Many painting contractors face intense pressure to provide the lowest price quote to win jobs, but doing this can eat most or all of the profit in a painting job.  This is the third in a three-part series about how to earn business through trust instead of rock-bottom pricing.  Previous posts covered personalizing your quoting process and personalizing your walkthrough.

As mentioned in a previous post, the best time to solidify your company as an excellent one in the customer’s mind is during a post-job walkthough. Their mind is still on your work, and they can ask you to touch up trouble spots while you’re still in front of them and on-site, which makes it much more likely they’ll actually give you the chance to make the job perfect.

That doesn’t mean that it’s pointless to follow-up with them.  In addition to thanking them for the work, a great hand-signed follow-up letter accomplishes three things.

  • It gives customers another chance to let you know about any touch-up work they’d like you to do. This is valuable if they didn’t notice it while you were there but it has been driving them crazy since that time.
  • It re-emphasizes how important referrals and online reviews are to you. Customers might remember that in the first few days after the job, but as time passes they’re less likely to remember.  If they haven’t left an online review, this note might spur them to do that.
  • It provides one more example of uncommon service for customers to mention in referrals or recommendations. And if you provide one or two referral discount cards, it will increase the likelihood of a referral even more.

If you want this letter to make an impact, it can’t look like a generic mass-mail letter from the cable company.  To make sure it gets opened, hand address and sign it, and use a stamp instead of a meter to pay for postage.  While a small reference to something specific to their job would really make you stand out, if you are time-pressed that may not be necessary to demonstrate that you care more about your customers than almost any other painting contractor out there.

The customer referral cards have another benefit.  If they’re individually numbered and signed, you can track who is referring you business.  This gives you a chance not only to thank them for the referral, but to help you figure out what types of customers make the best referral sources for you.  This is information you can use to focus your referral efforts more heavily on your best sources to earn even more customers through referral efforts.

This may seem like a lot of work.  It’s an easy choice, however, when compared to the cost of mailed postcards or online pay-per-click advertising, or the time and hassle of a door-to-door sales campaign.

It also has another benefit – unlike other marketing campaigns, it has long term benefits.  Online reviews can bring you customers for years, and happy customers may refer you for years.  If a person reads a postcard at all, they won’t remember anything on it for more than thirty seconds, and unlike websites, pay-per-click ads disappear from the web after a few people click on it and your budget is spent.

When a potential customer goes to your website and gets your phone number, they could be doing a couple of different things.  They might be calling to ask when you can come paint their house.  They also might be calling you and five other painters to find the cheapest one.  The difference between the first type of customer and the second type is often how much effort you’ve put into securing referrals and reviews.  By building and following a process of personal follow-ups you’ll set your business up for many years of success.

To learn how ProPainter Websites can help your painting business gain more customers and earn more money, call us at 855-385-1134 or email us at