How to Sell Bid or Estimate a Painting Job or Project – Free Training

How to Sell Bid or Estimate a Painting Job or Project

How do you sell a painting project for top-dollar? How do you estimate a painting job so you get paid the kind of money you deserve? How do you bid interior and exteriors so you never get beat by chuck-in-a-truck on price?

In the free training below, you’ll discover the selling secrets of the nation’s most successful painting contractors. There are four powerful tools here for you to use in marketing and selling your painting services.

Here’s how you can get started:

Step #1: Listen to the Audio from the “Closing More Estimates” Tele-Seminar Training:

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Step #2: Watch the Video that Reveals the Secrets Behind the Painter’s Academy’s Trademarked System, The PowerPaint Presentation Process

Step #3: Use the Diagnostic Survey Below to Pin-Point and Fix Problems with Your Estimating System

Click Here for Free Painting Estimating System Diagnostic Tool

Step #4: Read the Full Transcript Below Detailing How to Bid, Estimate, & Sell Painting Projects & Jobs

Closing More Sales Tele-Conference Training Full Transcript

Hello everyone, it’s Brandon Lewis the Director of the Marketing Department at the Academy for Professional Painting Contractors. Welcome to today’s round table tele-seminar, closing more estimates, how to train yourself or your estimator to close at higher rates and prices without complicated or high pressure tactics.

So I appreciate all of you. The line sounds clean. Thank you so much.

Here’s what you’re going to discover on the call today. Three things, first the foundational principles of a selling system that works. Number two, how lead sourcing predestines closing rates and price sensitivity. And three, the secrets of the Power Paint Presentation Process. It’s our trademark system at the APPC and what our members work on in month two of the Core 5 System.

So quickly, who is this call for? If you’re tired of losing large high quality jobs to price and you’re getting beaten by Chuck in the Truck this is good for you.

If you’re stuck at billing rates that are much lower than you want and your profit margins are lean, if you keep doing and processing lots of work but your operational bank account is not piling up, then this is for you.

If you’re running all over town looking at jobs, I’ve been there, but only a small number of them are closing it’s going to be a helpful call.

If you’re doing the estimates yourself and you’ve never been formally trained, if you feel like you’re just giving people a price and hoping something happens it’ll be good.

And then finally, if you have sales people and estimators working for you who need to improve their closing rates or margins you’ll find this call very informative.

I’ll make one more plea for the person who’s running around in the background with their phone unmuted to please mute it, otherwise in the next couple of moments you’ll spoil it for everyone and we’ll have to mute the line until the very end when we take questions. So if you’ve got a loud line if you would please just mute it.

So let’s get started, dig right into the details. Let’s talk about why a top quality sales process is so important guys. If any of you have ever watched me speak at an industry event or if you’ve ever attended a webinar, if you’ve ever spoke to me one-on-one on the phone, you know that one of the first things I’m going to do is talk about mathematics. And that’s really what our business is about. It’s about money. It’s about making money. It’s also about being happy. It’s about time with your family, but there’s a few things that are easier to measure and one of them is money. Money is mathematical. You can measure it.

And so there are really two big problems with a sales process that doesn’t work. Number one is the cost of a low closing rate. That means you see people and only a few of them actually buy from you. And the other is the cost of low billable hours. So you’re billing your hours of your painters out or yourself at much lower than what you deserve at much lower than what you could otherwise get. And we’ll talk about how pricing is tied directly to your sales process as we go along.

So let’s pretend for a moment — I’m going to go ahead if you don’t mind guys, I’m going to go ahead and mute the line. If you want to ask a question just press 5* and we’ll go through it at the end of the call. There’s someone who just can’t figure out how to mute their line and they’re in a noisy area. It’s the person who’s telephone ends in 7311. If that’s you you’re the reason we’re having to mute the line. All right guys.

Let’s talk about the cost of a low closing rate and let’s look at a base. If you’re following along and if you’re able to write this down this will be some neat metrics. If not I’ll summarize it for you at the end. Let’s say that you see ten estimates per week and let’s say that your closing rates are around 27%. If you’ve got lots of cold leads and that’s what you’re looking at that’s not a good rate, but I see that rate a lot. And let’s say that your average job size is about $3,500. And let’s say that your net profits are around 25%.

What that means is as an owner you should be netting, making about $2,362 a week. That’s a pretty good living. That’s about $100,000-something a year. $2,300 net a week. Well, if you see ten estimates per week and we are able to raise that closing rate to 37%. Just a 10% bump. And if your average job remains at $3,500 and if your net profits remain at 25% that means that you would be making $3,237 a week. Now that’s a difference of $875 per week. That’s $3,589 a month. That’s a big difference to go up $875 a week in your earning potential.

Let me ask you this question while you’re on the call. If you got a bill from the phone company and if it was $50 higher than what it should be most of you would spend serious talk and power on the phone trying to figure out how to get that bill reduced. But many of you right now are getting a bill, it’s just not coming in the mailbox, and it’s the bill for having a poor sales system. But many of you have not spent an hour, or maybe even a couple of hours or a week trying to solve this very expensive $875 a week bill that keeps coming to your painting business. So that’s the first problem is the cost of a low closing rate.

The second one is the cost of low billable hours. Let’s take back to that original base example. Let’s say that you had ten estimates per week, we’re still at this 27% closing rate, our average job size is still $3,500 per job and let’s say that our net profits are still at 25% or we raise it up to 35% from 25%. The only thing that has changed is our net profit margin. A lot of that has to do with how much you can bill your painters out per hour and how much you can bill your painters out per hour has everything in the world to do with your sales process. It has nothing to do with your overhead, has nothing to do with the quality of the work, has everything to do, at least initially, with the sales process. Well that means that now you are making $3,307 a week versus the $2,362. That means you are now making $945 more a week or $3,876 more per month. That is from being able to charge more.

The first example was what happens when you close at a low rate. The second example is what happens when you get to close, or when you’re closing at the same rate but your profit margins are higher.

Now what if we do the best of both worlds? What if we do the best of both worlds? Okay. And if the best of both worlds would be ten estimates per week, now we don’t have any more leads in the funnel, this is the same. This is a closing rate of 37% from 27, same average job size of $3,500, but now we’ve raised our billable hour rate and we’re able to get 35% net profits. The difference there is an extra $2,170 per week or an extra $8,899 per month.

The long and short of this, and the thing that’s important to know about a sales system is that when you fix your closing rate and when you fix the billable hour situation or your net profits because you can sell better, then the owner with the better sales system — this is where you can write this down — the owner of the better sales system will make an extra $106,788 more than the other owner who has the exact same lead flow but who has a crappy sales system.

The real big problem with a bad sales system is that it costs so much money and it leaves so much money on the table. So that’s the big thing that I want us to work through today.

