IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 43

MyTHBUSTERS: CAn yoU SAy no To A CLIEnT?

IIDA MEMBErS WEIGh In By Jan Lakin
It can be difficult for designers to turn down work or even push back on ill-conceived client directives, especially in this economy. But, can we—should we—ever say no? When is it appropriate to hold the line on your design vision? And what’s the best strategy for redirecting clients and their misguided convictions? Perspective asked IIDA members to weigh in on when and how they say no, and when they feel they can’t, and we received a flood of enlightening opinions and anecdotes.

respondent admitted that no project is rejected, even if it’s beyond the firm’s expertise: “In most cases, we pursue all types [of projects] that we can, pulling anything relevant out of our work history that might look good.”

‘‘‘‘‘‘‘‘‘‘‘‘‘‘‘‘‘ no.
BAD CoMPANy More respondents were vocal about turning down work, however, and while economics and building businesses may make some designers more acquiescent about accepting work, a chorus of designers detailed why they say no. Several cited “poor fit” with their firm culture and “not in keeping with the strategic direction of the firm” as the basis for rejection. A number mentioned low fees and a “budget job” as a reason to pass. Clients who don’t pay their bills or have a bad reputation were avoided, especially by one respondent in DC: “We choose to turn down work or not pursue a project based on word of mouth. Washington, DC, is an extremely small design and construction community, and everyone knows which clients took their design firms ‘south’ so to speak.” If the designer/potential client conversation progressed to an initial meeting, this phase too was frequently decisive for designers. A number mentioned walking away from work when encountering “unpleasant people” or “if a client presents themselves as having already made all the decisions” and simply wants execution “without using your knowledge and creativity.” Poor chemistry and mismatched personalities were key factors as well. But

Do you Always Accept Work?

‘‘‘‘‘‘‘‘‘‘‘‘‘‘‘‘‘ yes.
THE “GooD” DESIGNER Business professionalism and positive client relationships are esteemed qualities for interior designers. In our industry, good service along with great design equates with success. So it’s not surprising that designers feel the need to be compliant and even take on work that might not fit their skill-sets or schedules. In our survey, designers provided an array of reasons for why their firms don’t turn down projects, from being afraid of losing the client completely, to being too new in the business and needing all the work they can get. Some firms simply have an unstated policy that they’ll take on all work unless the deadline is absolutely unattainable. one

perspective

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011

IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011
From IIDA
Contents
Q&A
The Virtuous Circle
Hybrid Professionals
The Consulting Advantage
Trending Research
As the World Turns
MythBusters
Design Decoded
Resources
Viewpoints
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - Cover2
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - From IIDA
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 2
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - Contents
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 4
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 5
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - Q&A
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 7
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - The Virtuous Circle
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 9
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 10
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 11
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 12
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 13
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 14
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 15
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - Hybrid Professionals
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 17
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 18
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 19
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 20
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 21
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 22
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 23
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - The Consulting Advantage
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 25
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 26
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 27
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - Trending Research
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 29
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 30
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 31
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 32
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 33
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - As the World Turns
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 35
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 36
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 37
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 38
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 39
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 40
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 41
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - MythBusters
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 43
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 44
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 45
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 46
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 47
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - Design Decoded
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 49
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 50
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 51
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - Resources
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 53
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 54
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 55
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - Viewpoints
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - Cover3
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - Cover4
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