The Value of Asking the Client


Two years ago, CBRE Project Management launched a new market segment called Furniture Advisory Services (FAS). Our primary focus: developing competitive furniture bidding strategies for our clients that, on average, reduce their furniture costs by 15% to 29%.

Asking questions has been one of the main contributors in our ability to save our clients’ money. We ask about everything from payment terms to what is the most important piece of furniture in their private offices. We do not assume we know their preferences, the client may not even know their options!

We take a hub and spoke approach to build our strategy; the hub being the answers to our questions – what is most valuable to them – with everything stemming from that.

While we always knew asking questions would be important, we did not anticipate the infrequency in which clients are typically asked about their furniture process, preferences and priorities.

Are clients not being asked questions because everyone assumes they know the answers? Perhaps others simply don’t know what to ask, or how to use the answers to shape the furniture direction.

Probing allows us to understand our clients’ values, but it also builds their trust in us. By diving deep to understand their needs, our clients see first-hand that we customize our strategy around what they told us. At the end of the project, our client knows that all stones were overturned and the result is a reflection of their values.


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