So again, the three things that you’re going to learn, now that we’ve kind of gone through why it’s important and who it’s for, is we’re going to talk about the foundational principles of a selling system that works, how lead sourcing predestines closing rates and price sensitivity, and the secrets of the Power Paint Presentation Process, our trademark system at the APPC.

So let’s talk about the foundational principles of a selling system that works. I want you to not try to be mad at me as I say some of this stuff. There are some preconceived notions in the painting industry and I don’t mean to step on anybody’s toes when I say some of this stuff, but it’s the truth. So just kind of set aside judgment for right now and just assume that what I have to say may have some merit.

And I failed to introduce myself, and I apologize, I run the Painter’s Academy. I work with hundreds of painting contractors across the US, Canada and Australia, and I write for all the publications, speak at all the industry events, I built my own million dollar painting business up in five years, sold it for $440,000 in a still struggling economy. I used to be in politics and marketing and I have been my entire life and I just applied those secrets in politics and marketing to my painting business. I should have introduced myself. I forgot. I assume if you’re on my list you know who I am by now.

So let’s talk about the foundational principles of a selling system that works. Number one, it’s not about the quality of your work it’s about the quality of your sales system. It’s not about the quality of your work it’s about the quality of your sales system. In every market guys, there are craftsmen who are providing high quality work at bargain basement prices. You know them. People who are awesome painters for whatever reason it’s just them and another helper. That’s as big as they’ve ever managed to get because they’re excellent at their trade they’re terrible at their business and they’re giving away their work for pennies on the dollar. In the same market there are huge companies and mid-size companies with painters who do mediocre middle of the road work who are charging high prices getting high profits.

Well, if it’s not about the quality of the work and it’s about the quality of the system they need to get a system that works. And the reason it’s not about the quality of the work is because you have yet to do the work. You’re selling the invisible. The only thing the customer or the client has to go on is the quality of your sales process. They will assume good sales process good quality work. Bad sales process bad quality work. If you charge higher prices for your services and you come up against Chuck in the Truck, if you come up against the fly by night painter who doesn’t have insurance, doesn’t have overhead, if your sales process looks, smells is kind of like the other guy who’s much, much cheaper you will lose to price every time. The goal is to have a sales process that is so radically different than Chuck in a Truck that the owner is scared to death to hire him even if he is $2,000 cheaper. So that’s number one.

Number two, it’s not about giving a price it’s about putting on a show. It’s not about giving a price — you can write this down — it’s about putting on a show. So people think estimating is about pricing. Every time I go to an estimating class or see one taught it makes me sick to my stomach because estimating is simple and straightforward. We shouldn’t have to talk about estimating or coming up with a price. It’s just a little bit of multiplication, it’s a little bit of division, it’s how long you can do it granted you have to take exception for window glazing, rusty handrails, scraping and priming, but 85% of every project is just a math problem.

It’s a fourth grade math problem. Susie and Johnny are painting a fence. Johnny can paint 12 linear feet an hour. Susie can only paint ten. Their mama wants them to come in by lunch and there’s only three hours. There’s 63 feet of fence. Can Johnny and Susie finish before lunch? I mean those are the kind of things that we were doing in fourth grade. It’s simple and easy. I don’t have time to get in to how to calculate an estimate. I’m happy to talk to you about it offline, but it’s simple. And it’s easier than what we think and a lot of people try to overcomplicate it. You can figure out how to do an estimate and come up with the perfect production rates in frankly about two days. If you’re willing to do it I can tell you how.

So it’s not about giving a price it’s about putting on a show. People that are really good at giving a price you know them. They work at Wal-Mart. They are pricers buddy. They price thousands of items per hour don’t they? Thousands of items. Boop, boop, boop. That’ll be $3.96 Mr. Lewis. They don’t make any money do they? People that price for a living do not make any money. But people who put on a show, people who sale make lots of money. Pharmaceutical sales reps, attorneys, doctors, lawyers, people that are CEOs and who sale and get big deals done, they make a lot of money but they’re not there to generate a price they’re there to sell a service which requires a selling system.

So don’t get confused when you go out to see someone and think that you were there to give them a price. That is the last thing to check off your list. Yes do you have to do it? Is that what’s going to give you higher closing rates and higher prices? Absolutely not. It’s not about pricing it’s about putting on a show, it’s about selling.

Number three, the trust equation. This is a good one to write down. The trust equation. Trust is equal to the number of impressions that you have with somebody, the number of interactions times the quality of those interactions. You can count on it. So if it’s 3:00 am and you’re on the side of the road and you’ve done something you shouldn’t have who do you call? Do you take out the phone book and start randomly flipping through it? Why not? Well because you’ve had no interactions with most of those people and you’ve not had a high caliber interaction with any of them. You call somebody you know, a parent, a spouse, a friend, a co-worker because you have seen them and they have performed or they have interacted with you in a consistent fashion that has built trust over months or years.

So we have an obligation, a necessity to build trust rapidly in the 24-96 hour period that we have which means we must have as many interactions as possible with the client and each interaction must be high quality, meaningful, educational, authoritative. If we don’t have that we’re in trouble. We can’t build trust. We’ll talk about that here in a minute.

Next, you can’t sell white collar prices with blue collar sales processes and mediums. I’ll repeat that. You cannot sell white collar prices with blue collar sales processes and mediums. Here’s what I mean. When you go out to estimate a job gentlemen and ladies, when you put a $7,000-$17,000-$3,000 price in front of someone, especially if you’re trying to do it through email and you expect them to say yes you have just put the same price in front of them that a cosmetic surgeon would put in front of them for a serious procedure, a divorce for a middle class couple with a lawyer that’s contested, a complicated IRS tax audit with a CPA. Yet we try to sell our services like they’re a can of beans, like we’re Amazon selling a pair of old shoes. And then they don’t close and we wonder why.

I want you to think about the last time you went and saw a heart surgeon or a gastrointestinal specialist or somebody, a realtor, what did their sales process look like from beginning to end? It doesn’t look anything like yours. If it doesn’t you’re in trouble. You can’t sell white collar expensive services with blue collar methods and mediums and expect to close at high rates. Now these are all foundational principles I’m going over. Okay? And the reason I’m going over them first is so that when we start going into the technical details you understand why I’m doing the things I’m doing the way I’m doing them.

And then finally, underneath this part, it takes less time and costs less money to do the best estimate in the world versus the crappiest. I’ll say it again. It takes less time and costs less money to do the best estimate in the world versus the crappiest. I get on the phone with owners all the time and they had a long list of things they used to do. Well we used to do this and we used to do that and I used to do this, and now I don’t do this, I don’t — ah, it just takes too much time. Bull. I tell you what takes a lot of time is driving around seeing twice as many estimates as you have to making half as much money. That’s taking a lot of time. If you’re going to do it do it right.

