3 Questions to Stop Asking When Meeting with Potential Interiorscape Clients – What to Ask Instead

Your hard work has paid off and you have an appointment to meet a potential client about plantscaping. You’ve done your research and are confident that the person you’re about to meet with is the decision maker. You only get one initial meeting so it’s important to understand which questions will show you the door and which will open new ones.

Here are three questions you should stop asking when meeting with potential clients and what you should ask instead.

QUESTION: “Why do you like or want live plants?”

You don’t want to waste valuable time talking about how much you love plants or asking why they like plants. This company already values having live plants, or they would not have made this appointment.

INSTEAD ASK: What do you hope to accomplish by enhancing your decor with live plants?

Listen carefully. Take notes and make sure you understand. Remember to use the words “you” and “your company.” Compliment them on the space.

QUESTION: “Did you see what (your competitor’s company) did over in Building Z? That sure was ugly.”

Never gossip or directly compare your company to your competition. It reveals low character on your part, and we are trying to build trust.

INSTEAD ASK: How did you hear about us? Why do you want to work with us? How might we fit within your budget?

You want your potential client to say yes to your service. You also understand they have a budget for live plants and maintenance. These answers not only give insight into why they want to work with you, but it also helps guide you in creating a cost estimate for them. We always try to offer at least two different price levels to give our clients a feeling of choice. Also, it’s never a bad idea to offer to give image design photographs to help the potential client see the plants in their space.

business person using ipad to show client design ideas

QUESTION: “When can I expect to hear back from you?”

To me, this question comes off rude and pushy. I know it’s hard to wait, but after you give the bids, the ball is in their court. Trust me, if this contract is meant to be, you’ll hear back quickly.

INSTEAD ASK: I know these live plants are going to look amazing here! When do you see us moving them in for you?

This shows your ability and confidence to get the job done. While we’re all currently dealing with shortages in materials and labor, it’s important to help clients imagine the plants in their space. If necessary, make it clear that due to shortages, there might be a delay in getting the materials to them. And no matter how long the wait, the end result is worth it. Once again, you are emphasizing what you can do for them.

Be sure to thank the client for both their time and interest. Set a follow up appointment to show them the bid quickly. A handwritten thank you note goes a long way too!

After opening the door with your potential client by asking the right questions, you want to continue to build trust with them. Show them what you offer and why it benefits them. Taking the time to build that relationship can lead to even bigger opportunities down the road. 

I'm Kari, the President of Green Scenes Indoor Landscaping. I attended Appalachian State University and graduated with a BS in Communication Arts. After working in restaurant management, we married and built a greenhouse in our backyard. In 1995 my husband Jim and I started Green Scenes with one client and a dream. Over the years we have been blessed to grow from waiting tables and bartending at night after working all day to a full time business. Today, our two children Clare and James also pitch in to help in with holiday decor, sales and maintenance. Our newest venture is Peddling Plants which sells the finest houseplants to the public outdoors.

Fiberglass Planters

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