Can you believe that August is already upon us?
What a great summer it has been so far and I hope for you, as well.
What does August mean? Well, as history repeats itself, many home owners and office managers are going to pull into their driveways and parking lots and it will dawn on them, “Hey, I better get the exterior painted before it’s too late.”
And then you have the end of season rush of calls for exterior painting.
Now, time goes by fast and I understand everybody is pretty busy now just trying to keep up with it all, so that’s why I am writing this now. This is a reminder of how to position yourself, as some of our DYB Café & Mastermind members are already booking into October, but more on that latter.
Because you do not want to book your Fall season completely full, only to have some of your best repeat customers call you us and basically say, “Hey, I need my exterior painted before winter,” only to hear you reply, I am sorry we are all booked up.
What’s worse is, you know they are/were awesome customers who fully valued your service and would have paid you your price without haggling you.
This would be an “A” customer. And we must save room for them and give them priority and they are the ones we love to service and are the ones we want to keep referring us…
Because birds of a feather, flock together.
Here is how to go into Fall strong and into winter with cash left over after the dust settles and the sun is out less.
Step 1. Raise Your Prices NOW!
Now is the time to raise your prices. You are already booked up and it is ok not to land every job. I like how Daniel Crabtree put it in his book, Simple Numbers, Straight Talk, Gig Profits
Sales are for show and profits are for dough!
We ask each other, or those were close enough to, how much are you going to do this year? $250k, $500k, $1MM and so on. But what’s really important is how much you KEEP of that gross income. How much is your “net” catching after all that busy-ness?
In fact, that is ALL that maters when talking about numbers. That’s what this crazy thing call business is all about. Provide a remarkable experience so you can make a profit to: give, live, repeat.
Profit is NOT a bad thing. Profit is the fair and agreed exchange for all of the liability you accepted to complete the project. Your vender didn’t take the liability. Your employees didn’t take the liability. YOU had the sleepless nights and, therefore, you rightly earned the profit for the risk YOU took.
That is, if you charge enough.
So be like, Ron Ramsden of Ramsdan 1-800PAINTING, who raised his prices over a month ago and is one of our members who posted he was now booking into October. Remember, we are talking about getting to the healthy 20% profit margin. We are not “gouging” customers. We know our numbers, we sell jobs at a healthy and respectable level. Right? Right!!
As April loves this story, I will share it.
We were at an estimate and the prospect said, “That outrageous; you are gouging me!” I politely said, “Sir, we run a legit business with all of the proper licenses and insurances that not only protects the painters if they are injured but also you home is there are any damages. Then we charge a 20% profit margin. Is a 20% profit margin in any business, gouging?”
He replied, “Oh, oh, well…I…no.” Be polite, but be honest. Know your numbers. Do remarkable work. Charge what you are worth.
On the flip side, if you raise your prices without knowing your profit margin –what will you say when someone balks at your price? “Oh, well take 10% off.” What?! As a consumer, I think how high the price must be above normal for me to get that discount and I’d rather have the honest, hard working truth of what’s fair, gladly pay it and all knowing it up front, but I digress…
Step 2. Book Interiors Into The Winter By Adding Value.
We were brainstorming during one of our DYB Mastermind Group meetings about booking interior work into the winter so to free up free up the Fall season for as many exteriors as possible.
Well, the first thing that usually comes to everybody’s mind is to offer a discount, if they can wait until winter to schedule the work.
But then, Roger Coulter of RCW Interiors, chimes in and it’s brilliant!
Instead of offering a discount, offer a little extra work to be done.
For example, if they want the walls to be painted, offer to include the ceilings complimentary if they wait until a winter month. Or maybe the baseboards, up to so many feet or first coat.
Step 3. Send All of Your “A” Customers a Card This Week.
First, you might need to print out a report or pull up a spread sheet of all of your customers that you have every serviced and categorize them.
A,B,C, & D Customer Clarification
- A customers: Fully value your services and are an absolute pleasure to work with.
- B customers: Want a slight discount, but are an absolute pleasure to work with.
- C customers. Want a steep discount, but are friendly.
- D customers: Want a steep discount and are completely unreasonable to work with.
Go through your entire customer list and take all of your “A & B” customers and send them a card.
Here is the key when sending the card. Do not send promotions nor discounts!
Instead, send them an item of G.I.E.
Out of those three, the entertaining cards get the greatest response.
To streamline this system, we use Send Out Cards as I have mentioned before. You upload your customer list. Select a card. Write your entertaining message and hit send. It comes to about a $1 a card. 4 days later they start to receive them. Then the phone really starts to ring. Remember, this isn’t effective if you do it once and say it didn’t work for you. Stay top of mind 4 times a year to your best clients, every year. Everyone needs painting done at different times, of course. Staying top of mind 4 times a year, every year, will have your clients calling only you.
The 3 Steps To Position Yourself To Finish The Exterior Season Strong & Profitable Are:
- Raise your prices by at least 10%
- Add value to book interiors into the winter, not discounts.
- Send all of your “A & B” customers an entertaining card.
Want to have a strong off season as well as ending the “season” strong like Ron Ramsden and our other DYB members?
Here’s to your success! #KeepItCaffeinated
P.S. JOIN HERE!