The Top 4 Techniques for Making a Sale as a Painting Contractor

As we approach winter, which is where we are today, it’s not important that you just find more work. It’s important that you close more work, and it’s important that you get your billable rate where it needs to be. People think that the only thing you can do to make winter better is to simply shove more jobs in, and that’s not the case. Often it’s job costing, it’s sales, it’s management, it’s labor tracking, it’s materials tracking, it’s labor bonus programs. it’s better meetings, lots of stuff you can do, but your sales process is really important. In fact, it’s so important that we are going to breakdown the top 4 techniques you should know to effectively close sales as a painting contractor.

Getting Your Message Right

The first thing is you got to get your message right. Homeowners are worried about things that often painters never address. “Can I trust your painters in my home? Have they been background checked? Are they criminals? Are they on drugs? Are they going to drink in my house? Will they use foul language? Will they dress appropriately?” Those sorts of things, men inside a home in industry with a bad reputation have to be addressed. Personal safety and property safety has to be addressed. If that’s not in your sales process, that could account for a lot of times you lose sales when the ticket is higher especially.

Establishing Warranties & Guarantees

Number two, warranties, guarantees. It doesn’t need to just be. You mention it. It doesn’t need to be a throwaway line in a larger sales scope of work. It needs to have its own separate presentation time. Not that you spend a whole presentation on it, but it needs to have its own spot in the presentation that’s powerful. Then there needs to be individual documents or tools that are devoted to that. So warranties and guarantees, the two are not the same. Tons of social proof, I talked about that in a previous video and how to get reviews. You can look at that. You can use that, before and after pictures, pictures of smiling painters with happy clients. I’m telling you all that stuff works.

The messaging has to be solid. How are your painters, your processes, and your product knowledge better and superior to the typical painter? Now, you have to support that messaging with proof. If it’s all verbal, and there’s no documentation left with the client, if no videos can be shown, if no audio can be played, if no documents can be provided, they are highly unlikely to believe you because they had been lied to so frequently, by painting contractors and other tradespeople, that you can promise them the moon all you want to. All you want to. They’ve been lied to so frequently, most of them, unless you provide them proof, it’s not going to matter.

You need to use all the mediums at your disposal. I’ll watch people, and their entire sales process is just email and phone, maybe phone, but you’ve got text. You’ve got video, you’ve got mail. You’ve got in-person presentations. There’s lots of things, lots of mediums. All of those mediums need to be used in conjunction.

Pre-Positioning & Post-Positioning Strategies

All those mediums and the messaging and the proof have to be stitched together in a process that uses tools. We break that process down into pre-positioning, which is everything that happens before you arrive at the home… Tons of things you can do. Most people waste that opportunity… what you do while you’re there in the home. There’s a want you can do, and it doesn’t just need to be petting the dog, measuring things, and then saying, “Well, I’ll email you an estimate,” and handing them a business card. If that describes your sales process, you are in a heap of trouble, and I can’t tell you the untold tens or hundreds of thousands of income, you have lost every year doing it that way. It does not work.
Then what we call post-positioning, which is what we do immediately after the sale if it does not close right there on the spot, which I’ll talk about in a second. And then follow up, which has to align with the sales process or the sales cycle rather. Sometimes that takes months. Sometimes it takes 18 months. Those things need to be in place.

Don’t Neglect the Small Things

Then finally, these are a couple of small things that I think are important that are often overlooked. Print your estimates, “Oh, well, Brandon we’re in the digital age. Everything’s digital, right?” Send your stuff by email with about 150 other emails a day, and let that thing get pushed down to page two in about seven or eight hours where it’s never found, where your client has to go dig through a bunch of stuff, look at it, print it out to share it with somebody versus just giving it to them with lots of proof right there. Do it if you want to. Make your own argument if you want to. It doesn’t work. 450 painting contractors, doesn’t work. I know from experience. Do it yourself. It’s your money. It’s not mine.

Then you need to ask for the order while you’re there. “Given everything that I’ve shared here today with you, what’s your opinion of this proposal?” Let them talk. Listen to either their or their statements. Restate those. Seek to fully understand what they’ve told you and then try to give them information that will help them make a decision. “Does that help you answer your questions, Mrs. Johnson? Is there anything else? Or if there’s nothing else, would you like to be put on the production schedule? Here’s my rule of thumb. If you have not heard no or, “Let me think about it,” two times before you leave their home, you have not asked for the order. You’ve not asked for the order, and that’s going to hurt your closing rates.

Putting It All Together

I can’t teach all of this to you in a few minutes because I spend four hours on it. If you struggle with the sales process, it’s the second thing that we focus on in our core five. It costs people untold thousands a month, having a crappy sales process. With the economy being uncertain, it’s good to have a certain sales process. Reach out to us. We can help you with that. We can help your estimators with that. Get the messaging right, support it with proof. Use all the mediums at your disposal. Have a process in place that brings it all together. Print your estimates and ask for the order. That’s just a small thing. It’s within a larger sales process, but I promise you, it makes a big difference. Brandon Lewis here with Painter’s Academy and Painter’s Weekly. I hope you close them all, and I hope you close them high. Talk to you next week.

1 Comment

  1. Joel M Brown on October 20, 2020 at 4:49 pm

    Great video, much of my visits to the home mirror your process. I always give the estimate handwritten before leaving and ask for the work. Picked up a good tip about closing in place.

    Thank you,

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