How Outsourcing Client Intake Helps Interior Designers Convert and Retain Clients with Porsche Williams

Interior Design Podcast, Interior Design Career, Interior Design School, Interior Design Business, Interior Design Mentor, Interior Designer, Client Intake

Have you ever felt like you’re all alone on your interior design journey? It’s like there need to be more hours in the day to accomplish everything, yet you feel tempted to take on everybody as a client even though it’s not a good fit.

If you have difficulties saying no, want to focus on serving the right clients, and want more freedom and control over the little time you have, this is where support people come into play.

When you start a business, saying ‘no’ to things can be challenging. Having someone help you carve out what’s ideal is crucial since saying ‘no’ to some things allows you to say ‘yes’ to what’s right.

In today’s episode, I bring in Porsche Williams, a natural at being a support person. Her team handles all my client intake calls and does my client gifting, which has been so helpful for my business.

If you are looking for ways to outsource as you’re getting your business started or enhancing your customer service, this episode is for you.

Why you’ve got to check out today’s episode
  • Find out how to know if your client is a good fit
  • Learn the four (4) reasons why you should outsource your client intake
  • Discover why it’s important to include gifting as part of your business model
    About the Guest:

    Porsche Williams is a mom, wife, entrepreneur, networker, tennis enthusiast, wannabe gourmet chef & hostess, sister, friend, and confidante, so it’s no wonder she started The Prototype. Her experience of wearing multiple hats led her to realize the need for help when starting a business, and that is why she now dedicates her time to helping professionals have more time without stress.

    Connect with Porsche Williams:
    IG: @theprototypelifestyle

      Check out these episode highlights

      03:17 – How creating what she needed started The Prototype

      5:22 – The Prototype’s first interior design client

      08:08 – Meet The Prototype Team

      09:10 – Four (4) reasons why you should outsource your client intake, especially if you have a hard time saying ‘no’ to clients

      1. It creates a boundary even from the beginning between you, the principal designer, and the client, which is vital for developing a mutually-respectful partnership. Having that buffer can diminish friction later on and set a standard for your communication.
      2. Prospective clients may feel comfortable knowing that a designer has a support system in their business. It builds credibility and helps them to know the designer isn’t shouldering everything in their business, from design to administrative stuff.
      3. As a designer, doing the client intake is not the most efficient use of your time. You can focus on what needs your expertise if you can communicate the expectations of an ideal client and project, such as design, project management, and building the business to grow it.
      4. It makes good first impressions because specific requirements are needed, and the focus is solely on that call, making it a seamless and elevated experience for the prospective client, which also builds trust overall.

      13:22 – What Porsche recommends to new interior designers

      Include client intake in your initial investment (website, logo, branding) to prevent bad habits from happening.

      Why? Because having an inconsistent experience or not setting boundaries with clients from the beginning is harder to break down the road, and it’s costly to take on projects or clients that aren’t ideal.

      14:43 – The temporary yet effective hack she used when she was only starting out

      16:36 – How to know if your client is a good fit

      19:47 – Why it is important to include gifting as part of your business model

      • Despite being technically a marketing strategy, strategic gifting is really about building relationships since people do business with people they know, like, and trust.
      • Relationships, referrals, and client retention will bring you more business than Google Ads or Facebook Ads since it’s all about relationships.
      • This is a great way to show someone you care about them and that you are thinking about them, as long as you do it with the right intentions
      • Staying top of mind for those key business relationships is crucial. It just makes things more personal. It’s a more thoughtful approach to retaining and increasing your clientele.

      21:42 – When and how often you should reach out to your clients

      24:05 – Four (4) gifting guidelines you should know about

      Gifting without a strategic plan will lead to an inconsistent and lackluster experience

      • Create a plan, an annual gift strategy session with all your clients to help put that plan in place
      • Identify the recipients
      • Talk through the budget and items to gift so that it is a more automated, easy-to-manage process

      Quality over quantity

      • The good stuff isn’t cheap, and the cheap stuff isn’t good.
      • Spending $500 on a gift isn’t necessary. Smaller customized gifts and things that are useful daily can make a big impression and stay top of mind
      • Don’t always worry about the price – high quality doesn’t have to be cheap. Even a card or an anniversary card can show how much you care and remember them

      Nobody needs another branded mug

      • That speaks to personalizing things and making them something they’ll often use
      • Gifting during non-peak holidays allows you to stand out.

      Business is about relationship building

      • Gifting is unconditional
      • You give it with no strings attached. It’s not a quid pro quo.
      • It’s just showing someone you appreciate them by giving them something they’ll enjoy.

      29:49 – How the Who Not How book by Dan Sullivan has helped her with delegation and outsourcing

        Thanks for listening. If you love this episode, please leave a rating and a review. This helps me reach other curious creatives like you. If you have a topic request or would like to contact me, send me an email at [email protected]