EP 133 : Pricing Strategies & Lead Generation

Welcome to the DYB Podcast, where high-impact strategies and invaluable insights are shared to help painting contractors achieve success.

In episode EP133, a wealth of knowledge and experiences are discussed by host Steve Burnett and a dynamic group of speakers.

The episode delves into the essential aspects of pricing, sales processes, team management, and community impact.

From discussing the importance of knowing your numbers and valuing your services to managing team performance and giving back to the community, this episode is packed with practical advice and real-world examples.

Join us as we explore the keys to building a thriving painting business and making a meaningful difference in your community.

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Transcript :

Steve Burnett [00:00:02]:

Hello, and welcome to Mastermind. Our mission is to build $1,000,000 businesses so that we can have financial freedom, time for our families, and make an impact in our communities. Let’s kick it off with some big wins. Alex, lead the way.

Speaker B [00:00:17]:

Well, this week, we had a big win. Did our 1st out of state job with our, new team and, went awesome. We hit all our numbers, and it was great. We, found some more contacts in the area we were working. There’s not a lot of contractors out there, so it’s a great open market. So that was a huge win this week.


Steve Burnett [00:00:33]:

Yes. Right on. That’s awesome. Glad to hear that. Thank you. Asa, big wins.


Speaker C [00:00:40]:

Broke the job dry spell last week. Got a small job off of thumbtacks. That was good. Just looking for the next one.


Steve Burnett [00:00:50]:

Okay. Right on. Yep. Keep it going. And, Ryan, glad to see you back. Hopefully, you’re feeling better.


Speaker D [00:00:57]:

Yeah. Thank you. Thank you. Big wins for me. I had, just the $84,000 January, space January I’ve had, so far ever. So that was pretty, encouraging.


Steve Burnett [00:01:12]:

Well done. That’s a $1,000,000 month. All I have to do is do that 11 more times. Yeah. Okay. Way to go. Well done. That’s awesome.


Steve Burnett [00:01:19]:

Alex Garcia. Big wins, buddy.


Speaker E [00:01:22]:

How you doing, Noel? Yeah. Last week, I use, were found in Google. So I guess, reviews are paying off. I got a call from a client that it’s nonreferral all from Google. I I feel like I did a great job on the phone, conversation.


Steve Burnett [00:01:43]:



Speaker E [00:01:44]:

And I met the customer, on Friday, and I was able to close the job. It’s a small job, but I feel very happy for the accomplishment of being fine on, Google and closed on the spot. Awesome.


Steve Burnett [00:02:00]:

Yeah. Closed on the spot. Doesn’t get much better than that. Well done. Alright. Josh.


Speaker F [00:02:09]:

Yeah. Big win. Feel like, had, you know, some consistency with what I’ve been selling. We’re getting some about 10 to $15 every week, which is great. And recently having had, like, 3 or 4 jobs that had just kinda finished up around the same time. So it’s always nice whenever you just go from, like, final walk through to final walk through and just pick up a bunch of checks. So that was a big win.


Steve Burnett [00:02:37]:

That’s a good day when that happens indeed. Right on. Great job, Josh. Thank you. Alright. What is the one thing that we can brainstorm for you such that might make everything else easier and or unnecessary? Alex Bowman, lead the way.


Speaker B [00:02:52]:

Alright. So, basically, I wanted to start, giving back to my community in a few different areas. So I wanna get ideas where you guys focus that has the greatest impact on the community itself positively, not only in large cities because I work in a lot of small rural towns. So just different ideas you guys would have where you would go to, you know, work and give back to your community.


Steve Burnett [00:03:15]:

Okay. Giving back to your community. That’s awesome. 1st, a principle that I learned in, Robert no, Rabbi Le Pen, Daniel Le Pen’s book, Thou Shall Prosper, he said, when considering giving back, what did you take from the community? Meaning, what did we take, right, without permission, without trading? And the answer is nothing. We’re in the trades, we’re trading services, value for money. So he says that giving back came from Hollywood and he encourages he’s like, no, but it’s great to give, but we have nothing to give back because we didn’t take anything to begin with. And so just a little principle there, I thought, you know, he’s right. Because we have to reprogram a lot of our money woes and and ideals that we learn from t unlearn them from TV.


Steve Burnett [00:04:00]:

Right? So in this great at giving, yeah, absolutely. Giving to our community, how how and what can we do to give to our community. Paint it forward 2 point o, love that one. I class, that was a huge one for us. Made it in the paper bunch of times, and I’ve got the whole thing laid out. You know, community spotlights, your business network will love you for that, and your customers love you for that too because you give them value to them. Right? And then there’s the, paintball charity championship. That’s tons of fun.


Steve Burnett [00:04:29]:

The team loves it. It’s great for culture, and, you know, your local charities win. Everybody wins. So those are my 4 favorite off the top of my head. Yeah. But, who, who else? Go ahead.


Speaker D [00:04:46]:

I haven’t done it yet, but, I have, it in my heart to, like, eventually, sometime in the future, have, like, a designated, like, 1 or 2 man crew that just goes around in just full time and, you know, has, like, touches up areas. This might be, like, too big of a not too big, but a long term thing, but, like, designated crew that does, like, touch up in tagged areas or, you know, the lower, areas that need, you know, refreshing. And, they just have, you know, their main common 10 to 15 colors on stock, and and they just have, like, a, like, a generator and, like, a gas powered sprayer or something. I haven’t really fully, you know, thought it all out, but just something where it’s you know, can just bring new life and and, you know, to the community in that area. But I live in Southern California where it’s, you know, 20 minute drive. You have, you know, a 1,000,000 miles of just tagging and and and kinda lower end areas. I’m not sure. I forget where you live, but, that just came to my mind.


