How to Book a Client for Next Year
Change of season? Can’t handle the work that is coming in, and people keep calling…
I am Ron Ramsden and I am a DYB coach, I am going to share with you how we secure work for next year. It doesn’t matter if you are in New England, you could be in Florida, or you could be in the rainy season of Portland Oregon. If you’re in San Diego, I guess you don’t have this problem, but for us, it really doesn’t matter when you’re watching this, the seasons are always changing.
For us right now, it is mid-October, it is getting cold, and generally, we work outsides until about Thanksgiving which is about 5 weeks away. We have actually worked outside until the first week of December, that’s a bonus for us. But as I woke up this morning, I realized that we have had our first frost of the year, it’s almost 10:30 in the morning right now, and it is 39 degrees, my guys don’t want to be outside.
But secondly, we have been booked up by exterior season, from the beginning of September, we couldn’t take on any more work, unless we had the extended time, but the phone doesn’t stop ringing, people are looking for exteriors, we have contractors trying to button up exteriors, it just never stops.
So, we work on securing all these work for next year and we explain to the customers that, we are, and most good contractors are booked, they kind of know it, but they are still looking for an estimate.
This is what we offer and we have been doing this, we are going on our third season offering this program to people. So, we will go out and give the proposal, we will deliver it either on the spot or if you are not comfortable doing that, you can email them the proposal.
But we offer they secure the job now for next year. So, of course, we can’t give them an exact date, like right now it is October, we generally go outside at the end of March, beginning in April, up here in New England.
We tell them that if you book the project with us for this year with a $500 and it is refundable, that we will give you a ‘free painter for a day’ in January or February.
They have to use it in January or February so they get a painter for a day, and we sell painters for a day for $479 and you can determine what a painter can get done in a day, our ‘painter for a day’ includes a crew leader with the truck, with all the goods and instructor, tools for working, some sundries that does not include priming or painting and such like that, it is for 8 and a half hour, half hour is for lunch, and they get two breaks in a day, that’s the law.
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We will also remind them that they get a painter for a day, and this way, we are securing work for next year, we are keeping one of our painters busy and typically harsh that time of the year, which is January and February.
And I have to tell you, probably, 75% of the time when that painter is inside that house for that ‘painter for a day’, we secure more work.
I always stop in that day and visit, for ‘painter for a day’, strike up a conversation with the homeowner, and as I said, 75% of the time, we are booking extra work, we are giving proposals on the spot, and when a nice little plus is there, maybe you swing by that ‘painter for a day’ and bring a small vase of flowers with a thank-you note.
Sometimes the homeowner is not at home, most of the ours, probably a 50-50 shot that our homeowners are home, but we get a new client, we have given them some interior work for free, we have secured work for next year, and what is good about this, if they decide they don’t want to do the work next year, (life happens, they sell the house, they get job relocation, money gets tied at the end) that $500 then pays for the ‘painter for a day’ and it is written in the contract as we said.
And I will tell you if they know they can’t get it painted right now, then they can secure their spot to get it done, first thing next year, that’s a win-win for everybody, we are then able to go into the house.
Some people don’t want a ‘painter for a day’, they never exercise that option, and it’s what it is. But we do have it secured for next year, and we still do take the $500 deposit.
What else does this give us? If we go into next year, knowing we have 5, 10, 15 exteriors already booked, we know in February, a couple months before our exterior season, we can start looking and really putting our nose to the ground of finding new team players.
If you are a subcontractor, you can start letting subcontractors know, hey, I got 8 jobs for you right now, lined up.
If you are a team, you want to build the team, instead of waiting till exterior season starting and having 2 on the books, imagine going into that knowing you have 10 or 15 on the books.
Or if you are a 2-man crew, you have 5 on the books, that’s a lot of work to have already in front of you, and you have a $500 deposit, and of course whatever your contract says when you start the job.
Anyway, this is how we take care of the customers now that we cannot serve because of the weather, and we also start building our job booked for next year. So, we give away that free painter for a day, it allows us to get into their house and it allows us to possibly book more work for them inside and it also gives us a foundation to work on building the teams up, getting them ready for next year.
You could offer this or offer something similar, but if you give that person something, they are not always looking for the price.
I hope this helped? I am Ron Ramsden and I am a DYB coach, also a painting contractor up here in Massachusetts. If you would like to talk, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, find me on Facebook, send me a message, I would love to chat with you.
Remember, book that work, stay busy, and if you have any questions, give me a holla, and take care.