It amazes me how often we will go to great pains and pride ourselves and get all puffed up about the fact that we do quality work, meaning that our lines are straight, we’ve covered all the surfaces, we prepped them appropriately, we cleaned up, we’ve answered customers questions and we swell up, puff up with pride. But our sales process looks like something that a tenth grader would do if they were really lazy. And we don’t care about that. We don’t take the same pride. We don’t take the same idea of professionalism with our sales process as we do our craft and that’s a shame mainly because that’s where more money is frankly than the craft, but it’s kind of irresponsible. If you’re going to be a serious painter, a serious craftsman you should also be a serious owner, you should be a serious student of sales and marketing in your business.

So if you’re going to do a good estimate or a bad estimate you’ve already paid for the lead guys, you’ve paid the marketing cost for the lead. That’s out the window. Good, bad or otherwise, if they say yes, no, maybe, if they don’t show up, they do show, they say yes, they say no, you spent that money, you spent an hour and-a-half with them in person, maybe 30 minutes getting to them, 30 minutes coming back, it doesn’t matter whether you email it in weak and wimpy and do no prepositioning, presenting, post-positioning or follow up or if you show up and just say, you grunt a couple of times and scratch something out on the back of a napkin. You’ve spent the same money and the same time. You just get a different result. So if you’re going to do it do it right.

Let’s move into the second part. Okay guys? We’ve talked about the foundational principles. I’ll repeat them really quick. It’s not about the quality of your work, if you’re writing this down, it’s about the quality of your sales system. It’s not about giving a price it’s about putting on a show. The trust equation. You can’t sell white collar prices with blue collar sales processes. And it takes less time and money to do the best estimate in the world versus the crappiest. I usually don’t repeat myself, but because this is audio and not webinar I want to make sure you have a chance to take notes.

Let’s move on into the second part. How lead sourcing predestines closing rates and price sensitivity. See I’m a Presbyterian. I believe all of you are predestined to be on this call. And so here you are whether I marketed to you or not you all would have just shown up anyway. That’s a joke. Sometimes people get all mad because I say that. It is a joke, so don’t take it seriously. But lead sourcing predestines closing rates and here’s what I mean. Repeat and referral customers close at an amazingly high rate compared to cold leads, especially leads from the internet. You know this. You go out and see a past customer, somebody who’s referred they typically don’t haggle you on price and they almost always close don’t they? Average closing rates for repeat and referral business are in the 60s and 70s. Average closing rates for leads off the internet can be in the 20s, sometimes less.

So if you want to be able to sell to someone the first thing you got to do is be in front of somebody who will buy. I would rather have any person I meet off the street selling to a repeat or a referral customer than to have Zig Ziglar, and I may be dating myself here, to have Zig Ziglar or America’s best salesperson trying to close cold crappy internet leads. If you want to have higher closing rates and if you want to be able to charge higher prices it’s really important that you have a process in place for reactivating and retaining your past customers. It’s where all the money is in this business. It’s where all the equity is. Most of you aren’t doing a good job of this. I went and spoke at a PDCA conference, had 20 back to back meetings in my booth after I spoke at a session. Sold out of the one-on-one meetings. And only three of the 20 had contacted their past customers in the last 12 months. Two of them did the worst thing in the world they could possibly do is send a Christmas card. And one of them had a halfway decent process. The rest were terrible. Absent.

The weighted average of how many repeat and referral customers constitute your gross sales every year will have a huge bearing on how you close and how much you can charge. And here’s the thing you have to know. You cannot fix your sales problems if you’ve got bad lead sourcing. You’re still going to have low closing rates and price sensitivity issues. So what you really need to do in advance of doing any sales system is to immediately reactivate your customers through a specific process. It’s what we teach our guys how to do in month one. And then to retain them. It’s what we teach our guys to do in month three. Month two we work on the Power Paint Presentation Process which is what we’re talking about today.

But it’s my job, it’s my fiduciary responsibility as a mentor to tell you the truth. And the truth is if you don’t have repeat and referral customers in abundance pardon my French, you’re screwed with your sales process. Can you do better with a good sales process and still have crappy customers? Yes. Will you build equity? No. Will your business be predictable? No. Will you have marketing costs through the roof? Yes. So let’s move on and talk about the sales process now that I’ve got that out of the way.

But what happens is most people have a cost of sale, before I leave this, a cost of sale meaning how much you pay in marketing dollars before someone buys from you of about $250-$350, which means if you want to run a million dollar painting business you’re going to have to spend somewhere between $75,000 and $100,000 on marketing if you get all cold leads. By contrast it usually takes only about 5-10% as much to get repeat and referral customers to buy from you. If you’ve got a big list you owe it to yourself to reach back to that big list because they are pushovers. You can have the worst sales process in the world and get the business. I’m not advocating that at all. I advocate that you do the Power Paint Presentation Process, especially when you’re in front of past customers because they are the best customers. And better to close a good customer again than to cold close a cold lead the first time. So it is unsustainable.

And then finally before I’ll leave this point, if your sales had been stuck at $300,000-$200,000-$600,000 for more than a year mathematically you’re losing more customers each and every year than you’re getting and I can almost bet with certainty that you are not contacting your past customers or you’re doing a crappy job of it. One of the two. So you got to fix that first. If I had to choose between working with an owner, if we could only do one thing I would make sure he kept up with his past customers and I’d leave his sales system crappy if I had to pick. It’s not an either or situation, but it’s more important frankly than sales, but we’re here to talk about sales today so we’re going to.

So let’s move on to how the Power Paint Presentation Process works. So first things first. Remember when I talked about the trust equation? We have got to compress the number of contacts and we’ve got to compress the number of interactions and the quality of the interactions in this short time period. So when the customer compares their experience with us versus Chuck in a Truck or even your other high class quality competitors it is going to feel, look, smell and be so different that they are nervous about doing business with anybody but you. Okay? So if we’re going to do that we got to touch them lots of times.

So let’s get started with prepositioning. There are four parts to the Power Paint Presentation Process and they are prepositioning, presenting, post-positioning, follow up, and then we’ll talk about customer reactivation and retention and how it brings them back full circle. But if you’re writing this down, prepositioning, presenting, post-positioning and follow up. We’re going to walk through each of these step by step.

So prepositioning first off. We always recommend that you get your phones answered 100% live all the time. That means in most cases they’ve got to go either ring two times to your personal phone and then go to an answering service but somebody has to answer them 24/7, whether they ring your office first or go directly to the answering services makes little difference. I ran the numbers with a person the other day who let their phone calls go to voicemail about half of the time. If you’re letting your phone calls go to voicemail or if you’re letting all of them go to voicemail you’re making a critical mistake. You can fix that problem right now and I just saved you thousands of dollars a year. We calculated that it was costing him about $60,000 in sales a year just from that one thing. And he was a small guy. Some of you it’s probably costing you $600,000, $200,000 a year.