Speaker B [00:05:57]:

Oh, that’s that’s a great idea. Yeah. We’re we’re actually based out of North Salt Lake City, Utah, so we do have that a lot in the local community here. So that’s a great idea we could add to that. And We work both in the, you know, large city and very rural areas. So, no, that’s awesome idea. Thank you.


Steve Burnett [00:06:11]:

Yeah. Pretty cool. Thank you, Ryan. Anybody else? Okay. Of those, Alex, which one do you think you’d be inclined to consider?


Speaker B [00:06:22]:

Well, I we are doing a paid it forward project, coming up next week, so that’s something that we’re already into. I I’d like to look into, you know, all those. I think they’re all great ideas. I like the point you make. Maybe not give back, but give forward. That’s, you know, yeah, and just give. And so that’s, that’s kind of what I’m gonna look at there. But, I do like the I saw, it was, a did a, community corners.


Speaker B [00:06:48]:

There’s community spotlight. And I saw that, and I thought that was excellent idea too. So that’s something I wanna focus on because I used to run a cookie contest where I featured local businesses, and we would be, promoting their products and stuff like that. So I do like to help promote local business. I’m a local business. I’ve struggled for a long time, and, any help I could ever get, I appreciate. So things like that, I’d work on there. So I think those would all be great ideas.


Steve Burnett [00:07:11]:

Fantastic. You can get the details of, doing community spotlights in the cafe. Got it all laid out there for you.


Speaker B [00:07:18]:

Awesome. Thank you very much.


Steve Burnett [00:07:19]:

Hurry it up. My pleasure. Ace, what’s one thing we could brainstorm for you such that it’d make everything else easier and or unnecessary?


Speaker C [00:07:28]:

Well, I think, I still have the same thing as the last 2 weeks. I mean, my sales process still stinks. I did watch the cafe videos. I think, my estimates are kind of further between, so I think I forget what I’ve watched between the estimates, and then I end don’t end up doing it. But Mhmm.


Speaker F [00:07:49]:



Speaker C [00:07:49]:

was thinking about, you know, adjusting prices, adjusting my sales process because it’s just been getting killed on price a lot lately.


Steve Burnett [00:08:03]:

Okay. So coaching opportunity here. If you recall, and I believe I, went over this in sales, but there’s there’s a lot there to remember. If we lose on price, what that means is if we take the above the line approach, right, if we take full ownership, even if it’s not our fault, but we take full ownership anyway. When we take full ownership, even if it’s not our fault, now we have the power to do something about it. Right? So that’s the principle of above the line. When we hear or we believe that we lose the price, the ownership perspective is I did not communicate enough value. I did not communicate our value.


Steve Burnett [00:08:37]:

Instead, I competed on price. So we have an option. We can compete on price and be a commodity, or we can compete on value and make a profit. Does that make sense?


Speaker C [00:08:47]:

Yeah. Definitely. Okay. I like this approach.


Steve Burnett [00:08:51]:

I’m sorry?


Speaker C [00:08:52]:

Yeah. I like the, the ownership concept.


Steve Burnett [00:08:55]:

Mhmm. So every time you hear or you believe that you lost on price, check yourself. Just say, woah. Wait a minute. Okay. I did not communicate enough value. And now with the other principle is how can I? How can I? How can I? We never drop c bombs. Right? Like, I can’t get to Mars.


Steve Burnett [00:09:10]:

Well, Elon’s proven that wrong. He’s gonna figure it out. Right? How can I? So instead, it’s like, okay. Well, I don’t know how to communicate more value. How can I communicate more value? Because when we ask how, it gets our brain and subconscious working. But if we ever drop a c bomb and say I can’t, our subconscious stops working and says, oh, alright. Well, I’m not gonna work on that problem for you. How can


Speaker C [00:09:33]:

we? Yeah. It’s a good way to look at it. That’s I’m trying to figure out, you know, differentiators and how how to communicate value because it like, it’s just been hard for me, not having a painting background till I cast strong differentiators, you know, from other folks.


Steve Burnett [00:09:52]:

Your background is in tech. Correct? Yeah. Okay. Did you have any, customer experience?


Speaker C [00:10:00]:

Yeah. Oh, yeah.


Steve Burnett [00:10:01]:

Okay. This is it’s just customer service. It’s just that’s all it is. They just wanna know that you’re gonna provide the best experience. They just wanna know they they can trust you and that you’re gonna provide the best experience. The technical side of painting, there’s not much. The other side of it is they need to feel confident in you, and part of that is to make sure that you show up with confidence, genuine confidence, not faked or puffed up or but we can’t be, insecure, and we can’t fake confidence. So you need a real confidence showing up knowing that your team provides the best experience.


Steve Burnett [00:10:35]:

Another component that’s gonna help you is do you, believe that there are, companies out there, contractors out there who don’t do what they say they’re gonna do? Right? Are there are there shady contractors out there?


Speaker C [00:10:49]:

Oh, for sure.


