To win more interior design clients, talk their language. Not yours
Do you know what:
- You’ve been diagnosed with Ottis Media
- It’s a Blattella Germancia infestation
- The dish of the day is Lophius Piscatorius
mean? If you do, you’ll be in the minority (the translations are at the end of the post). All too often, we’ve a tendency to give things clever names. And use jargon. But what does it achieve? Maybe it’ll impress our peers. But it won’t win more clients for our interior design practice. And it’s clients that pay the bills
Interior Design Jargon
This post was inspired by a discussion I had with an interior designer. He was dismayed to learn from his survey that only 15% of respondents knew what biophilic design was. I wouldn’t be surprised if all those in the 15% are interior designers. The creators of design, not our clients
I couldn’t help but smile when listening to a workplace discussion at a recent interiors event. The panel, keen to impress us with their knowledge and insights, sprinkled their answers with phrases like ‘modularisation’ and ‘adaptability of the post-built environment’. Some big words to describe ‘easily moving stuff in, out and around offices’
Confused Clients aren’t Good for Business
Clever words, jargon, BS bingo. Call it what you will, it confuses those not in the know. People like our clients. And this causes two problems. Firstly, we have to spend time educating our clients. We must stop what we love doing, what pays the bills and tell them what it is we mean. That’s to say, stop designing. To solve a problem, that we’ve created
More importantly, confusing a client can make them feel ignorant. And no one likes to feel stupid. The client in this situation may not say anything for fear of looking foolish. Consequently, they could end up with a design that you thought they’d love. But in no way matches what they want. Or they just don’t come back. Either way, most likely they’re no longer your client
Interior Designers are People Too
We don’t go to a shop and adopt a bizarre accent. When socialising with friends we don’t speak in a code so complex that it’d flummox Alan Turing. No, we want others to understand us. So we use normal language. And adopt common, everyday words and phrases. So why not do the same when speaking to clients? As interior designers, we’re people too. Why not let that show through?
I promised you the translations to gobbledygook at the start of the post. So here they are:
- You’ve an ear infection
- You’ve got cockroaches
- Today’s special is monkfish
Don’t force your clients to ask for a translation. Use everyday language to explain how your beautiful designs will make their lives better. They’ll be more likely to stick around if you do
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