So we do it. We’re going to answer the script. We’re going to have an answering script immediately. The answering script has to convey something meaningful and we immediately start talking about how our people, processes and products are different than other people, so they know that they’ve got a hold of a company that’s professional and that we’re already differentiating ourselves.

Then we’re going to move onto the intake survey. We’re going to walk them through an intake survey process where we’re going to collect information not only because we need it and not only because we’re going to use it later on in the sales process, but because it’s about putting on a show remember. It’s about this diagnostic process just like when you go to the doctor’s office, the attorney’s office, you’re going to go through a diagnostic process first. We want them to feel like they have been heard. We want them to feel like they’ve been listened to. We’re immediately going to send what I call a prepositioning manual email. It’s going to start talking about in an overview how our people, processes and products are different than your typical painting contractor along with some background information and it’s going to inform them that over the next three days they’re going to get auto responder emails, which are immediately sent automatically. One about our processes, one about our people, one about our products in that order.

Then we’re going to drop a piece of preprinted, prepositioning mail in with a little handwritten note on it. Simple, easy, costs pennies. And it’s going to have one of four surveys that we do. We have an interior residential survey, an exterior residential survey, an interior commercial survey and an exterior commercial survey along with frequently asked questions, customer testimonials and a specific intro letter and this survey. Four pieces of paper in a no. 10 envelope. We’re going to handwrite the address and put it in there.

Now why do we do all this? And you might say, “Oh Brandon, this sounds like a bunch of work. Let me go scrub some baseboards. Let me go rearrange some paint cans in the truck. Let me go run a pressure washer tip out to the other of the county, but please don’t make me work on this.” Well, guys, this is where all the money is and it takes no more time to do this than it does to have your typical rapport building BS session with the customer on the phone. Seriously. Everything that I just talked about doing because it’s all pre-done, takes about somewhere between 60 and 120 seconds to do if you set it up right. It’s all in the set up.

Now what does this mean? This prepositioning that we’ve just done? Let’s say now that you’re the customer. You called Jose’s Painting or Earl’s Painting or Billy Bob’s Painting, and you got the voicemail and then he calls you back and says, “Billy Bob’s Painting. How can I help you? What’s your address? I’ll be right out there.” That’s all that happened on that call with the customer.

Now, think about the customer that called in, got a professional voicemail, or got a professional on the phone, was walked through a specific process, received an email identifying the estimator, distinguishing your company, three subsequent emails and a piece of mail in the mailbox. We have touched, versus Jose, we have touched them one, two, three, four, five more times than he has with better messages and the one phone experience they did have live which is the one thing that’s equal ours is better, isn’t it? We’ve already laid the ground for prepositioning to get higher prices and close at higher rates, haven’t we? Jose’s not done this. Billy Bob’s not done this. We’re going to beat his rump when it comes time to close this sale.

So let’s talk about presenting. First thing is we’re going to show up with appropriate dress. If you are doing estimates in painter’s whites you need to stop yesterday. This is a small thing. If you dress like a technician you’ll be paid like a technician. Dress like an owner. Okay. Dress like an owner.

We’re immediately going to give them a gift based on information that they gave us, just a cheap gift. It doesn’t cost very much. And it’s either going to be endearing to their grandkids and kids, endearing to their pets or endearing to them personally as empty nesters. We’re going to know what situation they’re in before we show up and in the first seven seconds when most impressions are formed we’re going to make a very positive impression with them and they’re going to know that we listened to something that they said a few days ago, a few weeks ago. We remembered, we show up with it, it’s hard not to like somebody in the first seven seconds when they give you a thoughtful gift that’s endearing to a pet or dog, which is about 80% of the time. It’s very powerful. If you think that this doesn’t work you’re a crazy person because I’ve got feedback from hundreds of contractors, people are emotional. They buy based on emotion and they back it up with facts. We’re going to hit them both emotionally and factually. It’s important.

We’re going to walk through an overview with them. If you show up and say, “Show me what you got,” and do some small talk that is not what you need to do. We’re going to give them an overview. We’re going to say, “Hey, Mrs. Customer, let me talk to you about what’s going to happen over the next few minutes while we’re here. We’re going to walk through steps A, B, C, D and E. And at the end today if everything sounds right and if we provided value we’ll go ahead and put you on the production schedule. Is that okay?” It’s called future pacing. We script all this out for you.

The second thing we’re going to do after we do the overview is to go through the survey. We’re going to sit down with our clipboard and we’re going to walk through this survey that we have mailed and emailed to these individuals and review them with them. Why are we doing this? Do we have to do it to give them a price? No. But remember, people that price and are really good at pricing are Wal-Mart clerks that get paid like Wal-Mart clerks. Nothing wrong with being a Wal-Mart clerk, but you just don’t make much money. So we’ve got to put on a show. We’ve got to look like the doctor, the attorney, the CPA, don’t we? If we want to get paid for white collar premium prices we must have a white collar premium sales process. They’re going to feel like they’ve been listened to and heard.

How many times have you gone out to see a doctor and they didn’t listen to you? They just tried to give you a pill? How did that make you feel? Not very good. We’ve got to make them feel good. So we’re going to walk through this survey.

Then we’re going to walk through the audit. We’re going to measure everything. We’re going to make a show of it. We’re going to use our measuring tools. We’re going to walk them through a specific process. We’re going to keep the homeowner with us the whole time. Now, if you’re letting the homeowner wander off while you measure you’ve made another mistake. The more time somebody spends with you in a selling environment the more likely they are to purchase. The less time the less likely. Keep them with you. Okay. It goes back to that trust equation, remember? Audit. That’s what that is.

And again, one reason we make a big show of it during this audit and another reason we keep people with us is because have you ever given an order to a waiter and he really didn’t write anything down and he really didn’t seem to repeat back what you wanted and your order was very complex? What happened? Well your order came back all messed up and you knew it was going to be messed up before he even left. If you don’t make the audit process, the measuring process a selling opportunity you’re missing out and the customer is going to be left thinking you’re going to screw something up. We can’t do that.

Now we’re going to move onto our leave behind social proof book. We’re going to tell the customer, “Hey, listen Mr. Customer, I’m going to go out here and put together a detailed estimate along with some company information. But while I’m out there I’m going to leave this leave behind book.” We provide this to our members. It’s very templated. It’s all done for you, and it talks about all the different reasons and the social proof that you are different than your typical painting contractor. And we give them an incentive for actually reviewing it that they find when they go in there.

Now, if you don’t use a leave behind book and if you don’t address doing your estimates on the spot and not emailing them, you should never email them and I’ll justify that here in a moment, but if you do an on-site estimate and you go out to your car and if you don’t have some kind of tool to leave behind you’re missing that opportunity to sell them. So while you’re out in the car they’re watching Oprah. They’re watching re-runs of Hee-Haw. That’s no good. You got to be selling them, right? You got to be selling them. Well you can’t sell them when you’re out in the car. Well, you can if you leave a tool.