Steve Burnett [00:10:50]:

There are. So if that’s true and you care about your customers, don’t you have a moral obligation to help them to see that you are the best value to protect them from those other guys?


Speaker C [00:11:02]:



Steve Burnett [00:11:03]:

Okay. That puts us in a whole new light. Right? So when you show up, it’s not about, well, I hope I get the job so I can make a sale. But now it goes to a whole another level that you have a moral obligation to help them to see that you are the best value to protect them from Trinity Contractors.


Speaker C [00:11:22]:

Yeah. It’s, I like that perspective.


Steve Burnett [00:11:28]:

Thank you. Other thoughts, guys? Oh, I’m sorry. You said go ahead.


Speaker C [00:11:31]:

I’m just writing notes if you hear me clacking.


Steve Burnett [00:11:33]:

Okay. Okay.


Speaker E [00:11:35]:

I just wanna came in a little bit. Please. I can on this one based on my experience, from the last salt. I think most important is to knowing your numbers, so that way you can present with confidence on my experience with this, project that I sold. I didn’t know the person. They didn’t know me. They only were based on the reviews, but, I was able to provide a ballpark price, based on their needs. Like, we’re gonna be painting walls, ceilings.


Speaker E [00:12:15]:

That’s it. No trim. And but I always make it clear that when I show up there to see what exactly the condition of the place is, if we need to repair holes or do something else. I think that gives confidence to the customer because she get back to me after my follow ups, and she says we have another price lower than you, but we we rather go with you. So that’s why when I set up that in person estimate and when I show up to the estimate, I was able to close. I give her, like, $100, help on the pricing because her buyer she’s renting and another rental, and their buyer is very, very low. So I was like, okay. I can help you with that.


Speaker E [00:13:05]:

I just came with that because I feel good, you know, that she trust me, and I’m gonna be closing the job on this path. So $100 won’t kill me. But, yeah, I think it’s all confidence knowing your numbers, and that will give you the confidence to present, and the customer will perceive that.


Steve Burnett [00:13:26]:

Awesome. Thank you, Alex. Very important to know your numbers. Yeah. Come back to confidence. Go ahead, Ryan.


Speaker D [00:13:31]:

I was just thinking, like, on price, like, how do you know when, like, your price is just too high? Because and I guess that’s subjective, and, but, like, where’s the line of like, hey. They’re getting 3 or 4 estimates, you know, yours is ten. Everybody else is, you know, 5 to 7a half, but it’s like I don’t know what I I I’m exactly trying to ask, but we’re when it’s like it’s like, okay. If you do provide the best quality, best experience, and, you know, x y z, So you’re you’re, you know, totally, able to and and and worthy of charging that much. But I guess, just, I don’t know my question.


Steve Burnett [00:14:21]:

It’s good. Okay. No. This is good. I’ll jump in. So if you, how do you know when you’re charging too much? So the market will tell you. It has nothing to do with your competitors. Most of your competitors don’t know their numbers, so don’t go by theirs.


Steve Burnett [00:14:35]:

Okay? Your market will tell you. And they’ll tell you by how far your calendar’s booked out. So if you’re booked out 6 plus weeks, you might not be charged enough. Even if you’re at the top, it doesn’t matter. The market decides you value it. Right? According to the value you provide. They tell you what your value is worth. Right? Now a part of that is like, I know my worth but they’ll also say, well, they either agree with you or they don’t, okay? So if you’re, you know, if you’re booked out 2 months and you’re still the most expensive, you’re not charging enough.


Steve Burnett [00:15:04]:

It has nothing to do with your competitors again because most of them don’t know their numbers, most of them don’t know their numbers and they’re competing on price. And the when when when they compete on price, what do they do? It’s a downward spiral, Mhmm. You know, and then it’s just them and and and a 30 year old van, for 30 years grinded it out, and wondering why they never made any money, because they were constantly competing on price. Now, your price might be too high when, if we have a decent lead flow but we’re only booked out a week, then it’s like, okay, maybe I need to bring this in a little bit. Alright. Now ideally, you wanna use my hourly sell rate calculator to make sure that you’re within your range, which depends on, right, your overhead, your expenses, how many employees you have, average hours a week, and puts all that math together for you to say, okay, I need to be within this range.


Speaker D [00:15:57]:



Speaker G [00:15:57]:

So that


Steve Burnett [00:15:58]:

way, you have your you have your ballpark for you and your company, but, essentially, your calendar decides when you’re too high or when you’re not charging enough. Mhmm.


Speaker D [00:16:10]:

Okay. Thank you.


Steve Burnett [00:16:11]:

Mhmm. You’re welcome. Alright. Hey. So was this all helpful? Oh, go ahead. Business.


Speaker B [00:16:16]:

I have to agree with Steve on on both, points for both Asa and Ryan. Ryan, as far as that goes, I do cabins. So, we’re extremely high priced. Our bids are between $30,070,000 to refinish cabins. And, I had one where I went bid the other day. It was $42,000, and the other guy was 8,000. The materials were 6,000 for the cabin, and I was the one who sold that job. So I just want you to know that I was almost, 30, you know, $4,000 over the lowest guy or the next guy down and still sold the price.


