If you are a professional painter that owns or works for a small company, you are no doubt familiar with the challenges of finding new business. Competition is significant as there is no shortage of other painters vying for the same jobs you are. Considering there are only so many hours in a day to actually perform the work, it is imperative that paint professionals be attracting the right jobs to their business if they are interested in succeeding long term.
There are a number of expensive tools available offering to generate new business for painters. From lead generation services to advertising, there is no shortage of costly options available for advertising and marketing. In some cases, these services work out wonderfully. But in the event that things don’t work out, you’ve wasted a considerable amount of money that could have been better spent somewhere else.
Fortunately, there are also a number of low cost or no cost tools and actions available to the enterprising paint professional eager to grow his or her business and keep up a regular flow of new clients and new jobs. Here are five things every paint professional should be doing to promote their business and earn new clients.
1. Ask for Referrals – It is shocking how many paint professionals do not ask satisfied clients for referrals. When you ask a client if they are satisfied with the work you have performed and they answer affirmatively, the very next words out of your mouth should be something along the lines of, “I’m glad you’re pleased. We would appreciate it a great deal if you would recommend our services to any friends or colleagues needing something painted.” It is also wise to include a small memo on invoices and receipts asking the client to “Refer a friend” or “If you are satisfied please tell a friend about our service!” The best advocate for your business is a happy customer.
2. Stay in Touch – As the saying goes, “The best new customers are old customers.” When finishing a job, make sure to take note of any other projects that the customer might need in the future. Take the time to follow up with a phone call, email, or individualized letter on a regular basis. Most people don’t look for a service provider until they actually need the service. By keeping yourself in front of previous clients, you greatly increase the chance that they will think of you when the time comes to again hire a painter.
3. Have a Presence – If you’re late joining the wired world, it’s imperative that you “get online.” Even if a potential customer hears about your service from a friend or conventional advertisement, they are likely to spend at least a little time researching your company and your work on the internet before hiring you. From Yelp, to Facebook, to Twitter, to a company blog, it is vital that your business have a presence on the internet. Each of the above mentioned platforms is free to join and easy to participate in. It is important not only that potential customers can find information about you online but that they find positive information.
4. Network with Others – One great source of business for commercial painters is networking with other professionals in the paint sector. Other painters may have scheduling conflicts or lack the manpower needed to perform multiple jobs. Designers may be looking for someone to have available as a resource when decorating a home. Homebuilders may have a new development on the horizon and haven’t yet chosen all of the needed vendors. The seeds planted today are the fruit of tomorrow in professional networking. Letting other people know the service you provide and building a rapport with them can lead to a promising future for you both.
5. Give it Away – As counterintuitive as it sounds, giving away your work is an excellent way to earn new business. Of course you shouldn’t actually complete a paint job for no cost, but your specialized skill set and accumulated wisdom make you a valuable resource for people who may one day need your services. Take the time to be helpful in answering questions and educating people about commercial painting, even if there is nothing to be immediately gained.
If you are asking customers for referrals, staying in touch with past customers, networking with people who might need your services, and making sure those who look for you on the internet are finding positive information, you should start seeing an increase in business in no time at all. If you think that none of these things is important or you can get away with not doing them, remember that your competition is out there looking for an edge to win business away from you. Every advantage counts!
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