Handling clients is part of a designer’s business journey. It sets the tone of the whole transaction and helps get the right clients in the long run through referrals and recommendations. However, there are times when the client is not as nice or as cooperative as expected and there are more conflicts arising from the whole thing than there is progress. But with timelines to think about, what’s a designer to do?
Here are some techniques to manage a client with unrealistic expectations:
1. Establish the relationship
Clients come in different shapes and sizes – no two clients are alike. Having said that, always do prior work even before entering the meeting. Ask around about the client to understand why they are like that when it comes to the designs they seek. For example, a client with a hotel background will probably be more exacting as that’s the level of work they are exposed to. On the other hand, precision can be expected from a client that knows design as an architect or an engineer. From there, you can establish the relationship by finding a common ground.
2. Understand where the client is coming from.
It’s easy to think that a client simply does not know what he or she is saying but do keep an open mind always. Think of the ways the design can work too as it just might help you to also improve as a designer. What are their pain points? What are the items that really bother them that no other designer really focused on that’s why it is remains unresolved until today? Seeing it from that point of view gives you a deeper look at what can set you apart as a designer – one that understands and provides solutions that matter.
3. Provide actual examples
Output and actual results are the only basis of how you should approach a difficult client. And you can do this with the help of 3D rendering services that can help you prepare designs on the spot as the client’s ideas of how they want their space to look like changes or escalates. From there, both of you have an actual example of what the area will look like. Instead of simply refusing, an actual output provides a basis for the way you will defend your ideas and your clients to understand it. And then from there, you can also discuss the other pertinent items such as budget, which would surely set things straight when it comes to expectations eventually, and timelines, which will dictate the kind of decision-making all parties will adhere to.
4. Set targets
Set actual targets. On a weekly basis, what are the improvements that should have been made? This is to ensure that the project moves and that time and resources are not wasted even while you are negotiating with the client on the design. This ensures that the basics are covered and that your client knows that the time is ticking while they are unable to decide but you are able to commit and deliver to your promises.