Now they come back and they know more about you, they feel more comfortable with you because they’ve heard from other people about you, and now we’re going to present the estimate in person. Why do we present the estimate in person instead of selling it? Everything that’s expensive in this culture is sold in person. Cheap things are sold by email. Simple, easy things, if you buy a house, if you buy a car, if you buy an insurance policy, if you bury a loved one you’re going to talk to someone person to person.

Now, can you sell by email? Absolutely. You’ll just sell at lower rates for lower prices. If that’s what you want to do it’s fine. You’re sacrificing a lot. Here’s the deal. Everybody who I’ve ever worked with as an owner who began using this process reports it takes less time to do it on the spot than to leave it and then come back to it.

Here’s another reason you don’t use email. You cannot put more obstacles between you and getting the job closed if you tried. How many times have you emailed an estimate and had this conversation? Did you get the email? Oh, it went into Spam? Oh, you got it but you didn’t check it. Oh, you checked it, but you didn’t open it. Oh, you checked it and opened it but now you’ve lost it. I need to send it again. You checked it, you opened it, you haven’t shared it with your husband because you didn’t print it because you don’t have a printer because your printer’s down. Oh, your internet’s out. Geez Louise people. Could we put more obstacles between us and closing the sale? I mean you might as well build a brick wall around the customer. You’re already there. You’ll never be more influential in your entire relationship with the customer than when you’re face to face with them. Walk them through the estimate line item by line item. There can’t be any did you get it? Did you read it? Do you understand it? You read it to them. They know it by heart. We’ve got to read it to them and then we’re going to simply say, “Well, if everything looks okay here would you like to be put on the production schedule?” And then we’re going to shut up and let them say something.

Now, after they do that — or before we do that, I’m sorry, backing up. We’re going to walk through our company storybook. It’s going to talk about how our people, processes and products are different. It’s going to talk about the owner. It’s going to talk about how we keep the house clean, lots of other things, it’s very short, only about seven or eight slides and this is templated and done for you in our system. The reason we do this is because I learned in politics, you may say, “Well Brandon didn’t we send them something? Well, didn’t we leave them a book? Well didn’t we…” I’m telling you nobody listens to anything you say. Once they hear it they don’t remember it. So you got to say the same thing over and over again about 15 different ways for somebody to catch a third of it. So we want them to know things about our company that’s going to make them more likely to buy. We’ve got to tell them and make sure they remember. Repetition’s the key of learning.

Now they don’t know that we’re repeating the same thing. They have no idea. We know it, but they don’t know it and they feel better about us.

So we’re going to present our company storybook, which is different from the leave behind social proof book. We’re going to do the printed estimate. We’re going to ask for the business. Now comes the post-positioning. What I call the landmine. We’re going to leave a landmine for Jose and Bob and Billy coming behind us. And it has an introductory letter, a checklist and lots of supporting proof that proves that we are the contractor to hire. If you went in front of a judge and if you were charged with having a crappy painting business, he said, “You’ve been charged with having a crappy painting business,” and you had to defend yourself. You couldn’t say, “Well, your Honor, we’re pretty good guys.” Well, he says, “Show me the proof.” That’s what this is. It’s like an evidence file. And we’re going to tell them, “Mr. and Mrs. Customer, this is really a buyer’s guide. You know very well that our industry’s not very professional is it? We got a bad reputation don’t we?” Yeah. “Well, if my mother had to buy painting services and if I could not help her, if I couldn’t speak to her, if I couldn’t interview the painters personally, although I would, this is what I would give her to make sure she hired a good quality painter. Now if they don’t provide you with this you cannot hire them. And if they say that they’ll give it to you and don’t that’s a red flag. So keep and hold onto this. It’s how I would buy if I bought myself or I helped somebody.” So that’s post-positioning.

And then follow up. We did about five estimates a day in my painting business and every time I went through this three step follow-up process I closed sales and found money. When I did it the second time I closed sales and found money. When I did it the third time I closed sales and found money. GE Capital did a study of what they call a large household purchase, which they called $700 because they do all the financing for like Best Buy and Lazy Boy Furniture, etc., they’re the underwriters for most of that stuff and credit cards that are what you call in store credit cards. You’ll never guess how long it took most people from the beginning to the end of the decision making process when they first researched and bought a $700 purchase. Do you know what it was? 13 months. Now, it’s a little different with us because they can’t wander in and out of our store. They have to actually see a person to get a price. But sometimes it’s a long time and when you call people tire kickers and you write them off early you’re crazy. There’s still money there. There’ll be money there for years hence. I’ve seen it. See it all the time. See it every week.

So if you know that people make decisions slower than what you’d like you can jump up and down and call them tire kickers and get mad about it or you can just adapt your sales process to accommodate them and get their money later. I’d much rather have somebody’s money later than never wouldn’t you? So we’re going to do a template and handwritten letter. We’re going to have call scripts, email scripts, mail and a little simple tracking sheet. We’re going to touch them nine times and sometimes more if they’re still looking like they’re on the line. Follow up is critical and essential not only at this point if you already paid for the lead. Not only at this point if you invested the money and written the estimate. So we need to get value out of this. We got to take every bite of the apple that we possibly can.

Then when we get all the way into the end of this sales process one of two things will have happened guys. I’m about to unmute the line and go into questions here. Okay? So please if you’re in a loud area try to — I’m going to try to unmute everybody’s line and just see if it works. If you’re in a noisy area let me know. I’m going to take questions. Now they’re either a customer or an unconverted estimate. Regardless of which they are we are going to run them through at some point three times a year, customer reactivation and we’re going to get them to close when they’re ready. And we’re going to get past customers to refer us more customers and to buy again. Most people vastly underestimate how often past customers will buy again. It’s about $1,000 a year per person on your list on average.

So we’re about to take questions live, but first or most of you this isn’t your first seminar or webinar, is it? This isn’t the first time you’ve got online, looked on a blog, went to Paint Talk, went to Blogging Painters, attended a PDCA event, listened to one of my webinars, I know it isn’t. Looking for sales help. How to close more sales. And I would ask you a simple question, what happened with the rest of your learning expeditions? You’ve been learning a long time. Well, either one of two things have happened, either A, you’ve implemented a few things you’ve learned, picked up bits and pieces and added them on. I get emails and calls thank you so much all the time, people saying, “Brandon I learned something . I changed something. Let me tell you what’s working.” People take my ideas and implement them even when I don’t help them directly. That gives me a lot of joy and happiness. It really does. Or, you’ve done nothing at all.

