If the potential clients are positively affected by an advertisement or properly informed by a brochure or Web site, they are very apt to follow up by contacting the designer or firm directly. This most typically occurs by means of a telephone call or e-mail, though it sometimes takes place with a visit to the firm’s office or jobsite (Figure 5—3). The clients make this inquiry to get more information, to have initial questions answered, and to schedule an appointment for a more serious discussion about retaining the designer or firm to develop a master plan for their site.
The designer in turn must spend whatever time is necessary to answer the potential clients’ inquiry. This might include reiterating information already given to the clients by other means because hearing it explained by someone in person can sometimes prove to be more effective. The designer should respond to the potential clients’ questions in a manner that is informative and reassuring. The designer might also need to ask questions of the potential clients to make sure that they are properly informed and that they seem to be the type of client that is desirable to work with. If the conversation goes well, the designer should conclude by scheduling a meeting with the clients at their home.