marketing, painting contractor, business coach

Is your estimating calendar booked out?

How about your project calendar, is that booked out for the entire Summer?

That feels good, doesn’t it? It does!

It feels good to know you’ve got estimate after estimate lined up and you have project after project lined up.

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But, as Craig Valentine who was the 1999 world champion of public speaking said,

“Don’t let your good get in the way of your great.”

It’s good to have a full calendar; it feels good knowing that you’ve got those estimates scheduled and those project scheduled.

But do you know what’s great? Knowing that each one of those estimates is pre-qualified and in your target market–knowing that each one of those projects was handpicked and is the best project for you.

Now, how can you assure that this happens?

In the DYB System, we talk about pre-qualifying your leads.

We have this list of five questions that when answered, let’s you know exactly whether or not each lead that you are booking for an estimate is a perfect fit for you or not!

If not the perfect fit, how to politely refer it to someone else who is a perfect fit — and they’ll be thankful for that referral too!

Guess what? You are not going to be a great fit for everyone! Shocker right?!

Because we are not a great fit for everyone, there is room for everyone at the table. There are jobs galore. I love how Mark Poulos said it…

He was flying back into Chicago and he was looking down and he saw row upon row of houses.

He was reminded that “Wow, there is so much work out there for everyone. There are people who want it done cheaply and quickly and there are companies who have those customers as their target market.

Then there are contractors who are perfectionists, who do top notch work and everything is perfect.

There are customers who only want perfection and are willing to pay accordingly.”

So, there are customers for everyone, no matter what niche.

Not everyone is a great fit for you. Let’s get that out of our heads!

When you are booking your estimates, going to go look at their project, ask those pre-qualifying questions to make sure that every estimate that you are going to, is not a waste of time for you or for them.

Because if you are too high of a price for them, it’s a waste of time for them and for you. It’s not a good fit. That’s absolutely fine; there is nothing wrong with that. You just want to know up front!

Ask these five pre-qualifying questions and – the download is available for you within this post. Ask these pre-qualifying questions before they even get on your estimating calendar.

Then, when you get to the estimate, continue to make sure it’s a perfect fit.

Ron Ramsden wrote a great post on why he doesn’t paint the Big House On The Hill.

I had such a great time with this post because of some of the comments that were made afterward!

What he was talking about was making sure that every project for you is in your target market, a perfect fit for you.

Not filling up your calendar with jobs that you may want, but are not within your target market, not your bread and butter.


OWN your target market with the “3 P’s process”.

  1. People
  2. Process
  3. Profit

Really zero in on that. Everyone is going to be different.

There are companies who only want the house on the hill, and that’s great!

OWN your target market first, before going out to own the NEXT target market you desire.

Know your target market and then zero in on them so that you are only going to estimates and only booking those projects.

The point is not that you can’t paint the house on the hill. The point is to know your target market and don’t paint the ones that are not in your target market.

You know what this allows you to do?

Create relationships with other painting contractors who have a different niche than you!

Because guess what…  the most profitable for you is not going to be the most profitable for everyone.

We all have different strengths.

For example, when we had the painting company, we had an agreement with another painting company who did high rising buildings and HOA’s.

We didn’t want anything to do with anything more than two stories high.

Two stories = great! Anything more than that was his niche and he was great at those. That was his target market, but not ours.

So we had an agreement where any leads that come our way for 3+ stories, we are going to send it to him.

He was happy to send any residential home to us. It’s a win-win for everyone.

It is not a win-win for everyone when you try to be the jack of all trades.

Know your target market with the 3P’s and then pre-qualify every lead that comes in, so that your estimating calendar and project calendar are filled with only your target market and jobs that you just love and are going to be the best fit for you.

I’m April with DYB coach, you’ve got this!

About the Author

Steve and I built up, streamlined, and sold Burnett 1-800-PAINTING--- quintupling it in under 3 years during what some called a "bad economy" before selling. We are now helping other painting contractors and entrepreneurs to Double Their Business while reducing their hours. We've been the struggling painters until we figured out what works and now love to share that info with you, to help you do the same! Whether you are building up to sell or pass on to your children, we are here to help you make it a reality.