And so what I would recommend is if you want to take a step for a micro commitment, and we’re about to get into questions, if you feel like you’re losing money, you’re leaving money on the table, you can change all that today. For the free marketing and diagnostic assessment you can go to call. I’ll email this to you after the call. call. You can call me directly if you’re writing this number down, 423-602-7945. That’s 423-602-7945. Or you can email me. God knows you’ve gotten an email or two from me. You got one just about an hour ago, maybe two now. You could just reply to that email, and we’ll just set up a time to talk and I will tell you the God’s honest truth about your sales process and as anyone who will tell you that’s gone through my diagnostic assessment it’s very thorough, it’s very detailed. I don’t pull any punches, but I don’t beat you over the head to join either. You got to make that decision. I make enough money. I don’t have hardly any debt. I’d love to have somebody as a member, but I don’t have to have it. I can do a lot more for you helping you with your sales process and customer retention than you can ever do for me by joining my organization. That’s one reason I feel so good about what I do.

So guys, I’m going to go into questions now. If you’ve got a question it’s a good time to answer them. Please do mute your lines now if you’re not going to ask a question. Mute your lines, cover them up with your hand and don’t move it around. We’re going to try to see if we can get everybody unmuted so I can answer questions.

All right. It says conference unmuted. So if you’re talking in the background everyone will hear you. If you’re trying to groom your dog or run a lawnmower everyone will hear you. If you’re typing on your computer everyone will hear you. But if you have a question I love, love, love, love questions. Please go ahead and ask it, anything about what I’ve covered, anything about the sales and estimating process or customer reactivation and retention now is the time to ask.

Bruce Wheeler: Hey Brandon, this is Bruce Wheeler. I just made a note back early on in the presentation about I think you mentioned something about $250-$300 cost per lead. Can you go into that a little bit further?

Okay. No, cost per sale. If I said cost per lead I didn’t mean to. Cost per sale. Say for example that you buy leads off home advisor or you generate leads with SEO, not SEO necessarily, you generate leads with pay per click or you mail people or you do a trade show and let’s say that on average you’re buying these leads at $65 and let’s say you’re closing at 25%. That means that you’re going to pay $260 for somebody to buy from you. If your average transaction is $3,500 that means that — let’s divide this by $3,500, that means that 7% — is that right? I don’t think that’s right. $240 — yes it is — divided by $3,500 is about 7% of your sales immediately goes to the lead, right?

Now if that 7% doesn’t sound like a lot Mr. Wheeler, but if you take 7 and if your net profit’s 25 and you divide that by 25 well, 30% of your profit just went to marketing. 30% of your profit just evaporated.

Now if that $240 number is right and you want to build a million dollar painting business and if your average job is $3,500 and you take one million, you divide it by $3,500, you get 285 jobs you’d have to do. If you multiply that by 240 that means you’re going to have to spend about $70,000 of your personal income to grow that business. Most people get sick at their stomach before they hit the number they need. Well, if you can take just 50% of that and turn it into referrals and repeat customers that means that now you multiply this times by about 5%, that’s around $4,000. Well, now you’ve got $70,000 divided by two is $35,000 plus $4,000 you can do the same thing and I believe you could do it even better for about $39,000. That’s a lot better and then every year you can reduce that more and more and more as you get more and more of the organic spending from your past customers and unconverted estimates.

In closing on this so I don’t take up all the time on this and move to another question, either yours or someone else’s is every other business in existence knows this. Buy something from Harbor Freight, buy something from Joseph A. Banks, buy something from an online person, they’re going to call you, email you forever, and here’s the saddest part of all, they have got worst numbers than we do Mr. Wheeler. Their average transaction size is lower and their profit margins are lower but they still market better and more often than painting contractors because if they didn’t they’d die. We could live the life of Reilly by doing it, yet we refuse to.

Bruce Wheeler: Thank you Brandon.

Brandon: Sorry. I had to preach the sermon on that. It’s like my passion. I see people wasting money hand over fist every day and it drives me nuts. So that’s a good question. I’m glad you asked it. Other questions that people have. We still got a lot of people on the call. Thank you for joining us today. I heard somebody inhale deeply as if they were going to ask a question and they stopped. Who was it? Nobody will admit it.

Bruce Wheeler: Brandon, this Bruce Wheeler again. I have no problem asking a question.

Brandon: Go ahead. Everybody’s still holding on the line. If it’s in your mind I promise you it’s in at least half the audience’s mind. Go ahead and ask it. It’s for your benefit.

Bruce Wheeler: Yeah. We kind of touched on this when we had our one on one back about three weeks ago. And I totally get the referral part of the business. It is key and it’s an easy close, it’s very comfortable, it’s the repeat business. After I’ve painted somebody’s exterior and you’re claiming and I don’t disagree with you, that they’re going to spend another $1,000 on painting. That’s really not a job that I’m set up to take. It takes as much time as it does to do a full exterior to produce that three bedroom, $1,000 job, so it’s really not something that I really want to produce. So what do you — it’s not really the question, but go ahead.

Brandon: Here’s the problem. It’s something you don’t want to do but you don’t have a choice. I hate to tell you this. Okay. So when you market to a cold customer, cold, somebody you don’t know from Adam that you’re going to pay roughly 20 times more cost of sale to get to buy from you. Do you get to pick what they just painted or are they going to ask for anything?

Bruce Wheeler: No, they’re going to ask for anything.

Brandon: When they ask for anything do you estimate it or do you tell them no?

Bruce Wheeler: Of course I do. But I typically flush that out in the beginning. A lot of the leads I receive I see that they’re too small to even contact and I just say, “Okay, I’m going to eat that at $30” or whatever I paid for that lead and move onto the next one.

Brandon: But if somebody calls into your office, they ask for an estimate, they say it’s a three bedroom job. Do you go see it or don’t you?

Bruce Wheeler: I do not. No. Unless I know it’s a high end home that I have the opportunity to get the exterior at some point down the road.

Brandon: Well, the problem is this, it costs you so much money. If that’s the reason you’re not contacting past customers it’s really inexpensive and simple. A better opportunity is really to set yourself up logistically in your business to have enough crew members to process jobs small and large. I know it’s inconvenient, but I’m sure that everybody who walks into JC Penney they wish that they’d buy like a $1,000 suit, but they don’t. And it will cost you more money being picky about the types of jobs you do and cost you to not be able to grow than it is just to service the people who walk in the door because it is about the law of averages. You have to do the small stuff to get them on the list so that later they can buy the big stuff. And when you do the big stuff, and here’s the problem and I talked to a guy who had this same argument. I was at a dinner table at a PDCA event. He said, “Well if I paint the outside of somebody’s house they’re not going to paint it for ten years.” I said, “Yeah, you’re right, but they do all the inside stuff.” He goes, “I don’t want to mess with that.” Then I asked him a follow up question, “How many years have you been in business?” Do you know how many years he’d been in business?

