A courtesy Hand-Out as a follow up to the June 7th speech at Fordham Marble!

Thank you for taking the time to attend my recent speech at Fordham Marble!

Please find a few major key points of the “Think Differently” presentation.

Current State of the Interior Design Industry

  • Don’t forget that Baby Boomer clients are still dominating the market
  • Senior Women age 60 and older control or will more than three-fourths of the nation’s financial wealth
  • Design Centers in the downtown areas of large cities are weakening due to massive congestion- you can’t get there from here!
  • Lots of smaller trade showrooms are rising in smaller markets providing easy access to some design products. Same is true for independent salespeople (road sales people).


  • Either learn it or have someone who knows it available. VR and AI and AR (augmented reality).
  • Virtual Reality will become more and more important- it is already at the Ikea level.
  • Smart Home technology is a must-have now in new construction and renovation-know it.
  • Designers need to know and understand tech better than the millennial client if it pertains to the services they provide

What will the design industry look like in a few years?

  • Crafted design presentation components will matter more- water colors, pen and ink, hand written notes- paired with hi-tech home specifications- both will matter
  • The industry will keep getting smaller but thankfully there are lots of interesting start-ups both on the design side and the product side (Brooklyn small-batch print market for instance)
  • Health care will continue to expand in its importance among designers with the rise of substance abuse and luxury assisted living facilities- residential designers will move into these areas of expertise as they expand the services that they offer.
  • Luxury design may involve new luxury technology paired with vintage classic expressions of personal taste-possibly vintage technology artifacts.

What the wealthy clients want

  • More quality services from fewer providers. The wealthy are getting wealthier. Expand with your existing clients in addition to searching for new ones.
  • “Reassuringly expensive” products and services
  • If you introduced your firm, not as a design firm, but as a service firm and state that Interior Design is one of the primary services your firm offers, what are the other services you offer? Remember, the wealthy want more and higher quality service from less service providers.

Selling Fundamentals 101

  • Pay attention to non verbal cues- Begin your first meeting with a client using information based on non-verbals- don’t just launch in.
  • Don’t undersell your skills- charge more and come down, not less and then still less later.
  • Don’t sell past the close.
  • Pay attention to the things your clients collect. Find them for them occasionally.
  • Stand when you talk on the phone- you feel and sound stronger
  • Smile when you talk on the phone- you sound nicer.

Tips to Think about for Expanding your business!

  • Add an additional bouquet of services than enhance your existing service packages.
  • Develop a Product Line. Find a void and fill it!
  • Develop a unique niche service for your business.
  • Adapt a “Future” mindset. Think of what your business will look like in 3 years… 5 years… 10 years! Get your team involved! The best idea might not come from you!

Important 2018 Tips for your Business

  • Be aware of the economic climate.  Are market prices up or down?  Housing market?
  • Stay updated on new tax laws
  • Be aware of industry trends that could impact your business- design firms that offer real estate services/construction services and vice versa. The combining of services to the wealthy clients is already happening!!

Understand the different types of clients and how to sell to them!

  • Resonate with the products & services of the clientele you are seeking & market your business accordingly.
  • Selling to Millenials – Millenials respond to visual NOT verbal. This generation has less core knowledge of our world but a tremendous desire to find out more-visually. Help them and you help your business. Don’t forget College Debt is looming and getting larger
  • Selling to Baby Boomers- trained clients that are both visual and verbal and have $$,
  • Don’t forget Generation X- they inherit from Boomers first.
  • Keep your eye on Generation Z

Think outside the box!

  • Are there ways you can run your business more efficiently?
  • Consider freelancer vs. employee
  • Think of utilizing Virtual Services that may be able to enhance your services & expand your client reach



  • Economists Think that the next US Recession Could Begin in 2020- Wall Street Journal
  • What are Algorithms? John Paul Mueller & Lisa Massara
  • Why AI with Augmented and Virtual Reality will be the next big thing- Brian J. Dooley
  • 75% of the Ultra-Rich Forecast a US Recession in the next 2 years, survey finds. Natasha Turak.



Internet (*bibliography)

Financial Services Coaching- Suzanne Muusers

What Advisors can learn from Ultras-Wealthy Clients- Leslie Kramer

Tips for Working with Wealthy Clients- Birke Consulting

Dealing with Wealthy Customers- Jeff Mowatt

How to leverage millennial wealth- Brian O’Connell

Tips for wooing wealthy clients- Barbara A. Friedberg

Five important lessons on how to attract high-end clients- Brian Ainsley Horn

How to market to the super rich- 4 challenges and 8 strategies- Diana Huff- Sherpa.com

Interior Design- not just for the wealthy- Amanda L. Redelier

What is a Smart Home- Smart Home USA

How Smart Homes Work- Molly Edmonds and Nathan Chandler

Virtual Reality- Reality Technologies.com

Augmented Reality- Wikipedia

How to Plan a Visual Marketing Strategy- Pinterest 452 Best Visual thinking, learning, and literacy images on Pinterest

Market Watch- Women Will Control 2/3 of Private Wealth in 3 years

The Cheat Sheet- Women Control the Majority of America’s Wealth

Assorted facts from ASID.com


Print (*bibliography)

Marketing in the Age of Alexa- Harvard Business Review

Thank You for Being Late- Thomas Friedman

How do Consumers Choose in a World of Automated Ordering- Greg Portell, Abby Klanecky, HBR.

Articles from: The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Economist, The Financial Times, Interior Design Magazine, Forbes, BOH, Editor-At-Large PodCasts, Healthcare Design Management, Healthcare Facilities Management, more.


Thank You.