeover, suggesting the best dining set for their desired style and function goes a long way to closing the deal.
Here are some of the things you need to keep in mind as you design a dining room for potential clients.
The real reasons interior design leads bail
If you have gotten several home décor clients on the line only to lose them before making a sale, you’re not alone. There are a lot of reasons that leads might bail without agreeing to your plan for their new dining room, but there are also some easy solutions to put in place for a higher close rate.
Clients are unable to envision the end result
A lot of technology has been developed for interior designers over the years, and the systems only get more sophisticated with each generation. With the virtual home design capabilities of the latest software, you can give your clients a perfect view of what their finished dining room will look like.
This can help increase your close rate, as clients are able to more realistically imagine their new dining room. And, of course, you will be able to sell them on redesigning other rooms in their home once they see your creativity and talent. Of course, if you don’t choose the right dining sets, even the best interior design software will not lead to increased sales.
Some clients have strict budgets
In a perfect world, interior designers would have no limits in designing dining rooms and other areas of the home. Unfortunately, that is rarely the case. Most clients have a budget in mind, and it is important to stick to it by choosing dining sets and other furnishings that meet these restrictions.
If you go over their budget in your estimate, you’ll need to give the client hard evidence that the higher price tag is necessary to achieve their desired effect. You will be better able to meet your clients’ needs at a low price when you browse and purchase their furniture through online retailers.
Cluttered rooms can feel suffocating
If the dining space you are designing is relatively small, make sure that you choose a dining set for the client that will be comfortable while still giving them the seating they need. Extendable tables are a great option for these smaller spaces, giving the client more daily space while still providing the necessary elements for hosting dinner parties and holiday events.
Interior design software comes in handy when trying to find the perfect dining set of the perfect size. Not only does the software give a visual to your potential clients, it also allows you to double-check that the furnishings will fit comfortably into the room, leaving plenty of space to move around the table and other furniture.
Style differences between rooms can be jarring
One of the most common reasons people don’t follow through on a quote for a new dining room is that they don’t like the style of the furnishings and décor. Although rooms can, and frequently do, vary styles throughout the home, the shift from one room to another shouldn’t be abrupt. If the dining room is open to the rest of the home, or if it is part of the kitchen, it is even more important for this to be a more conforming or transitional space. Choosing a kitchen table of the same style as the rest of that open space will create a seamless transition from one room to another.
Clients prefer to be given multiple options
While you do want to give our clients a visual representation of your vision for their dining room, you also want to give them more than one option. You can save yourself and your clients time by designing more than one dining area with more than one option for dining room furniture. After interviewing your clients, design a few different configurations with different dining sets to present to them.
You can show them the one you recommend first but giving them additional options helps them feel like they have more control over the end result. You can also use a laptop or tablet to swap out dining sets during the consultation or presentation to give them a better visual to make the right decision.
The dining room furniture set doesn’t meet functional needs
Interview your client so that you have a clear picture of where the table will be placed and how it will be used. A table of the wrong size or type will automatically turn off your interior design leads. Dining table sets come in all sizes with many different seating options. Make sure that the kitchen table sets you offer the client have the right number and type of seats, as well as an extendable table if appropriate for versatile functionality.
Is your home décor client disabled, or do they have members of their family or household that use mobility devices? If so, you need to make sure that the dining set you choose meets their needs. The table should leave a path of at least 36” around the perimeter of the table for wheelchair or walker access.
How to find the right dining sets for your clients
Furniture retailers can purchase furnishings directly from manufacturers or wholesalers, but small interior design businesses don’t purchase enough dining sets to work with those suppliers. Instead, you will have to rely on the same cost-saving purchase options available to the average person.
Most homeowners, especially those who hire interior designers, don’t take the time to find dining room furniture for the lowest cost. They are much more likely to purchase their dining room furniture at a local retailer, even if they start their search and browsing online.
But as a home décor business owner, you can take the time to find just the right online furniture store to work with for all of your interior design projects. You will save a lot of time by finding a supplier that offers furniture of all styles and trends that you might use in your designs. When looking for one particular online furniture store from which you plan to make all of your furniture purchases, you should keep in mind the following criteria:
- Delivery options – Free delivery to your business location or warehouse, or free delivery directly to the client.
- Order fulfillment – Order accuracy and the speed at which the furniture order is filled play a key role in providing timely services to your clients.
- Full furniture collections – The best online furniture and home décor suppliers offer a wide range of furniture brands and collections to meet every need of your current and future interior design clients.
- Ability to create your own furniture sets – When you can’t find just the right dining set, you should be able to mix and match individual pieces for unique furnishing arrangements.
- Detailed product descriptions – Pictures don’t tell the full story of a piece, and detailed product descriptions with dimensions, materials, and construction allow you to choose just the right furniture for each client.
- Opportunities for saving – Some online furniture retailers offer frequent sale events to further lower your costs and increase your profits. Particularly look for furniture stores that offer substantial clearance sections and prices year-round.
Being able to buy all of your furniture online at low prices allows you to offer much more competitive fees than other interior designers while still turning a good profit. You can markup furnishings by the same percentage as other home décor professionals and still offer lower prices than your competition.
Another consideration when choosing an online furniture retailer is financing and cash flow. Homeowners often put off furniture purchases until they can pay for the entire order at once, but interior designers don’t have that luxury. Purchasing furnishings for all clients before collecting payment can tie up your capital in a way that most beginning businesses can’t afford.
On the other hand, when you choose an online furniture store that offers easy financing options, you can usually make a down payment on the furniture for your clients and then pay off the balance when your clients pay for their final results. Most interior designers ask for a deposit upfront to cover some of these initial expenses, but the ability to finance a large portion of the purchase makes it much easier to balance your books.
The bottom line? Online furniture stores are the best way to sell your potential clients on a new dining room. When combined with the latest technology and your own talents, these pillars of success will propel your business forward as you close more and more clients.
Short bio: Hi! My name is Mary Forest, I’m a freelance writer, creating different unique and relevant feature articles. I’ve done most of my articles on furniture in the context of home design, interior decor, and how to find the best match out there. Glad to provide you with content and hopefully see it featured here!