Has this happened to you? You hear:

You are way too expensive.

I went with someone else.

I got 3 estimates and you are $3,000 more than everybody else.

Your prices are outrageous, so I am going with somebody else.

Or they don’t even answer you. 

You are not getting paid what you are worth. 

I am Ron Ramsden, a DYB coach, also a painting contractor. This has happened to me and I am going to share 5 steps we did to get us to be the most expensive painter in my area (that I know of). Yes, we get good money for what we do and we provide more in value that we receive in payment.

There are a lot of people who are painting exteriors, like home owners who will get a ladder and paint the exterior of their house. Have you ever seen that guy in the station wagon driving on the street, with a ladder strapped to the back, kind of tilted a little bit? Your hand hits your forehead and you go,

“Oh my! That’s MY competition?!”

You know something? He is your competition. Or that guy with a station wagon, who has so many drop cloths in the back seat and in the windows, you couldn’t see inside it. He is your competition when people don’t know your worth.

Guess what? It’s our own fault. Until we educate our customers – even before we meet them–it is our own fault that our clients don’t know our worth or are not willing to pay for our worth.

So, let’s share what your worth is.

But first, make sure you are niching down; you can still paint the exterior of houses, but what do you love to do, what are you the professional at, what are you highly skilled at? Or if you are not the professional at it yet, what can you become the professional at? Something that you enjoy doing, that you can get make top dollar at providing this service.

When I am talking about niches, remember it could be kitchen cabinets, as we will use in our example today, it could be

-epoxy floors,

-it could be removing popcorn ceilings,

-maybe it is repairing drywall from water damage, etc.

But if people know that is your speciality, is your niche, you can charge top dollar, because you are the best around to do it, and not only you are the best around, they can find you when they need you, if you follow these 5 tips.

5 Tips on How to Charge What You’re Worth AND Close the Sale

#1 Get Un-Political on Social

Number one, we want to first go back and look at all your social media: your Facebook profile, your Facebook Business Page, if you have anything political on there, you want to delete it. It doesn’t matter who you like or who you don’t like, your customers might not like it. Also, look at pictures, videos you shared, maybe fun times you had at a bachelor or bachelorette party, those should be deleted also. We want to keep it nice. Pictures of your kids are great, sporting events are fine, things like that, but we want to keep those controversial things off your social media. And if you want to keep them on, I just have to let you know, you are probably going to lose customers when they search back (and they are searching back!), just like you search for someone when you are hiring, they are searching for you. So, that’s number one, clean up your social media.

#2 Picture Perfect: Show Your Work

Now, let’s get into your niche, say it’s kitchen cabinets. We need pictures; we want a really good picture. In fact, your iPhone, as I am recording now, does very well with pictures. I am here in my shop, video taping something, you can be anywhere video taping, but let’s do pictures of everything, all your prep, your clean-up, your setup, spraying, picture of your shop, if it is presentable enough.

Educate your clients using your photos and videos. How do you store your items, how do you handle ladders, how do you move cabinet doors and drawers, let’s take some pictures and videos. Slow it down so you have slow-mo enabled show the detail. Let’s do time lapse photography, so they can see the entire suit to nuts of a kitchen renovation. Remember, you are educating your clients and your prospects all the time. Make it count.

Take pictures of your team fixing, changing ladders, doors, light fixtures, etc. Your clients don’t know. Show them. 

Remember “Show and Tell” in elementary school? It’s now “Show and Tell” professional version. Show them step-by-step. Sit down on the floor and take a picture upwards of the cabinets; get on a ladder and take a picture of it downwards.

Take a picture of your crew in really nice, professional dress, whites or khakis, with matching shirts. You know, we want to set up a professional setting right here, we don’t want wearing just anything to the job site. This is your company, your crew. Help them and encourage professional dress code and enforce it.

If your clients are paying a high, professional price, they are (and should be!) expecting professionals to show up and perform the job.

#3 Get the Word Out

What we want to do is we want to post great content on social media, not just sending things out here and there sporadically, we are going to post on a schedule. If you can’t write well, it’s okay. Have someone write it for you. Make sure you are tagging in your posts. We tag different things such as mom’s groups (those are great lead generating groups), the product we are using, and then have a call-to-action or a conversation generator question, such as:

“Would you like a price on your next painting kitchen cabinet repaint?”

“What do you think of this color?”

You want to start a conversation on you social. Ask a question or ask for an opinion. Remember, the more that you can schedule on a regular routine, not just one or two or four in a row and then skip a week or two,  the better. If you have a regular schedule of posts, people are going to start looking for you, they are actually going to look forward to it when they see a post by you.

