The Art of a Client Meeting

I had a great meeting with a new client and her family yesterday. It left me completely high with anticipation to do this job. I woke up thinking about this meeting and what made it so unique and it propelled me to write this entry on meeting with new clients. Here are some things I’ve learned:

  • I think the most valid part of meeting a new client is allowing your client to be your teacher. It’s amazing how creatively stimulating it can be when you pay attention to what they want. It can really get your creative juices going.
  • Make sure you leave your judgmental self at home that day. Your clients should never feel that you disapprove of any idea they have. Ultimately it’s your job as a designer to make the most unusual idea work.
  • Write down every single idea your client has. Take note of her likes and dislikes. Sometimes it’s a good idea to send your client a copy of your notes. The great part of this practice is that your potential clients get the feeling they are being heard and that you pay attention to their needs.
  • The fantastic part of these difficult economic times is that I keep hearing from my clients that gone are the snooty, condescending designers, who made our clients feel as if we were doing them a favor. They all had to eat a big slice of humble pie. As I have always said, if you don’t have a client you don’t have a business, so they should all be treated like precious gems.

I’d also like to introduce the second episode of The Preston Touch in which I meet the lovely Lilit. She tells me all about what she wants for her dream wedding. It may give you some insight on what it’s like in my normal client meetings. Click below to watch.

What special touch do you bring to a first meeting with a potential client? Do you think as a designer, you have the right to tell a client what’s right for them?

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