Proven Marketing Strategies for Painting Contractors and Why Past Customers Matter

Kristin and I in Front of a Classic ’55 Chevy at the Southern Railroad Depot – Some Strategies NEVER Go Out of Style!

During the “Dark Ages,” literacy and written culture were all but non-existent in Europe. People experienced lives, as man had since time immemorial on that continent, which were mean, hard, and short to say the least.

What makes the “Dark Ages” so very tragic is not that this time period was any different than all of the rest of recorded history, but rather that it had been preceded by a time of rapid advancement during the Classical Period. However, these advancements were “lost” for centuries as Europe plunged into a sad state of affairs.

“When It Comes to Business Growth, I Often Feel As If the Painting Industry Has Willingly Plunged Itself Into the “Dark Ages” By Ignoring the Classical and Proven Teachings of Customer Retention for New-Age Social Media and SEO Mysticism.”

Please, allow me to explain… In this calendar year alone, I have conducted over 100 in-depth marketing assessments for owners of painting companies. Almost without exception, they’re all struggling with growth – even the “successful” ones you would recognize by name as being “giants” in our industry with excellent reputations. Why are these established, decades-old painting contractors failing to grow profitably year over year? One simple reason…

Most Painting Contractors Needlessly Fail to Grow Year-Over-Year Because They LOSE Past Customers FASTER Than They Can Replace Them With New Ones and Have ZERO Systems In Place to “Stop the Bleeding!” and Harness The Power of In-House Lists!

This is not my opinion. It is a stone-cold fact based on countless assessments and the unforgiving mathematics of customer retention and replacement costs.

Running your business without marketing consistently to retain your past customers is like running the air conditioner of your home with all the doors and windows wide open. Despite how hard your A/C works or how much you spend on utilities, it simply can’t gain any ground because it is continually “starting over” with NEW AIR!

Here are a few WARNING signs that you are in desperate need of a customer retention strategy:

#1. You Do Not Have a Complete List of Past Customers and Unconverted Leads with Full Contact Information That’s “Ready to Market.”

#2. You Have Only Communicated With Your Entire List ONCE or TWICE in the Past Calendar Year If At All (Email Alone Doesn’t Count.)

#3. Simple Formula: Multiply the Number of Past Customers in Your Database by $1,000.00 Each and Subtract 70% Your Sales from Last Year from That Total. If You Are NEGATIVE, Go to Your Nearest Marketing Emergency Room…

Example: 1,000 Past Customers X $1,000 = $1,000,000.00

$1,000,000.00 – (70% X $700,000.00 in Sales) = NEGATIVE -$510,000.00 (lost sales)

Sadly, when I ask painting contractors about these vital indicators of customer retention, the responses I hear tell me that hundreds of thousands of dollars are being left on the table each and every year in lost sales.

What makes this so very tragic is this: Most painting contractors are spending thousands per year marketing to NEW customers but are completely IGNORING their past customers! Why is this such a big, HAIRY deal for you?

• Past Customers Cost 80% LESS to Acquire as a Lead for Your Painting Services When They Are In the Market to Paint

• Past Customers Close In the 70% Percentile Range Or Higher While New Leads Hover At the 30% Percentile Range (Even With Solid Sales Systems and Reliable Lead Sources)

• Past Customers Are Worth Their Weight In Gold In Terms of Referrals, Yet New Customers Cannot and Do Not Refer At All

NOTICE: No amount of marketing wizardry, new or old, can undo the cash-flow damage that is caused by failing to set up a comprehensive customer retention program.

An owner who focuses on SEO and social media while ignoring past customers is like a doctor who looks past cancer to treat a hangnail. If you need to be “diagnosed,” find an expert STAT! BL

P.S. If you are a contractor who has been in business five years or longer, and if you have struggled to consistently grow your business year-over-year, it’s almost certain that poor customer retention is in large part to blame.

To Secure Your Free, No-Obligation Customer Retention Assessment,
Take Action Now and Claim Your Spot!

This is a first-come, first-served opportunity. If you want to explore how to grow your business and harness the power of your most valuable asset, email for details… Kristin at
Use subject line: Customer Retention.
Limit First 7 Respondents Only

Brandon Lewis, B.S., M.B.A.
Director of the Marketing Department
The Academy for Professional Painting Contractors
Department: 423-800-0520


  1. Mike Colkett on November 2, 2015 at 11:19 am

    I am interested in what else you have to say on the subject of customer retention.
    Thank you

  2. Carl weger on February 6, 2016 at 11:37 pm

    Customer retention

    • Brandon Lewis on February 11, 2016 at 10:04 pm

      Thanks for joining in to talk about marketing a painting business Carl! Come back soon!

  3. Sandra on February 10, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    I give all my customers a customer satisfaction survey at the end of each project. There, at the end they can feel free to recommend us and give out a friends number. We give all new customers a discount with us the first time. You can’t hound people to give you numbers and names and if they do so, it’s bonus. The problem and why painters may still be in the dark ages with this is, the simple fact that IT’S JUST PAINT! Nobody gets excited about it when you need it as it’s so aesthetic! It can wait without doing damage to your investment (unless it’s outside). Sorry, not something I would pay for a course to learn. I’ve learned this basic human behaviour after only three years in the business. Not rocket science and certainly not worth spending a dime on!

    • Brandon Lewis on February 11, 2016 at 10:03 pm

      Sandra, I can certainly understand why you would think like that about marketing to your past painting customers. Many of our members felt the same way. However, what they discovered is that when you use a customer retention system, you CAN indeed generate cash, referrals, and stability: Without hounding customers, but instead making them feel valued.

      I know you may feel you have learned it all in three short years, but based on your comments, I know your views lack the depth, breadth, and field-tested experience necessary to be considered valid. Please reconsider, for the sake of your bottom line, that there’s a small chance your views are in error. Explore this topic, and it’s financial implications, a little more closely. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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