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We’ve all known people who are really great at sales and thought, “OMG! How do they do that?!” Every great salesperson knows the power of persuasion – getting other people to buy in to their ideas. And, getting a client to see things your way is really a form of soft selling. You want them to buy the design you’re selling, right? But how do you use persuasion to get your clients on board? I have 8 things I do to get my clients excited about the ideas I have for their home. Check them out below, and then keep reading to the end for a little favor I want to ask you for!

1. The Trust Factor

From the beginning, your clients have to trust you and believe that you’re going to be able to deliver. To build that trust early in your relationship, you’ve got to be on time to meetings, say what you mean, and deliver a presentation when you say you will. And you have to have a good reputation, too. After all, most of us still get our best clients through referrals!! I know I do!

2. Calm Confidence

When you’re asking clients to hand you a ton of money, you can see how they might be nervous! They’re going to look to YOU to be calm and have confidence. Be sure there’s no hesitation when you talk to them about your ideas! You want to give them visual cues that say: “I’ve got this! I know exactly what I’m doing!” If you don’t REALLY believe in an idea or design you’re presenting – then maybe you shouldn’t present it. You need to be completely sold on your ideas or you won’t be able to sell anyone else on them, either!

3. Empathy

A great salesperson always has empathy! You need to be able to put yourself in their shoes. Sometimes, what seems like a good idea doesn’t really work for your client. Be sure what you’re presenting is something you KNOW they’re going to like. You might have to use persuasion to sell them on cost or an out-of-the-box color or technique, but don’t push them toward something that just isn’t right for them. That spells disaster for BOTH of you!!

4. Clear Communication

I sure talk about communication a lot on this blog, don’t I?!? Well there’s a reason for that! Communication is at the heart of everything we do. EVERYTHING. You need to be sure your client has the opportunity to communicate exactly what they need and what they like. You have to take that information in clearly and completely. And you have to be sure they understand exactly how you work and what’s in store. ALL of that has to take place before you even present one idea to them. Whew! But if you do all of those things, you are going to be halfway to presenting ideas and design that they will LOVE!

5. Use Their Words

I love this one! I see it as a way to reaffirm what they’ve said to me, and that I definitely heard them! So for example, I might say something like: “You told me that you loved the Greek key pattern on your grandmother’s wedding china, so I brought that into this idea of painting a Greek key border around the room.” You want to remind them of where you got the ideas in the first place!

6. Compliment – Sincerely

Before you try this, read that second word again. SINCERELY! You don’t want to be one of those people who sound like they’re just sucking up – UGH. If you compliment your client, make it a real compliment! So you might say: “I really loved that antique desk that was your mother’s! I think it would look great with this ultra-modern Lucite chair.”

7. Repetition

We’ve all heard this one before, but we tend to forget it when we want to use our own powers of persuasion! You want to repeat an idea – especially if you think it might be more of a hard sell. Repeat WHY you think it will work, but use different words each time. This really does work! Just look at how many times I’ve repeated the importance of communication on this blog! 🙂

8. Use Visuals

Visuals are the BEST way to get someone to really SEE what you’re talking about, right? But even in a presentation we can forget to show the client the BIG ideas we have. Pay for extra renderings! Have someone mockup what you’re envisioning! Buy a bigger sample of the marble or fabric if you have to. The extra money you spend could lead to a bigger payoff in the long run.

No matter what, you want to make your client feel like you’re working as a team – that’s a great way to persuade them to go for your ideas! I have a GREAT collaboration tip sheet that will help – just click HERE for a FREE download!

And now for that FAVOR!!! This blog is in the running for the Amara Interior Blog Awards, a prestigious international competition for blogs! I would LOVE to have your vote to get me onto the semifinalist shortlist – please click HERE to cast your vote for the Return on Interiors blog! You can vote any time before Sept. 12. And THANK YOU!


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