4 Signs of a Weak Estimating & Sales System


This morning, I got to speak to an awesome group of Fresh Coat owners in San Antonio, TX about closing rates and profit margins. Right now, I’m sitting in the airport… about to fly to San Diego and speak at the PDCA EXPO…

But I wanted to talk with you about closing rates and profit margins real quick.

Here’s the cold, hard truth… Your closing rates and what you can charge – your profit margins – has almost nothing to do with your local market or your low-priced competitors.

In every local market, you have people cutting hair for $12.00 and people cutting hair for $300.00. You have Kia dealerships and Mercedes dealerships on the exact same “automotive row.”

How can this be?

It’s simple: There is a large group of consumers in every market that value quality over price.

Here’s the problem: If you have high-quality painting services, but low-quality sales processes, you’ll end up selling “diamonds for dimes!” Why?

It’s because most painters spend all of their time “pricing” and very little time persuading.

They spend all of their time “scoping” and hardly any time “selling.”

4 Indicators of a WEAK Sales System That Robs the Owner of Money

• Pre-Positioning Is absent – This means there is ZERO communication between when the time estimate is set and when the estimator arrives.

• No Overview or Diagnostic Survey Upon Arrival – Essentially, the owner walks in, builds a little rapport, and says “Show me what we’re looking at…”

Estimates Are Emailed – This using the weakest medium in existence to sell a service priced at $3,000 on average – it leads to spectacularly low closing rates (or money left on the table). But they can be useful.

• Flimsy Follow-Up – Once the estimate is written, a call or two may be made, but then the customer is written off (even though most customers can take a month or more to make a high-dollar decision.)

Do you have any of these warning signs in your sales system?

If so, email me. I’ll help you fix them.

Now, it’s time to fly the friendly skies. Talk to you soon!

P.S. Check out this sales success story here


  1. James Boone on February 23, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    Yes, I have one of those problems, would love to to hear more about this.

  2. James Boone on February 23, 2017 at 9:34 pm

    Would love to talk to you about this

    • Brandon Lewis on February 25, 2017 at 5:41 pm

      James, I’ll have Jennifer reach out to you. Thanks!

  3. dale cummings on February 24, 2017 at 12:59 am


    I am already implementing some of the things that you have said, to me, on our one hour “free call”. I have noticed an increase in my closing sales; in the quality of my presentation- over the phone and in person.

    I have already earned enough money to pay for your course without joining in on your services. It is like playing the commodity mkt. and making money, on the trade, before the check clears the bank.

    I am anticipating that your sales/marketing/time mgt. procedures will be helping me in other business ventures not necessarily associated with painting & construction.

    After paying close to $6,000 in upcoming seminar fees , in real estate, I expect to become a member in your organization in July, 2017.

    BTW: When we talked, over the free phone call, I could not help but receive the heart-felt feelings that you actually cared about me and my business. I believe that that is what sold me on your organizational skills and desiring to join in your program.

    Much appreciation,

    Dale D. Cummings
    Cummings Painting & Construction, Inc.

    • Brandon Lewis on February 25, 2017 at 5:39 pm

      You are very kind Dale. You have tons of opportunity in your market and I know you can turn things in a positive direction. Keep up the great work buddy!

  4. Omar, on February 24, 2017 at 1:54 am


    Good point what your saying in this email but there is other problem
    On that too. is the competition when is come to residential estimate
    most consumer look for 5 to 7 estimate around and most all the they are
    Looking for reasonable price or even low price. Now we know marketing has been change dramatically and I would say that another things that has been impact for painting Bussines,


    Omar JR II

    • Brandon Lewis on February 25, 2017 at 5:37 pm

      Our members have competition too, but they still command high rates at high margins. You can too Omar.

  5. Rich N. on March 12, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    I have issues affording GL & Workman’s Comp insurance. What is other companies paying and what companies are the least expensive to work with. It seems startups have to pay a premium 19%? since they have no safety record. This makes it impossible to afford, that’s my entire margin and more. How can I compete with established contractors paying low insurance rates?

    • Brandon Lewis on March 30, 2017 at 12:34 pm

      You can do it Rich! Do not lose heart. Here’s the deal: If you use an EFFECTIVE sales process, you can command more than enough profit margin to cover your insurance costs – even if you are new.

      Second, when you first start out, you have MUCH less overhead – which essentially makes you dead even, if not even in a better pricing position, that established contractors competing with you.

      The secret is putting together a sales process that convinces the customer to go with you – tons of information about their biggest concerns and piles of proof that you can back up what you say (in a sound structure.)

      Don’t give up. It’s been done… and it’s BEING done everyday! BL

  6. Etienne Duchaine on May 15, 2017 at 10:09 pm

    Hi sir,

    I have a painting business company for 6 months now. My estimate process is going fairly well, but when i saw number 2 i knew that I was doing something wrong since its pretty much what i do ( coming in and telling the customer to show me the work that need to be done ) I would like to know what you ask in your overview and diagnostic survey. That would be very helpful !

    Thank you very much

    P.S : Sorry for my bad english , im french canadian !

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