In my last post in this series, I talked about the danger of charging a flat rate when you are dealing with The Pack-Rat Client.
In this post, I’ll talk about one of my biggest pet-peeves which will cost you over and over if your pricing strategy doesn’t include a cancellation fee; “The Wishy Washy Client”.
Some people just can’t keep an appointment. When you’re in a service-based business such as home staging, if you are dealing with The Wishy Washy Client, you will receive voice mails full of excuses.
One day they might call to tell you they aren’t quite ready to have the house staged so they want to reschedule. Then when that appointment rolls around, they call saying they double booked and have a meeting with their banker, their child’s piano recital or a dentist appointment.
A client like this who schedules and reschedules appointments over and over again — leaving you with gaps in your calendar that can’t be filled on short notice— can really damage your bank account.
If you charge a cancellation fee, you will be compensated (or not, depending on how much time and energy you’ll devote to collecting it). But if you neglect this important detail when you set up your pricing structure, you can go broke if you deal with several clients of this nature.
Another symptom of The Wishy Washy Client is one who keeps changing her mind about what she wants done in her home. One day she wants you to plan time for painting before the furniture arrives, the next she wants to be on the market a week sooner than originally agreed. This can be a real scheduling nightmare when you are juggling a number of clients with tight deadlines.
You’ll run into even more problems with a Wishy Washy Client if you’re doing a redesign or color consultation. At least with home staging, your client knows they don’t really have to live with the changes you make.
When your decorating recommendations are something they’ll have to live with long term, the Wishy Washy client’s normal level of indecision will reach a peak. They’ll go back and forth on almost every color or furnishings choice. If you’re not using the right pricing structure, you’ll quickly watch any profits you hoped to make evaporate in lost hours you’re not being paid for.
Your stress level and the time you spend on this project rises— but the amount you’re earning remains the same if you’re using a flat rate pricing structure. This is something I never recommend and it’s way I’ve created an alternative pricing strategy as part of the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program.
Please share in the comment section if you’ve ever had a Wishy Washy Client and how you dealt with this.
In the next and last installment in this series I’ll talk about The Indecisive Client and how they can also help to flat line an otherwise healthy home staging business.
Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®
President, Six Elements Home Staging
Entrepreneur and Home Staging expert Debra Gould, The Staging Diva, knows how to make money as a home stager. She has helped many long time Interior Designers make the switch into a more profitable house staging business. Discover her secrets to business success in the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program.