Venting: Clients as Teachers


First, I’d like to thank all of you for your wonderful suggestions last Monday for Thanksgiving presents for my family.

In these challenging economic times, I went with my partner Theo’s idea (check out the pictures below). They were all very happy indeed.

And now, on to today’s post…

I always remind myself the simple truth that if we do not have clients, we do not have a business. I can humbly say that most of my success comes from my ability to view my clients not only as customers, but also as teachers.

I can remember a few turning points:

Mrs. Schwartz
Years ago, I used to present ideas to clients by showing them elements of the event and hoping they could actually visualize what was in my head.

That is, of course, until I met this lovely client who said, “Preston, If you want to play with the ‘big designers’ you need to start acting like one. I just went to another designer who showed me a full table presentation with flowers, plates, glasses, salt, pepper, everything to the last detail.”

Mrs. Schwartz changed my concept of giving presentations forever. Thank you dear lady.

Joan Rivers
While planning her daughter Melissa’s wedding, she told me, “Preston, when the guests arrive I want them to feel like they are at the theater and the curtain just went up to the most beautiful theatrical set.”

This simple idea from Joan is the basis for what I do today–transforming spaces into theatrical environments.

I have often gotten the question, “What can I do if I think a client has no taste?” I think a better question is: How can we take our client’s “bad taste” and learn from it by making it better?

For this week, feel free to write in the comments section about any issues you are having about meeting clients, accomplishing a good interview, but not getting the job. I’ll answer you directly by email with my suggestions.