A recent poll by American Painting Contractor magazine asked painting contractors about their biggest business challenges.  This is the first of three blogs addressing the most reported challenges.

Every business has competitors, and when they get lazy, they compete with low prices.  It’s lazy because it rarely works.  Your lowest priced competitor is probably going broke one job at a time.  They might be covering this month’s bills, but they aren’t putting anything away for the big expenses down the road.  When their truck breaks down, so will their business.

No painting contractor wants to compete in a price war, but many do because they worry that the cheapest contractor will win all the business.  The good news is that customers don’t care as much about price as you might think.

The cheapest option for most people is to just handle the painting themselves. But instead, they call a painting contractor to do the job for them. This is especially true for interior painting, where homeowners would only be a few feet off the ground to reach the top of the walls in most cases.

When it comes to home services like painting, most people don’t go with the cheapest option.  They would rather pay someone else so they don’t have to even think about it – they just want the problem to disappear.  And most people will need more than a time and a price to really cross the problem off their list.

Problem solvers can charge premium prices

Unfortunately, most customers don’t ever tell you about their actual problem.  Here’s are some things customers don’t always mention when they ask for a quote:

  • “We have new furniture on the way next Tuesday, and we need the painting finished (correctly) before it arrives.”
  • “I bought a house not realizing I’d have to immediately repaint the exterior to keep it protected, and I really don’t want to ever deal with this again.”
  • “My job is really inflexible, and I can’t reschedule this easily once we set a time and date.”
  • “I’m going to be in a different room while you’re painting, but I need to be mostly uninterrupted.”
  • “I worry about whether the people coming into my house are scoping it out to rob it three weeks from now.”

These are just a few examples of customer problems on top of the paint job.  Even customers who don’t mention them would happily pay a bit more to forget about those problems too.

A 30 minute exercise to increase your prices and your win rate

Here’s a thirty minute exercise to increase your price and your win rate.

  1. Think about your customers and split them into 3 to 6 groups based on their specific problems (like the examples above). Think of a way to casually ask a potential customer if they fall into these groups.
  2. List what each group would need to hear before they’re confident you will fix their problem.
  3. Now write down what you need to tell each group – what they need to hear and believe before they can mentally check painting off of their to-do list.

The next time a customer calls, put the plan into action.  Before you offer a quote, ask them if they have any other specific concerns – and address those, too.

Finally, offer a price that’s at least 10% higher than you would have before the exercise.  You’ll probably be surprised how many people take you up on it!

To learn how ProPainter Websites can bring more customers to your painting contracting business, call us at 919-424-6121 or email us at Team_PPW@ProPainterWebsites.com.