[BONUS] Do Something Different: Surprising Advice from Design Industry Pros


In this episode, ThinkLab interviews three design industry pros: Anya Ostry, head of a multi-market tenant representation team at CBRE; Shannon White, district manager for Mannington Commercial, covering the Colorado territory; and Meena Krenek, a global practice leader of interiors for HKS. These three women participated in one of ThinkLab’s earlier hackathons, and here, they share their current concerns and advice on how to adjust to the emerging “new normal” as sellers.

In this episode:

[5:15] Meena explains why there’s a greater need from clients for data, and what sellers can do to help meet that need.

[11:41] Shannon describes her difficulties in identifying a decision-maker as designers shift to different roles, companies, or industries.

[14:26] “What can we do different to bring a studio together so they see us as being valuable, and we’re a partner to them?”

[22:45] Anya discusses the importance of being aware of your digital presence.

Connect with our interviewees on LinkedIn:

Meena Krenek

Anya Ostry

Shannon White

This season of Design Nerds Anonymous is brought to you by Mannington Commercial, theMART, and NeoCon, companies doing big things to move the design industry forward.

Download our leading-edge playbook: 5 Personas and 50 Ways to Design Their Phygital Journey.

Design Nerds Anonymous is a proud member of the SURROUND Podcast Network. Discover more shows from SURROUND at surroundpodcasts.com. This episode of Design Nerds Anonymous was produced and edited by SANDOW Design Group, with music from Blue Dot Sessions. Special thanks to the podcast production team: Hannah Viti, Wize Grazette, and Samantha Sager.

Rebecca: Designers never once have they said they have extra time. 

Amanda: While the average rep in the architecture and design industry once spent 80% of their time face to face today, that number is less than half. Our clients are busier than ever, but also we are busier than ever. So what do you need to be successful now? You need to know your buyer well enough to customize their journey and prioritize your time.

Jim: Here’s a particular role. Here’s their industry, here’s their enterprise size, even here’s their top priorities and challenges that they have. That’s fine. That’s helpful. But what it doesn’t do is it doesn’t go to that layer of depth where you’re getting into their actual buying decision.

Amanda: We’re here to help you look into the future with groundbreaking new research on buyer personas that represent where the design industry is headed to a hammer everything is a nail. While our industry has been largely analog, today’s buyer influenced by frictionless B2C experiences expects increasingly customized journeys optimize for selling in a hybrid world.

Julia: Hybrid selling is the fastest growing sales role. It’s going to be the most prominent one in the next couple of years. What do you do to actually shift to a more hybrid model?

Colleen: The good old days are gone so you have a decision to make, and the decision is to get as good selling in a hybrid model, as you were in a face to face model.

Amanda: This season we’ll equip you with actionable ideas about understanding and connecting with humans from buyer personas to how we engage in physical space.

Meena: A lot of psychology, environmental psychology is more important today than it’s ever been. You need to understand what do people see and feel and engage with and how do they participate with our spaces.

Julia: Sellers are really at the tip of the spear of client or customer interaction. Let’s listen truly to what our customer preferences are. They’re different than they used to be. Therefore we have to change too.

Amanda: So press that follow and join us for season four of Design Nerds Anonymous

button and join us for season four of Design Nerds Anonymous


Amanda Schneider

Amanda Schneider, LEED AP, MBA is a researcher, writer, and founder of ThinkLab. Amanda is a strategic thinker with a strong background including industrial design,

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