Passing the Buck

For designers and trade showrooms everywhere

I love talking to Dennis Miller of Dennis Miller Associates. Our talks usually focus on something that he is noticing on the showroom floor that just doesn’t sit well with him and this was one of those talks.
Dennis told of a designer who was getting some push back from their client about crating and delivery charges. As a multi-line showroom, different lines have different policies – some blanket wrap, others crate – and there is a cost to both. Knowing who does which takes partnership with the showroom salesperson and needs to be part of the discussion well before the quote or order is written.
But the rub was when the designer passed the client concerns back to the showroom…for THEM to manage with the client… which doesn’t work on so many levels.

buck stops here

First, dealing with the client is the responsibility of the designer, not the showroom. To pass the buck of a concern back to the showroom breaks that connection, and in doing so, makes the designer less relevant. This isn’t intentional, but a natural occurrence when the responsible party steps aside. By passing the buck, the client will look to bypass the designer at the next difficult junction, again, diminishing their relevance.
Second, this is what the designer is being paid to do –to manage all aspects of the project and not just the fun or easy ones. The showroom can help with the information but it’s not their role to do the job that the designer has contracted to do.

Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 9.00.04 AM

And finally, having challenging conversations is an area of practice and development. It takes having them to get better at having them. Avoiding them or passing them along to someone else robs the designer of the opportunity to hone an important skill that will serve them the next time a challenging conversation or delicate discussion arises. I have coached countless professionals on developing the confidence and vocabulary necessary to successfully navigate all aspects of client interactions resulting in stronger, more profitable relationships with their clients. If you think you could benefit by improving or polishing your skills, reach out. I am just a phone call or an email away! You will be so glad you did.

And now, go sell something,
Cheers and love,

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