A well know giggle amongst us framers (well, we have to get our laughs somehow) is when a customer comes in, and utters those immortal words “I just want something simple”. Quite often this is code for “I don’t want to spend any money” or (and completely understandable) they haven’t a clue how much framing costs and are worried about their budget.
Sometimes though, it works the other way.
A customer brought in a stunning black and white photograph, quite small in size and which had been printed on beautiful art paper. The customer naturally wanted to make a feature of it and wanted me to suggest appropriate ideas.
After trying various ideas and combinations (and taking into account the customer’s input), my vision for this piece was a very classic and simple statement, in black with a slip (in the same colour and material) to keep it away from the glass (which also gave it depth) and of course a suitable grade of glass.
The customer really liked the combination we had chosen together but then joked that we were doing ourselves out of business by not pushing for something more elaborate.
My response to this was that, if simple is executed well and it really does the print justice, then we’ve done our job. The customer is also more likely to come back and recommend us to others.
My point being that it’s a bit short sighted just to go for bust when taking an order; it is after all, something that will be a reminder of your work on their wall for a long time!
I would feel much happier knowing that I’ve made what I believe to be the right suggestions (even if they decide on something else entirely), then I know I’ve done my job, to the best of my ability.
It’s worth remembering that your consultation is where you make your big impression. So, be as transparent as you can, answer their questions fully, if you don’t know the answer, don’t make it up, find it out, give your honest opinion and if you’ve done all this and they still go away unhappy, don’t beat yourself up!