Bruce Wheeler: How many years?

Brandon: Thirty. So let me get this right. You don’t want to do it because they’re not going to do it for a long time, but you’ve been in business longer than they would have done it. They’d have done it three times if you’d ever kept up with them. So there’s really no answer to that other than in my opinion a billable hour is a billable hour. And the only thing that is any different is the administrative overhead, which is the starting and stopping of the job and the collecting of the check. If you don’t want to do small jobs that is a problem with management and administrative set up. Maybe you’re the only one doing it. Is that the case right now?

Bruce Wheeler: It is. It’s yeah, I subcontract to the crews. So it’s overhead on my plate to go out and do the estimate.

Brandon: Then you’ve got to get somebody, if you don’t like doing it yourself you either A, you’ve got to take parts of your schedule, parts of your time of doing bookkeeping and other $12-$15 an hour work and you have to allocate a little bit more time to scheduling so you can actually take those jobs and turn them into cash or B, you need to get somebody to manage your operations just because personally you don’t like it. Either way, let’s say for example you could never ever do an exterior again for the rest of your life. Somebody had put a curse on you. You could still make a really good living doing small jobs if you’ll just set your business up. Think about people that make millions of dollars doing handyman work whose tickets are smaller than even the painting jobs you’re turning down. This is just basically you missing the boat on being able to process and turn money, leads into money. So instead of trying to find a way to fix a system you can’t fix, I would instead just turn and do what every $3 million and holding business I know does and that’s just like we just find a way to process the small jobs. But you know, we don’t like it but we don’t have a choice.

Bruce Wheeler: That’s a great answer. Thank you Brandon.

Brandon: Sorry it’s not the one you wanted. I don’t ever give anybody the answers they want.

Bruce Wheeler: No, that’s what I’m looking for. I’m looking for candor, not BS. Love it.

Brandon: Yeah. I mean that’s it. And I should also learn how to phrase my questions better so as not to offend people but I can’t do it. I just try to get straight to the truth, especially on these compressed time calls. We’ve got a few more minutes for questions. Anybody have questions? I know you do. There’s like a bunch of you on the line. It can’t just be one person with a question that would be an unbelievably low ratio of questions.

Question: Hi my name is Charlie Sharlimore in New York City. I have a small crew and a lot of my (inaudible 00:54:54) where I got the job from my general contractor after renovation we had alteration. Double apartment was made one in the city. And our job was from the top to the bottom, tape and skin coat and plastering everything, doors, windows. Walls and ceiling painted. Everything painted. But the quality expected to be extremely high. And along the way what the problem is that I want to address is the change of orders. We had some unexpected change of orders such as the electrician messed up the wiring then it’s all come out the walls again. The guys have to patch again. We had flood coming from the upstairs through the ceiling were completely removed and redone during this process. Then there was design and architect that constantly was beaten up by a carpenter with the installation changing up the closets and doors.

Brandon: Okay. So you’re left with a large — at the end of the day you’re left with your original bill plus a large change order. What’s your question?

Charlie: Exactly. Yeah. My contractor additionally gave me additional work which was like out of scope and the percentage —

Brandon: So are you trying to ask a question about — just so we can get to the point. I hate to rush you. Are you saying he didn’t pay you and you’re going to ask what to do about it?

Charlie: Right. They didn’t pay me all the way.

Brandon: Okay. So the question is to get to it so we can get some other questions in here, and I hate to rush you, is you did a job with a general contractor. There were lots of changes and they’re not wanting to pay you for all the change orders. Correct?

Charlie: Correct. Yes.

Brandon: Okay. Good. I can help you with that. We just had to get to that. That’s an easy ten second question I just didn’t want to turn it into a two minute question. So there’s a few answers to this question. I’m glad you asked it. Number one is the easy answer, which is I don’t recommend anybody does work for a general contractor. I only work with repaint contractors because remember when we went back to the whole part about if you have a bad lead source all of the skills in the world won’t let you get a high price and will not let you get high closing rates? Well, if you start off with a general contractor you’re in trouble from beginning both operationally from a cash flow standpoint and everything else. That’s why I recommend that people don’t do work with general contractors and to only do repaint where they’re in control. They’re the only trade. There’s not 15 people involved in between you and the customers. It’s just you and the customer. Okay? You’re more likely to get paid. It’s less hassle. They’re higher prices. It’s more predictable. You have control of it. You own the relationship. There’s 15,000 reasons why repaints are better than new construction. So that’s number one and that’s really your answer.

Number two, did you have a good contract? Did you document all of it as you went? Did you get their authorization in advance of doing it?

Charlie: Well, most of it was like most of the time it became to be a verbal agreement.

Brandon: Yeah. There’s your second answer. It’s just like with this sales process my friend. Everybody wants to take a shortcut and then when they take the shortcut they’re unhappy with where they’ve arrived in life. Take the long road even though it’s slightly more inconvenient. Don’t do a thing unless ink is on paper. If it is not written it does not exist. And I hate to move on to the next question, but I want to take a couple more, but those are the two answers really and I hate to rush you but I just want.

Charlie: Right. No problem.

Brandon: Number one, go after repaint customers. Number two, if he says well it’s got to be done you say it’s got to be signed. It’s got to be done, but I can’t. Well it’s got to be signed I can’t. And either he’ll sign it or you won’t do it and either way you get paid for your stuff and you’ve got a contract and hopefully it’s a good legal contract and you won’t put yourself in this position again. I’ve made the same mistake you’ve made and others have too. That’s why I’m telling you.

Charlie: Thank you very much.

Brandon: Very good question. Everybody’s had that problem and probably fixed it at some point and hopefully never went back to it. Other questions that are on the line. Thank you for that question it was a good one.

Question: Hey Brandon, I have a question. I’m out of Northern California and my name’s Michael. Going back to your three parts prepositioning email series how far apart are you spacing that out? And if it’s easy to do an estimate quicker just like first day, second day, third day or you send them all on the second day?

Brandon: You send them all, so like the first day you send something immediately. If they call you at 9:00 in the morning you talk to them at 9:00 in the morning you just manually send that one because it’s got to have the date and time info in there. That can’t be merged in. But then you just add it to a simple program like Mail Chimp or Infusionsoft or whatever else and then it’s gone. Like it goes the next day at 8:00 a.m. and the next day and then the next day. So three days after. So the day after and the next day and the next day.

Now some people will say this Michael, “Well, what if I see them tomorrow?” It’s the whole baby out with the bath water argument. I love it. Anytime there’s one exception people want to pick apart the one exception and then not do the thing that would work in the majority of cases, which is a crazy business decision to make. It’s frankly in most cases people just trying to justify their own laziness. And so you just got to get that done.

