How to Manage Your Home Staging Client Meetings
Now for the fun part of starting your home staging business — meeting with clients. Once your phone starts ringing, congratulations, you’re in business! There is no perfect way to teach this material — it takes some experience and you have to be willing to jump in and trust yourself to develop your system for handling clients. If you have decent people skills then you can do this. I say it’s the fun part because meeting clients is the first step in getting some money coming in.
You’d be surprised at how many people don’t know the basics of professionalism. This includes business owners.
Let’s go over this just so we’re on the same page.
When clients contact you because they’re interested in your home staging business, do your best to answer the phone or return their call or email as soon as possible. If they’re asking something that will require a detailed answer and you don’t have time right away, at least touch base with them. Tell them you received their request and you’re going to get the information back to them when you’re back in the office, or first thing tomorrow morning, or whatever the case may be. Let them know you’re paying attention.
A lot of business gets lost because of poor communication skills/lack of proper prioritization.
Always be polite and diplomatic.
Do your best to exceed your clients’ expectations with excellent service, attention to detail, and quality work.
Home Staging Client Meetings
Always be prompt. It’s not acceptable to be late for a client meeting. It’s much better to arrive 15 minutes early — but don’t knock on the door 15 minutes early! Find an out of the way spot to sit in your car. Try not to look suspicious 🙂
When you go meet clients, be sure to have a professional appearance. I were a client I would expect no more than casual attire like jeans and a nice top from a home stager, because they could be in between doing hands-on work that day. You can use your judgment on that, but always be neat well-groomed.
When you enter the home, try to find nice things to say about the house as an ice breaker and as a way to start building some rapport. There’s always something nice you can honestly say about a home. Be genuine.
Shake hands, make eye contact, smile.
Your job is to gracefully guide the meeting so that you get things done efficiently.
If you’re there for a DIY staging consultation, once you have some small talk out of the way go ahead and ask them if it’s OK to start in any room. That way they can take care of anything that needs to happen before you tour the home. Unless they tell you to start in a particular room, go for the kitchen since it’s one of the most important areas. You can collect your fee and the beginning or the end of the appointment. It’s up to you, but don’t leave without getting paid. When you collect upfront then you can go through the appointment knowing that you don’t have to worry about that part, and my opinion is that’s the best way to go.
If you’re there to discuss hands-on work, ask them to show you each room and then you can sit down and talk about how your service works. You have the option of writing up a bid (proposal) on the spot or getting it back to them in a day or so. I personally like to deliver the bid on the spot because I think it’s better to keep the process moving along while you have them in front of you. Try to close the deal right then and there.
Be confident and personable. It’s OK to be nervous, that’ll go away before you know it. Just do your thing and be genuine. If you’re REALLY nervous, you can have someone go with you to your home staging client meetings as your assistant. Why not? You can have them hold your tape measure or take notes.