Speaker B [00:16:48]:

It did take me 2 months in negotiations, but I showed him why I was the one he should choose to go with and why our product would be, you know, superior to the other. So as far as charging too much, I asked myself, am I laughing at my customer? That’s how I know I’m charging too much. Do I laugh about what I’m charging them and I’m I’m I’m robbing them? That’s when we’re charging too much. That would be my point. And to, as far as the values and stuff go, I would say, you gotta look at it from the the customer’s point of view. I mean, when they call a paint company, they’re calling a paint company. They’re not calling because, oh, this paint company is this or this is this. They they just call a paint company, and what they’re looking for is someone who’s going to be higher value.


Speaker B [00:17:30]:

When they look in the phone book, it’s like us opening the phone book to call a tile guy. I mean, they’re all tile guys. The only thing that’s gonna separate them is who they are. So first off, you have to present yourself because in order for someone to trust you, you have to show them you, not just your company, not just what everyone else is gonna do. The skills that you’re painting, truly, I don’t believe matter when it comes to making a sale. It is all the customer experience. What are you gonna offer them? What are they gonna receive? What how are they gonna be happy with their product? Do they get a warranty? All these things are what’s gonna differate that. Whether you guys can cut the finest line in the world or not, I’ve come to find out really doesn’t matter.


Speaker B [00:18:07]:

I can sell it either way whether I’m doing the job or I have other guys doing the job. So really focus on who you are. You know, show them who you are. What do you do? What what are the achievements that you’ve had in your community, your life, things of that nature that you can show them separates you from the other guys? I mentioned in a few podcasts, ago that there’s a, actual podcast further back for the DTYB system that talks about the skateboarding dentist. So I highly recommend if you have not listened to that podcast, you guys go listen to the skateboarding dentist. So I just wanted to share those things.


Speaker C [00:18:42]:

Yeah. That’s that’s an awesome, example, man. That’s, that’s an inspiration for sure. Awesome. Sell them a job at that price.


Speaker B [00:18:53]:

Yep. Well, we, you know, you gotta do it right. And if you’re you’re doing a very dishonest service if you’re not providing the correct price. So that’s how I look at it. And, I mean, these guys that are saying $8,000, they’re gonna either tack on a whole bunch of money at the end, and that’s gonna be a horrible customer experience, or they’re gonna do it completely wrong, and I’ll be there fixing it, and they’re gonna have to pay 60, $70,000. So you gotta charge them right. You gotta do it right. I’ve done the cabins at $12,000, and I lost hardcore.


Speaker B [00:19:20]:

So, I mean, it’s really important that you know your numbers. And a lot of times, your numbers are a lot higher than anybody else’s because, again, they do not know their numbers. They’re guessing, and they’re gonna lose. So do not follow other people’s numbers. That’s my advice.


Steve Burnett [00:19:34]:

Mhmm. Winner winner chicken dinner. Now, Alex, I don’t know if you noticed, but you should have seen Ace’s jaw drop and his smile go from ear to ear when he heard you open into that story. It was I think you provided a ton of, hope from that example. So thank you. That was awesome.


Speaker C [00:19:52]:

Yeah. Yeah. No more excuses about losing over, like, $1500 now.


Speaker E [00:19:57]:

No. Not at all.


Steve Burnett [00:20:00]:

Yeah. Awesome. Okay. Way to be, Alex. Thank you. Let’s see. Ryan, you’re up.


Speaker D [00:20:09]:

Let’s see. At schedule and, pricing, we’re we’re working on Monday. So, I’d say, pricing right now also. I either, you know, price it, like, a little bit above what I what I think. I price it a teeny bit higher than, you know, I feel comfortable, and I land those, or I price it, you know, the same way, and I and I don’t get those. And then when I follow-up, they usually say that, you know, the price was too high or or you were nearly double. But the ones that I have been getting are referrals, are, you know, are are are not are not ones the leads from, you know, just, random. But


Steve Burnett [00:21:00]:



Speaker E [00:21:00]:

So I


Speaker D [00:21:00]:

guess, it comes down to, like, the quality of the lead or or where they come from. And, you know, we’re coming up on, like, 75 reviews 5 star reviews. So, yeah. Yeah. So okay.


Steve Burnett [00:21:16]:

Let me jump in. Source, lead sources are critical. Very important. Very important. This is why we’re a huge component for networking. Okay? Step 5 no. Excuse me. Yeah.


Steve Burnett [00:21:27]:

5 of the system, a, b, c’s of sales always be connecting. And so when you’re networking, you’re generating trust leads. When people vouch for somebody, like, if you ask your neighbor, you ask a friend, hey, I need a mechanic, a roof, or a plumber, and they say, oh, go to Joe. Joe’s great. Do you even question them about it? You’re just like, thank you. Right? And you just go to Joe, and Joe does a great job because they vouched for instant trust, you didn’t even call anybody else. This is why referrals are so important, so valuable, versus, paying for leads, right, paying for, ads in even Google leads. So even Google leads are tough.


Steve Burnett [00:22:05]:

Those are cold leads because everybody else has a 1000000 reviews and not everybody differentiates themselves online. Now if you have your website built out according to the website, conversion funnel, that’ll be helpful, but a lot of them don’t go to the website. They just call the number on Google, and again, you kinda look like the other 2 on there. So those are still cold leads, and cold leads aren’t gonna convert as well. But referrals, like you’re saying, you get to charge a little bit more than what you normally do. No problem. You’re in like Flynn. So the question is, how can you generate more referrals? Right? How can you generate more referrals? And that’s networking, stay on top of mind to your customers.


