I know I am not very consistent with blogging, but every now and then I have a story idea relating to my clients or interior design, but often life and work gets in the way of taking the time to write a post.
This week I received a card with a cheque from a client I had visited this spring for a free consult. A complimentary consultation is something I do not offer normally unless it is a simple meet and greet for a larger project such as a new build or a larger renovation. Every now and then I get a phone call from someone who would like a free consultation, and my answer is always no, I do not provide that service. The reason is: I typically meet with clients for a minimum of two hours, and during those hours I will share my insights and expertise gained over the last 10 years of running my business. And this in fact IS my business and how I earn my living, to provide my expertise in home renovations and design.
During the meeting I urge clients to write things down as I will give them a lot of information that will save them time and money down the line. With some clients this is the only meeting we will have, and they can move forward with information in hand, these are the do-it-your-selfer. Naturally and thankfully some meetings lead to larger projects and longer engagements.
Back to the card, here is part of what my client Carol wrote: Though you advised it was not your usual practice, you agreed to provide a complimentary consult which was much appreciated. We have also consulted with another designer who charged for her time so as you were so helpful, I feel its only fair to pay you for yours.
What a nice person I say. And of course during the meeting I provided a lot of valuable information... and so felt I had gone against my philosophy... and my belief that what designers provide is extremely valuable and should not be free, just like any other service you pay for.