Three Things That Painting Contractors Want But Don’t Ask For
June 9, 2021
Before becoming a marketer, I wrote business research reports for large companies. I interviewed some very smart people along the way. Some of the best bits of wisdom I received were the ones that seemed the most obvious.
At one point, I interviewed an executive who helped smaller companies that were being acquired by larger ones. One of her quotes has stuck with me over all of these years.
“When you want something, just ask,” she said. “The worst that can happen is that they’ll say no.”
The truth is that it can be uncomfortable to ask someone for something they might not want to give you. People miss opportunities for first dates, salary increases and lower car and home purchase prices because they’re too scared of rejection to ask for them.
And it happens to people who own painting companies, too.
Here are three things painting contractors want (or should want) but often don’t ask for.
#1 Online Reviews
People rely on online reviews to decide where to buy local services including house painting. And customers are far more likely to leave a review if they’re asked. Despite this, many painting contractors don’t ask for reviews from happy customers.
There are plenty of reasons people don’t ask. It’s easy to forget to ask, especially if you’re having a good conversation with the customer. And nobody wants a customer to feel like they were unfairly pressured to post a positive review. But one of the biggest reasons painting contractors don’t ask for reviews is that it feels awkward to ask a customer for a favor right after they paid for service.
It shouldn’t. Most happy customers won’t be annoyed as long as they think the person making the request actually cares about the review. So don’t ask them for a review using that sad, monotone voice you hear from the person at the grocery store register.
If you feel like a customer had a good experience, take the extra ten seconds to explain that great reviews help bring you business. Tell them it would help you out if they could post a review about the specific painting services you provided and what the experience was like. If nothing else, tell them it helps you grow your business without spending more on annoying postcard mailers.
We’ve even put together this quick guide on how to ask! And we provide a tool to our customers that makes it really easy to email their happy customers to ask for a review. If just 10% of your customers give you positive reviews, there’s a good chance you’ll be the most-reviewed (and best-reviewed) painting contractor in your area within six months. That will have a major impact on your search results.
#2 New Employees
There are some places where it makes sense to be careful advertising your need for additional employees. If a Help Wanted sign is the first thing on your website, customers might assume you’re too busy to handle their job and take their business elsewhere. Competitors could also try and use your staff shortage against you when talking with potential customers.
With that said, you shouldn’t miss any opportunities to let people know you’re hiring new painters. As you are probably well aware, it’s a tough hiring market right now – if someone can get the word out to an interested painter that you’re hiring, it’s probably worth the risk you’re taking to advertise that information. So be sure to let friends, family, and anybody else who might be able to help know that you are looking for somebody.
Don’t be afraid to ask your employees for referrals, either! If your employees are having to work extra hours to get all of the work done, they’re probably not going to be upset that you’re trying to fix the problem. In fact, offering a referral bonus to any employee who helps you find a painter is a great way to show them that you’re willing to put money towards solving the problem. Over-worked employees will appreciate that fact – even if they don’t have anyone to refer at the time you ask.
#3 Additional Service Sales
Nobody enjoys the dreaded upsell.
When you buy an electronic device at the store and the employee at the checkout has to offer you a three-year “replacement plan”, you can tell they hate asking if you want it. You can tell they know your answer, too; they already have their finger above the button to take them to the next screen.
If you’ve got a service that you hate selling this much, stop selling it!
But you probably don’t. If you offer a service other than painting, it’s because you’re happy to have the business (at least in the off-season!).
Your customers might need someone to do exactly what you do “on the side” – in fact, they might already be asking for quotes! But if they learned about your business when they were looking for a painter, they may have no idea that you would do it for them.
So make sure to let them know what other services you provide! If you’re just making them aware of your services and not “pushing” them, that’s not going to reflect poorly on you. You’re just doing your job, which is telling customers what problems you can help them solve. Even if they don’t take you up on the offer today, they could always ask for it later when the need becomes more significant.
If you really want to avoid the perception of an upsell, there are laid-back ways to let them know about a service. You can tell them about the service after you’ve given them a receipt for the job you just completed for them, which makes it a nearly pressure-free interaction. You can staple printed material about the service on their invoice, which lets customers read about it when they aren’t face-to-face with you. But don’t be shy about letting customers know about all of your services – that’s the best way to earn a return on any investments you’ve made in your other service offerings.
Call us at 919-424-6121 or email us at Team_PPW@ProPainterWebsites.com to learn more about how ProPainter Websites can bring you more painting business!