Steve Burnett [00:22:39]:

Step 9, stay on top of mind to your customers. 2 phone calls a day. Newsletter, email newsletter of value, not discounts and deals and and and and higher risk, but of value. Right? Once a month, and then a send out card, right, every quarter, and then connect with all your customers on social because that’s a free and easy way to stay top of mind. And then run those gourmet cookie contest on, Facebook every week. Those are tons of fun. Everybody loves them. Right? So that networking, and the question is, how can you generate more referrals? Because that’s instant trust.


Steve Burnett [00:23:11]:

It’s a little bit slower. I’m a flywheel to get going, but once you get that flywheel going, it’s it’s on its way. It just takes care of itself.


Speaker D [00:23:21]:

Yeah. That makes sense.


Speaker E [00:23:25]:

Thank you.


Speaker C [00:23:26]:

I was talking to another painter, and he said something that was really kinda eye opening to me. And he said, do your sales process and your marketing in light of getting the 1st referral and the 2nd repeat business? And so once I started thinking about that, it’s like, oh, how can I get them to go with us for interior work if we painted their outside, and how can I incentivize them to get me one referral? And looking at it like that, I’m like, oh, man. There’s so much stuff I need to do or add. And yeah, that can help that flywheel. So


Steve Burnett [00:24:07]:

Mhmm. And part of that is just staying top of mind. They already know you, like you, and trust you. But we we let them forget about us. We let them forget about us. So here’s a story I’m gonna share a while back when Florida when I was getting going, and this is before I hit the white lottery in mid April. It was just myself and then my older chiller, Steven and Adi, who were, I think, like, 7 and 9 at the time or 6 and 8 or something like that. They, Steven was in soccer and so we’d I would take him to soccer and we met another family who just moved down from Tennessee.


Steve Burnett [00:24:38]:

And they invited us over for, to some grilled chicken for a cookout. Being a single dad, you don’t say no to any meal ever. Okay? Especially cookouts and grilled chicken, you know, some from, Tennessee. I was like, yeah. Oh, yeah. We’ll be there. So we got there. We met with them.


Steve Burnett [00:24:51]:

Nice people. And, we’re sitting and getting to know each other outside around the pool waiting for the grill. And, she says, what do you do? I said, well, you know, I’m painting contractor. He says, oh, we just had our house painted. And I looked around and I said, they did a nice job. They did. It looked great. And I said, you know, I’m just curious who, you know, who did that? Who did this? And he looked at his wife, she’s like, who remembered? I’m like, oh, it’s probably been a while.


Steve Burnett [00:25:13]:

He’s like, no. It’s just a couple months ago. A couple months ago, this blew my mind. I couldn’t let it go, and I didn’t let it go. And I pushed just as far as I could, because I didn’t feel like they’re frustrated. I’m like, listen, this is, it it’s really important to me. Could we did they leave a magnet on the fridge? And we and he says, what’s going on? Look, no magnet on the fridge. I said, kept a lot of phone book and we just go through these.


Steve Burnett [00:25:34]:

Now this has been, you know, 10, 15 years ago, you know, the last of the phone books. Right? So we did. Went through all of them. Nothing jogged his memory. I said, maybe they left a paint can in the garage with their sticker on it. Nope. 0. These guys were raving fans, and they had just had their house painted 2, maybe 3 months ago.


Steve Burnett [00:25:54]:

There was nothing I could do to jog their memory. They will never receive a referral from these raving fans again. Stay top of mind.


Speaker D [00:26:04]:



Steve Burnett [00:26:07]:

Okay. So sorry?


Speaker G [00:26:11]:

Yeah. That’s an interesting thought that they will never, they’ll never receive a referral from them. That’s crazy to think about.


Steve Burnett [00:26:17]:

Raving fans, and they did a great job guys. I know we can all, like, pick each other somebody’s No, they said they did they did a great job, you know? It looks sharp, nice clean lines, even, you know, it was all just it was a fantastic job, and they had a great experience. They will never receive a referral from them ever. Raving fans, never get a referral. Stay top of mind. We get we get so busy getting new leads that we forget about our raving fans, we all we have to do is stay top of mind. Okay alright let’s see Alex Garcia you’re up


Speaker E [00:26:52]:

Okay. This one, I think, it’s gonna, I don’t know, fall into culture. Right? My all into employees that I have, I hire them, like, 3 years. We’ll be working, like, 3 years together, and I didn’t bring him up with, handbook, like a manual, or any, anything that I can call them accountable, you know, based on the document. So yesterday, I was very, very I think my level of stress was very high. After I talked to my wife, I came down, you know, beautiful, amazing woman. But, it’s just that I have so much work. I’ve been working the last 3 weeks, I’ve been working on the field.


Speaker E [00:27:45]:

I haven’t been able to do many other tasks that it requires my attention, like, to prepare documents, to job costing, to all the responsibilities that we carry. I’ve been working on the field to keep up. And so the projects that I got, I got thinking on them. We had on the last couple weeks, we have a decent amount of rain in San Diego, and I got jobs that I knowing that it’s not our forte, but we do it. And, sometimes we do, like, a drywall. And I got a job from customers that we have, their house flooded. And so I talked to my drywaller because I have a drywaller, and we both agreed that the job is gonna be for 3 to 4 days. If 3 days if they do it.


