In the dynamic world of interior design, setting the right price for your services can be a delicate balance. Your value as a designer should never be underestimated, and it’s crucial to remember that “The Price Is the Price.” This mid-week reminder emphasizes the importance of recognizing your worth and holding firm when it comes to your fees.
Let’s dive into a recent consultation experience that highlights the significance of this principle. During a consultation with a potential client seeking Full-Service accessorizing, I sensed that budget concerns were looming in the background. While I typically don’t discuss budgets early on in the process, this particular consultation led us to a detailed conversation about it. I took the opportunity to explain a fraction of my comprehensive design process, which left the client astounded by the amount of work involved to which she responded with “WOW! That is a lot of work”.
Towards the end of the consultation, I presented a ballpark price, which caused her to wince slightly, but she agreed to it. However, when the proposal came in, my fee was significantly higher—almost double. This increase was necessary because I couldn’t generate the same profit margin solely from accessories, so the design fee had to be adjusted accordingly. Despite the client’s initial reaction, I sent her an email, honestly explaining that I understood the price might be outside her budget and that I wouldn’t want her to face financial hardship for accessories. I even recommended other designers and closed her file with me.
The surprising twist came when she responded promptly with a clear, decisive message: “That price range is not a problem. I also wanted to talk to you about getting a contractor in.” No arguments, no negotiations—just a straightforward acceptance of the price.
Here’s what I didn’t do and what you shouldn’t do either:
❌ I didn’t ask about her budget during the initial discovery call.
❌ I didn’t decline her for not grasping reasonable costs.
❌ I didn’t compromise my pricing to accommodate her budget.
❌ I didn’t criticize her budget as unreasonable.
Instead, here’s what I did and what you should consider:
✔️ I respected her as both a mother and a woman.
✔️ I valued her financial well-being and didn’t push her into a difficult financial situation.
✔️ I informed her about the value of my services and outlined my process.
✔️ I educated her about the costs associated with furniture and accessories.
This experience reminded me of one of my fundamental professional principles: “The Price Is the Price,” period. In my early years, I might have bent over backward to make a sale by reducing my fees or compromising my worth. However, this often left me feeling frustrated, resentful, exhausted, and undervalued.
I want to emphasize that, whether you’re a newcomer to the field of interior design or a seasoned professional, you are absolutely WORTH the prices you charge. Your clients chose you because they saw something special in you, and that value is not contingent on your fee. Stand your ground, know your worth, and charge accordingly—because YOU ARE WORTHY!
In conclusion, embracing your worth as an interior designer is essential for a successful and fulfilling career. By valuing your services and setting your prices accordingly, you’ll not only attract the right clients but also build a strong and sustainable business in the long run. Remember, “The Price Is the Price,” and you should never compromise on your value.