Let’s not forget blogs; we have to write blogs and they have to be killer blogs. If you can’t write killer blogs, write down the bullet points and hire someone. Try a virtual assistant or you can go to something like ‘UpWork’, or maybe have a friend who can write, write your blogs. You want to put these killer blogs out. I call them cornerstone blogs, some call it skyscraper blogs, because they are about 1,500-word blogs.

That’s a lot of words, but think about it, we want to tell them everything we do, and we want to add nice bullet point items and explain every single thing from A to Z.  When someone is interested, they will start reading and they are going to read and read and all the while, you are educating them on your skills and your professionalism, verifying that you are worth the price you will later charge.

Also, remember to link that to other blogs that you have written. This is called backlinking. When writing about what to do when prepping for a kitchen cabinet repaint link it with the other article you’ve written on how to choose a color for my kitchen cabinets, best products for kitchen cabinets, what is a kitchen cabinet repaint going to cost, etc.

Do you often get asked the same questions over and over on estimates? Don’t get frustrated, write your blogs about these! Use the top 10 questions that you usually get on the estimate to create your first 10 blog posts. Start thinking of what questions your customers typically ask, write smaller blogs one these and have all these linked together.

If you don’t want to do it, spend a few dollars and have it done. If you have someone else write your blog for you, take the time and read it yourself to make sure it makes sense, because we are the professionals.We are hiring someone else to do the writing for us, but they may not know trade lingo and so on.

So, we have our social media going, we have our blogs out there, we have all the other blogs linked to these other blogs, so when someone starts to look for a kitchen cabinet painter, which is our niche, they type them into Google. Now, who is going to come up? Us.

#4 Network Like a Rock Star

You’ve got to network, you got to let people know what you do. If this section makes you nervous, check out 3 Steps to More Productive Networking and it will actually be FUN and INTERESTING! Practice your 30-second elevator speech and let your network know that you are the expert in kitchen cabinet repaints, or you are a popcorn remover expert, or you are an epoxy floor phenomenon.

Whatever your niche is, let your network know, so when they hear anybody talking about it, they automatically think only of you, because you are the expert and are always talking about it. I can hear you saying,

“Yeah, but I am a house painter. I do it all.” 

Yeah, we are all house painters. So is that home owner! The guy in the station wagon! Oh yeah, Ron paints houses, but Ron doesn’t want to paint certain kinds of houses. I want to be the expert and charge accordingly without making the client blink.

#5 Make Your Presentation

When you go to sell the job, when you go the estimate, be ready to sell the job, be ready to present your estimate while you are there. The customer didn’t call you up to wait 24, 48  hours or 2 weeks for an estimate. They are interested; they are excited. They have heard about you. You are the professional. You are in there with a beautiful polo shirt, you are throwing a pair of khakis on and you are saying, “Why do I have to wear this? I am coming from a job.”  If you want to charge the most money then you need to show prospects how professional you are. You want to dress in the most professional way. You want to bring kitchen cabinet samples, one or two beautiful cabinets in common white, common grey, whatever the color is. Let them touch it and feel it, let them fall in love because no one else is brining those beautiful samples on an estimate.

Then, this is KEY, sit down, write the estimate and ask them what they think. You will be amazed at the questions you can answer while you are at the estimate. Maybe it is a little out of their budget. Maybe then you can work on some options to keep it in their budget, but you can demand the most. I will tell you, when we provide an estimate, we sit down, have a glass of water, and they know all the background of Ramsden Painting, that our niche is kitchen cabinet. You will be shocked at how many people are ready to sign on the dotted line.

In this world of instant gratification, there is no more better way to end an estimate with their job of finding a painter accomplished, and your proposal accepted. Win – Win!

There you have it, 5 Tips on How to Charge What You’re Worth AND Close the Sale. Here they are again for recap:

#1 Get Un-Political on Social

#2 Picture Perfect: Show Your Work

#3 Get the Word Out

#4 Network Like a Rock Star

#5 Make Your Presentation

I hope this helped. I would love to help you some more if you have any questions, please find me at Ron@DYBCoach.com; shoot me an email. You can find me on Facebook; send me a message.  I would love to chat. Let’s get paid what we are worth, let’s niche down, we can still paint everything else, but let’s form a niche in the painting industry, whatever makes you happy, whatever you would love to do, and get paid what we are worth.

I am Ron Ramsden a DYB coach, wishing you well, get paid what you are worth.

Have a great one.

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.