But here’s the other thing, if you’re closing 20% of the estimates that you see on the spot that means that 80% of them are still making a decision, right? So if 80% of them are still making a decision wouldn’t it be great to still be communicating with them in the midst of that decision making process? With things about your people, your processes and products that separate you from the competition? Of course. So that’s why we do that. So do you have a follow up question Michael?

Michael: Yeah, I do with that email series just for clarification. You do it in the order of people, process and products. Did I get that correct?

Brandon: We do because that’s really what people care about the most. And it amazes me how we’ll go out and see somebody Michael, and all we want to talk about is the type of paint, the cracked wall, etc. That’s all way down the list. What Mrs. Jones is worried about and what Mr. Johnson is worried about is the facility manager of a 40,000 square foot commercial job is who are you going to have out here? How did you screen them? How did you hire them? How have they been trained? And then they want to know, okay, I can trust the people. They’ve been vetted. Here are some pictures of them. Here’s some stories about them. Here’s the process of hiring and here’s how long they’ve been there. Well, how do I know, even good people can do crappy work, can’t they Michael?

Michael: Yep.

Brandon: If they’re in a crappy system or a crappy company they’ll do crappy work. Perfectly good people. Put them in a different company, put them with a different system they do outstanding work. So if that’s the case then we’ve got to then convince them that hey, it’s not just about our people it’s our processes. Let me tell you about how we do A, B, C, D and E. Let me tell you about how we keep your house clean. Let me tell you how we keep your kids and your plants and your animals safe. Let me tell you about what happens if you have a problem or an issue and how you’ll never be hung out to dry. That’s what people want. And then we talk about products because products is, people often lean hard on product differentiation when frankly the homeowner can go get the product. Anybody can go get the product. It’s the weakest point of differentiation we have if it’s a point of differentiation at all.

Michael: Okay. That makes sense. And one more follow-up question to all of that. Did you guys send them focused on just a reference I guess how Jeffrey Gitomer says it in the Little Red Book of Selling is that when we focus or is it focus on the benefits of them or how have you guys figured out how to frame that part of the presentation I guess?

Brandon: Well, it is about, to me I always tend to work in a problem solution type framework, meaning that I talk about all the things that are on the mind of the customer with all of our pre-done templates and processes that they’re thinking, that they’re worried about, that most painting contractors don’t have the presence of mind to ask. We tend to think as owners that if we don’t mention it they aren’t thinking it. I’ll say that again. We tend to think as owners that if we don’t mention it they won’t think it. Bull. They’re thinking it. If they’re thinking it you need to address it. You need to pull it out in the bright light of day and you need to show them that it ain’t there. If you don’t tell them it ain’t there they’re going to assume it’s there. And it has to do with everything that’s wrong with our industry, people don’t show up on time, people are drug addicts, people say they’re going to do something and don’t, people leave a mess, people charge high prices, people won’t fix their mistakes, and we need to make sure that we give them every reason to believe that we are as far as the east is the west from the typical painting contractor. We build the case there.

And finally I’ll say this and probably wrap the call up, it’s a good place to leave it, I don’t consider myself to be a good salesperson. I don’t. I’ve never been to Sandler’s Sales Training. Every time I’ve gone to sales training I’ve come out feeling like I’m a worse salesperson than I was when I went in just being my frank, honest, candid self. But I do believe in diagnostic sales processes. It’s very hard to train somebody to be a salesperson and turn somebody who’s not a good salesperson into the same type of happy go lucky hell fellow well net salespeople that we all know, like and buy from. But what you can do is take any Joe off the street, take any typical painter who’s pretty good and who is also honest and exudes honesty and projects honesty you can give him a good process and he’ll still close at pretty darned good rates even introverted, shy people, and he’ll still do a pretty good job as long as he’s trustworthy and as long as he can measure decently and as long as he can follow a simple process and use simple tools, and he gets some help from the office with prepositioning and post-positioning or does it himself, or prepositioning and follow up or does it himself. So that’s the big reason. I don’t lean on all this 50,000 ways to close business because I can’t do it myself. I sure as heck can’t teach somebody else how to do it, but I do believe in strong diagnostic processes, templated tool based processes that anybody can pick up and use.

And then if you are a great salesperson you’re even better. More power to you excellent salesperson. That’s not Brandon Lewis. I need a process. But if you can put a good salesperson with a process that’s even better, but even a “bad one” can do pretty well with a good process. So I hope that answers your question or helps you Michael.

Guys, I’ve had a lot of fun. Helping owners of painting businesses grow their profitability is really what I love to do because you’ve got families to feed, employees to keep working, you got customers to help that other people might take advantage of. It’s my passion. I hope you learned something today, but more importantly guys serious talk here, I hope you take some action. Thomas Jefferson said, and I believe this, “That a man who is good at making excuses is seldom good at anything else.” And the time will never be right to make a change. I know all of you want to change your sales processes. You wouldn’t be on this call if you didn’t. You’ll never have enough money. You’ll never have enough time. The weather won’t be right. Your health won’t be right. And don’t let the years turn into decades boys and girls. Don’t let the years turn into decades. I talk to people every time that have been in the business for 30 years just now fixing it. Better late than never, but fix it today if you can. So if you got excuses or hang ups, don’t let them keep you from fixing your sales process whether you do it with me or do it with somebody else so you can build the business of your dreams.

I’m Brandon Lewis with the Academy for Professional Painting Contractors. Thank you for joining me. I look forward to speaking with all of you personally very soon. Thanks so much guys.


  1. David Barnes on September 26, 2016 at 1:25 am

    Wanted to say that I really enjoyed your audio clip. I don’t have a painting only business but a handyman business instead. I have been open for 10 years and have only had one year that my gross hit six figures. Would love to have this Christian based business turn into a serious money maker that I might be able to show my kids and grandkids that it can be done with hard work and determination. I have listened to your webinars, read some of your articles and have enjoyed your videos. Thanks again for your material. It’s good to see that a fellow Alabama boy can do good. Blessings, David

    • Brandon Lewis on September 26, 2016 at 1:41 pm

      You are too kind David. Bidding a painting project and selling handyman services takes the same structural, trust building approach. IN fact, that’s the case for all home-service estimating processes. There are folks in the man-in-a-van industry who are doing well, and those who struggle year after year. The industry is sound and the model is proven – if you’ll just spend your time working on the business end of the painting business. Thanks David and stay in touch!

  2. Max R on April 14, 2019 at 2:43 am

    I am one of those 30 year painters with my own business that has been doing it all wrong. I would put my guys up against any painters as far as quality goes. I’ve been going at it all wrong. Going to be a lot of changes from here on out. Thank you

    • Brandon Lewis on April 15, 2019 at 2:09 pm

      Max, it’s easy to do. After a few years of owning a painting business, we FORGET how to think like the client. Selling, Bidding and Estimating a paint Job requires more than just pricing – it demands persuasion! Let us know if we can help you better market or manage your painting business!

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