Speaker E [00:28:43]:

So I said, you know, my guys will be at home for a couple weeks. Let’s get into this project. So I got him onto the project, and it’s just taking longer. This is kinda like the 3rd job that I noticed, that it’s just taking longer. On Friday, I got the the opportunity to work with them, and I feel like they are not performing at their full potential. So, I was yesterday just thinking like, okay. You guys, you know, you’re you’re making me lose so much money, and I’m just paying working my myself to be able to cover our overheads and expenses. So to me, it’s not fair, but I just wish they can see my my point of view.


Speaker E [00:29:30]:

You know? Like, okay. I’m doing this for you, for you to be working. But, of course, whatever I’m doing, I’m doing, only knowing myself. Right? So, yeah, I if you guys can chime in on that one. Yeah. So we just I just wanna Mhmm. Yeah. Sorry.


Speaker E [00:29:48]:

I just wanna, maybe to have a conversation with them and ownership of my failure because all this happening because of me. But I’m willing and, to take this ahead if, how do I maybe approach them and see, hey, guys. You wanna jump in with me, or how could we do it? Right? Or maybe you start from scratch and, get them let them go if they wanna go and just start, hiring my helper and train them the right way. Thank you.


Steve Burnett [00:30:25]:

Okay. So, Alex, if I understand your question right, how do we get underperforming painters to pick up the speed? Right? So I would say 3 things. 1st is, 1 is to understand that nobody is ever going to work as hard or as fast as we do. In all fairness, they don’t reap the rewards, the benefits that we do. So they don’t have as much vested nor do will they receive as much return. So that helps us to adjust our expectations some. Not that it has to go all the way to the level that they’re underperforming at, but we can’t expect them to be right where we are. Okay.


Steve Burnett [00:31:00]:

As far as production rates and our speed and our efficiencies. Okay. 2nd is to set goals for them. Okay. So in our jobs, we would always title them Smith exterior eighty, and they knew 80 was the goal. Right? And sometimes it, you know, I don’t know, Jones interior 40. Right? And so they would know the goal, and then the idea is to hit that. And so we need to 1, set goals for them, and then 2, if we set goals for them, they’re still not hitting them, then you talk to them, you say, I have a problem that I need help with, I’m trying to build a business for us so that we have long standing careers and we can all, get raises and make more money for years on end.


Steve Burnett [00:31:46]:

Is that what you want? Yes. Okay. Great. So in order for us to do that, you have to hit your goals. If you don’t, the company doesn’t make any profit, and the company won’t grow, and you won’t make any more money. Can you help me with this? And see what the response is. If it’s above the line, right, they take ownership, great. We can move forward.


Steve Burnett [00:32:03]:

If not, we need to think about removing them from the team, because it might just be a character issue.


Speaker E [00:32:10]:

And would you do this question both of them at the same time, like, in a general meeting or it’s in person, like, individual?


Steve Burnett [00:32:20]:

Yeah. Good question. Anytime I’m trying to change the culture of the team or implement something new, I always start with the influencer. Right? So there’s always an influencer on the team who’s not the owner that everybody looks up to for the nod or which direction we’re going or what we should be doing. It’s just human nature. It’s kinda funny. But in this situation, you you know, if it’s just a couple guys for you guys, you might meet with them together and say, hey, guys, who wants to, get raises? Who wants to make more money? All gonna be, like, well, yeah. Me, of course.


Steve Burnett [00:32:49]:

Okay. So in order to do that, we have to hit goals. Now first, I wanna apologize for not setting goals if we weren’t. Right? So I’m gonna do is I’m gonna set I’m gonna I’m gonna I’m gonna tell you guys what the hour goals are in these jobs, okay, and if we hit them for like 3 6 months at a time, we can all get raises. If we don’t, then it’s just not gonna work out, because the company has to be profitable to grow, and I want this company to go really bad so we can all make some more money. Sound good? Great. That make sense?


Speaker E [00:33:21]:

It does. Great. Thank you. Okay.


Steve Burnett [00:33:23]:

You’re welcome. Sit. Still don’t wouldn’t you? What do


Speaker D [00:33:26]:

you do if they say, like, well, you know, your goals are a little unrealistic. And, I mean, we’re trying our hardest, but, you know, we just, don’t have enough hours to, you know, complete the work and and make it look as good as you expect it to be in the time that you gave us.


Steve Burnett [00:33:44]:

Yeah. Well, it depends. It’s gonna depend on the context on the team. So first is, do you believe that? Do you believe what they’re saying is true? And or do you have another team that’s hitting all your goals? Then if that’s true, then say, well, Joe and, Joe and Bob, they’re crushing so Joe and Bob were crushing it. Same estimates. Right? But you guys cannot you guys are saying it’s my fault, right, which is bloodline. Okay. So it depends on if what they’re saying is true or not.


Steve Burnett [00:34:11]:

It’s usually not. Sometimes we’re a little too aggressive. Sometimes we’re bidding and and we’re bidding at production rates that we do. Right? So that was step 1 is we need to readjust production rates to employee production rates rather than ours. Now and then if they’re not hitting them, or if they say they can or it’s not reliable, then, either we need to adjust that if it’s true. If it’s not true, say, then you need to replace them. Mhmm. Especially if they don’t believe they can’t do any better.


