If you’re in the business of selling high end painting services. There is a real need to take the selling part of that statement more seriously. I only say that because there seems to a big disconnect between what the painting contractor thinks that the customer wants, and what the customer say’s they want.
“People are flooded with over 10,000 sales messages a day. This makes selling tougher than ever before.” – Christopher Morin and Patrick Renvoise
Age of Free Expertise
We now live in the era of FREE – Free estimates, free eBooks, free white papers, free color consultation ECT. The problem is estimates aren’t free for you. The average estimate cost a contractor between $325.00 and $400.00. When you factor in the cost of generating leads, the travel time to and from an estimate, the time the estimators spend in the customer’s home. The time to return to office or run your next estimate, you have over two hours invested.
Why wouldn’t customers want your free expertise, and since you’re giving it away for free, it must not be very valuable. This next story highlights what lengths people will go to use your expertise against you.
Oregon Painter Robbed of his dignity
A few years ago, I got a call from a painter outside of Portland. He shared the following story. “I did an estimate for a man who seemed like he was going to hire me. He complimented me several times during the call. He really liked my attention to detail, and even told me so a couple of times. He told me he would be hiring me, but he had a couple other estimates he needs to get first. When I followed up a week later, he informed me he was so impressed with my estimate, that he whited out my name and my price and gave it to two other contractors and asked them to put their number on my estimate.”
Unfortunately, this happens all the time. Maybe not to this extreme but it does happen. We can’t get upset with customers for doing something that is in their best interest, and if we don’t ask them to not do it then we need to rethink how we go about selling and estimating.