I recently had a negative experience while trying to purchase a new vehicle.
It was my first time buying a car without a man by my side and it was a stereotypical situation where they seemed to be patronizing me because I am a woman who knows very little about cars. It may have been my perception but I left feeling frustrated and not heard and without the vehicle I had been wanting.
It made me realize that sometimes people can be coerced into a purchase either by guilt or a form of bullying whether it is by salespeople or even friends or family.
I recall a client I met with recently who came in wanting granite countertops for her kitchen – after we had chatted for a while I realized that she didn’t want granite at all! The conversation had started when her sister-in-law put granite in her new home, they were having coffee one day and they started chatting about her renovation when her sister-in-law exclaimed – you HAVE to put granite in your kitchen!
The discussion carried on with more family members getting involved until this lady had convinced herself she needed granite despite having budgetary concerns.
The opinions of family had washed over her and created a self-induced hype that would only be satisfied with an upgrade that would have cost thousands.
Instead of getting a complete kitchen with new appliances and a stunning glass backsplash she would have granite, an average tile splash and boring old white appliances. When we got deeper into the conversation she revealed that she would rather have the whole look completed than just having granite but she felt she had to buy it based on the opinions of her relatives.
While I was struggling with my decision regarding the car my co-worker said, ‘This should be fun for you, don’t let them take all the excitement out of buying a new car’.
Sage advice! I decided then to call the dealership and cancel the purchase and wait for another opportunity in the future.
This is something that I have never done in my life and my initial guilt was overwhelming but the relief I felt after taking a stand was amazing and I don’t regret standing up for myself.
I see many clients who aren’t having fun when designing or renovating and I always try my best to encourage them to enjoy their process. From the other side of the fence I now see that often clients can be fearful of the unknown and can often feel overwhelmed making decisions which are outside of their sphere of knowledge.
I had a lovely couple in yesterday who were ready to order products for their new home and spoke up at the last minute saying, ‘We have never liked the carpet we picked but were worried about telling you!’
We found a better carpet and the smiles on their faces were amazing as I watched them choose the product they loved.
Whenever you are choosing to spend your hard earned income YOU should be in charge and YOU should be happy and comfortable during the entire process.
Find people you trust and who you believe have your best interests in mind and you will never walk away from a business transaction with anything less than absolute satisfaction.
Kim Meckler is an interior designer with Carpet Colour Centre in Red Deer.