Speaker B [00:34:41]:

I was gonna say I, I kinda was in the same boat a while ago. I I’ve, started hand training all my employees. I I’ve been hiring them at a younger age and teaching them all, you know, everything I know instead of hiring experienced painters. We did a drywall job just a little bit ago, and I learned a big lesson, actually 2 of them. Drywall takes a lot longer than you think, and it always does. And I was just behind drywallers, and it takes longer than this professional company does. So when we step outside of our normal, specialty, we’re gonna run into some big problems there. I mean, we’re gonna have to, you know, learn a lesson until we do it ten, 20, 30 times, and we learn all that, we won’t be hitting our numbers.


Speaker B [00:35:21]:

Number 2, what I look at is it’s wintertime, your guys were working. I did the same thing. I just kept my company afloat. I had ran 2 jobs about 3 weeks ago just to be able to pay my guys, and that’s all we did. I didn’t make a dime off anything, but I figured it’s a lot less expensive than dipping into my profit to keep my employees. So in the wintertime, as long as they’re making money and I’m not getting rid of them or having to lose my employees, That’s one thing I I really look at. The biggest thing that helped me was something Steve mentioned to me, was the after action review, and it’s getting together with the team and talking about what worked, what didn’t work, where were you finding your problems, what could we do to improve this, and then that’s how you kinda can speak with them about, hey. We’re not hitting what we need.


Speaker B [00:36:05]:

What can we do to correct this? And as a team, you’re correcting it instead of pointing fingers. Hey. I noticed you guys aren’t working hard enough, or I noticed you don’t know enough. I noticed I didn’t do this. It’s a team effort. Hey. What can we do to improve upon this? Because I know that I can’t expect this from you because you don’t do drywall every day. It’s wintertime where at least we’re working.


Speaker B [00:36:24]:

What can we do to make this work for all of us? And that’s kinda how I’d look at that.


Steve Burnett [00:36:30]:

Spot on. That’s fantastic. Yeah. Thank you, Alex. Appreciate that. Alright. Josh, you’re up.


Speaker G [00:36:40]:

One of the things I think I’d like to talk about is, as my time kinda gets filled in with estimates and and then trying to run jobs, If I’m getting close, I’m wondering what at what point it makes sense to start looking to hire a project manager.


Steve Burnett [00:37:02]:

Good question. Okay. So if I hear you correctly, you’re running around, and things are very busy. Wondering what time, at what point we should hire a project manager. Are you using subs or employees? Subs. Okay. Subs, it’s a 5050 that you’ll need a project manager, employees you do not. And really the key is hiring for character.


Steve Burnett [00:37:25]:

Hiring for character and making sure your tech stack is optimized. Because ideally, especially with employees, you go out, you network, you do sales, you close them on the spot, hopefully. And as soon as you hit accepted, right, the work order gets uploaded to Monday. It’s in Monday for the crews. The crew leader who takes ownership and is responsible can grab it, see what needs to be done, and lead his crew to get the job done. Right. With subs, sometimes it’s a little more tricky. There are companies who can do this without a project manager.


Steve Burnett [00:37:57]:

Most of them, don’t tell most of them to use a project manager. And what you wanna think is, you you wanna get up, you know, so project manager’s gonna cost you depending on your market anywhere between, you know, 50 and, well, maybe 40. No. Probably $50,070,000. And that comes directly out of your net profit. So take a look at your very bottom line and just say, am I willing to let go of 50, $70,000 a year? Or can I, lead culture, can I influence culture to get these guys to pull the work orders off of Monday and to encourage them to execute on their own with proficiency and efficiency providing a remarkable experience? In keeping, if you can do that, your reward is you get to keep that 50 to $70,000 in your pocket net profit. If not, you have to hire, hopefully hire correctly, pay that 50, $70,000 a year. And hopefully it works out with the project manager.


Steve Burnett [00:38:53]:

Hopefully he does everything else because he’s another employee. Right? He’s somebody else you gotta train. Somebody else you gotta manage. So my encouragement would be focus on culture, if you can, make sure your tech stack is optimized, right, and zapping, and and, see if you can crack this nut without hiring project manager. Okay. Okay. Let’s see here, we have a little more time left. Anybody have any other questions? Everybody good?


Speaker E [00:39:33]:

I have a question because it’s kinda like my takeaway, of course, is gonna be to, do this meeting. Right? That’s very important for me. To make it more effective, do I do it, on a job site or maybe take him out for lunch? And then I Great question. Mhmm. Yeah.


Steve Burnett [00:39:56]:

Yeah. I always like to do breakfast before the day starts. Everybody is they’re fresh and it’s kind of fun. And so we would meet at, like, Panera Bread and say, hey guys, I wanna buy you guys breakfast. Now, we’re not on the clock, so it’s voluntary. You don’t have to come, but I like to treat you to breakfast. And I did that for two reasons. Like, I wanted to see who was really on the team.


Steve Burnett [00:40:16]:

Because the guys that showed up were the great guy, were the good guys who cared about the company and cared about each The guys who just said, oh, I’m not getting paid. I ain’t coming. That was an obvious red flag that they probably weren’t a good fit. So I did voluntary breakfast, but I said, I’m buying breakfast, let’s let’s get together and, you know, and and chat. And so when you get together, make sure you always, open up with big wins and get the get the conversation going positive and a productive conversation. Right? And then, you know, then you can kinda lead into, hey, who wants to make more money? So I got some ideas about that. You guys wanna hear it? And then you can go into how everybody can make more money. If breakfast doesn’t work, lunch is fine.


