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It was late Summer in New England and we were booked for two months out which  is not to unusual for any trades company in the summer months of our short exterior work season.

The phone rings, customers are booking online, emails seem to be non-stop filling up our inbox.

When I first ventured into the contracting field I was quite happy to hear I had 6 voice mails and 26 unread emails and that friendly voice that said “You’ve Got Mail”.

Today, not so much…

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7 Prequalifying Sales Questions, E-mailed to you NOW!

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Why you may ask?

Years ago we took the Fishing Net  approach to everything.

We would throw the biggest net over as many people we could and hope we could catch some customers.

We usually ended up with:

  • Customers who we were not a match for.
  • Price shoppers.
  • People out of the geographical area.
  • And the list went on and on and on.

We then:

  • Drove all over the place.
  • Worked crazy hours to provide estimates
  • Negotiated our prices.
  • Hoped they would pick us to do the work.

Times have now changed and I value my time much more as well as my company’s resources.

With modern technology and our World Wide Web, we can stay at our desks, and pre-qualify the customers and who might not fit our “Ideal” customer?

This resulting with customers we want to work with.

Our process:

  • Online bookings will answer tailored questions regarding their project. for some the process ends here as certain information has to be entered.
  • We then follow with an email with a link to one of our blog posts of what to expect during an estimate.
  • We follow up the day before to verify the estimate time and require a response or the booking is paused.

The appointment:

  • We are always a couple minutes early but do not knock on the door until the exact time of the appointment.
  • We park our car/vehicle right in view of the front door, always clean and looking great.
  • Arrive neatly dressed with branded attire
  • Name tag clearly visible
  • Start with a smile and when entering take off your shoes or put on booty covers to protect floors even if they say they are not necessary.
  • Listen and do not talk.  Utilize he 80/20 rule. Customers love to talk, let them.
  • As you are looking around the home or business notice something you can relate to and make a note on your notepad for later, such as:
    • A picture of the kids/family
    • golf clubs
    • a collection
    • a pet
  • Provide an information packet about your business;
    • Insurances
    • past recent local customers
    • Reviews or Testimonials
    • Warranty
  • If possible provide an estimate on the spot, with modern technology today this could take minutes to do.  If needed ask for ten minutes to do so.
  • If providing an estimate on the spot is not possible let them know when they will receive it and over produce by sending/delivering it early

The follow up:

  • A Personalized “Thank You” card for the appointment and at this time might ant to relate to the special thing you noticed while walking thru the appointment.  i.e. Thank you Mr. Smith for allowing me to provide the proposal for your exterior painting.  Have a great time on your vacation in Aruba next week.”
  • Automate emails and different daily intervals regarding the proposal sent that is waiting for a decision.
  • A thank you gift hand delivered to the client.
  • A video testimonial recorded when the customer is at the high point after the project and accepting the “gift” which is then published to social media and your web page.
  • After the project completion and automated request for a review posting and after the review is placed it is published on different forms of social media.

The Extras:

  • Annual anniversary of the project cards with a reminder you will be by to inspect the work on or near the anniversary date.
  • The reward to the customer for referring us to another client who successfully completes a project with us.
  • Happy clients tell friends who then tell friends

We quite often refer to the processes over and over again.  Working with these processes and providing a complete “over the top” experience to your customers will result in you working for the customers you want to work with.


It was said that you are like the 5 closest people you hang around with.  Great customers know other potential great customers.


Find your great customers, and they will take care of you.



About the Author

Ron Ramsden is the owner of the successful Ramsden 1-800-PAINTING, who implemented the DYB SYSTEM, and crushed it in 2015, and now coaches other painting contractors around the nation to do the same.