Steve Burnett [00:40:57]:

That is fine. Guys are more fresh. It’s just it’s just a more fun meeting at breakfast when everybody’s fresh rather than a lunch. Okay.


Speaker E [00:41:06]:

Sounds good. And to to keep these meetings going on a weekly basis, if it’s possible, Mondays, Fridays?


Steve Burnett [00:41:14]:

We would have company meetings, breakfast once a month.


Speaker E [00:41:17]:



Steve Burnett [00:41:18]:

And we would try to schedule them, depending on the schedule where everybody was, you know, scattered on the map, we would find something that’s local, and we’d go in the middle of the week like a Wednesday. You don’t wanna go on a Monday, and you don’t wanna go on a Friday. Friday, they’re thinking about Saturday. Right? So usually in the middle of the week, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursdays is is good, and then we did it once a month on at minimum. Mhmm.


Speaker E [00:41:40]:

Great. Thank you.


Steve Burnett [00:41:41]:

Okay. Right on. Alright. Let’s close out with takeaways. Josh, lead the way, please.


Speaker G [00:41:50]:

I keep getting reminded that, that culture is can really make or break a company. Having a good culture can create a really efficient team and experience. And, yeah, that’s definitely a big takeaway.


Steve Burnett [00:42:10]:

Awesome. Couple of quotes that come to mind. Culture eats strategy for breakfast, Peter Drucker another one culture you get what you tolerate that is in the book The Road Less Stupid and I forget the name of the author at the top of my head, but it’s chapter 7. I remember that. So yes, sir. Culture is everything. You get culture right? The company takes care of itself, and you get your time back, and you make prop serious profits. So right on.


Steve Burnett [00:42:38]:

Okay, Ryan?


Speaker D [00:42:45]:

Yeah. Speaking of culture, it makes me, think about, culture and wanna implement, breakfast, you know, once or twice a month. And, you know, getting their attention with, you know alright. Who who who wants to make more money? You know? And then everybody’s in right there. You know? And then it’s a good, good grabber, and then just, you know, bringing it in serious and letting them know, okay. Well, here’s here’s what’s gonna happen, and, you know, we’re all on the same team and blah blah blah.


Steve Burnett [00:43:18]:

Mhmm. Awesome. Right on. Thank you, Ryan. Alex?


Speaker B [00:43:23]:

Well, besides my normal of, culture is king, I’m gonna have to say, we should always be asking ourselves how can we add more value no matter if we’re selling, no matter what, how can we add more value to pre or provide a better customer experience? Because that’s what it’s all about. I guess more referrals, and that’s the leads we want, our referrals. So


Steve Burnett [00:43:41]:

Yes, sir. Right on. Fantastic. Thank you. And Alex Garcia, close us out with your takeaways, please.


Speaker E [00:43:48]:

My big takeaway, it’s gonna be just do it. Don’t overthink it. Just do it and own it and just keep moving. Make it, make it a, yeah, refined, solutions to the situations that we’re caused.


Steve Burnett [00:44:08]:

Awesome. Fantastic, Alex. Thank you. Well, I’m pretty appreciate slogan.


Speaker G [00:44:12]:

Feel like that. I might use that. Stellar painting. Just do it. I think I get in trouble for it.


Speaker D [00:44:20]:

Just to


Steve Burnett [00:44:21]:

I remember I was watching Jim Rohn weekend leadership 2004, and that’s why I was introduced to Brian Tracy, who’s one of my all time favorites, but there was another one on there called Dennis, his name is Dennis Waitley. And he gave kind of this random presentation. He’s jumping all around. And so I’m kinda half listening, but I’m sitting there trying And out of nowhere he said, you don’t have all the facts, you never will. And I went, oh, gosh. And so me being somebody who analyzes and thinks too much, Right? That helped me for whatever reason, like, it clicked. And so just doing it. Let’s get it.


Steve Burnett [00:44:51]:

That little bit of coffee. Alright. Thank you, guys. I appreciate you guys. I wanna encourage you to continue to dream big, also smarter. You’ve got this. Have a great


Speaker B [00:45:01]:

day, guys. See you guys

About the Author

As a newly single father of two from MI, he struggled to start over as a paint contractor in FL, going door to door. His situation was so bad, even the IRS had mercy on him.

 Feeling completely hopeless, he remembered the story of King Solomon praying for wisdom. Could it be so easy? 

He felt he had absolutely nothing to lose. So, as a bankrupt, divorced, high school dropout, single father of 2 young kids, now living 1250 miles away from all friends and family, started to pray for wisdom.
 And while he continues to wait for the wisdom to arrive, what did come was an insatiable desire to learn and read books… 
Thanks to God for giving him the burning passion to read books, and attend seminars, (oh and winning the wife lottery) he not only cracks the success code and overcomes the struggle, but also streamlines his painting business in less than 3 years, published a how to book, then sold the company. Now he leads a business coaching company for painting contractors so he can help other businesses, like yours, to do the same. Hear more... http://www.DYBCoach.com/01 Or JoinDYB.com