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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here is the link to the site, I think it's very neat and may become my way making estimates for people.
http://www.contractors.com/cost_estimator/painting.html

It tailors the prices according to your zipcode, but the problem is that it seems really high. I mean I would love to charge this kind of money. But is it possible? At the moment I seem to be surrounded by older guys who's pricing is still stuck in the 80's, and lots of homeowners that seem to take advantage of this. It's almost as if all the other trades like carpentry, plumbing, roofing keep their estimates up to date with inflation, newer more expensive materials required by code, etc. Yet painters are still expected to paint a bedroom 2 coats on everything with all prep work for just $500.
It seems lately I need to charge at least $40/hr per experienced painter including materials and profits - but have a hard time convincing homeowners of paying even just $30/hr or $240 per worker per day. I can only pay my guys $12.50/hr at those rates, and they have families and mortgages to pay for. What's going on with the painting world? If I estimate say 20 man days to do an interior of a 1800 sq. foot house @ $320 per man day, for a total of $6400 - I still am not getting rich, yet if you saw these homeowners cringe and tell me how it's too much money - blah blah blah. I just don't get it.

-PlainPainter
 

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You need to set yourself apart from the competition. Show the customer why you are worth this much. Be the first on site to estimate, present a professional looking proposal right then, and learn to SELL yourself. If you are not a good salesman, then it going to be uphill getting profitable jobs. For those clients that must get 2nd and 3rd estimates, give them a Estimate Comparison Form, showing them what you have to offer as compared to the next guy. This sets the standard for every schmuck walking in the door behind you. Most people feel more comfortable buying something from someone they perceive as a BUSINESS as compared to just some dude who is selling their services. If money wasn't the issue, would you buy your home stereo from Best Buy, or the cat in an Eldorado selling them out of his trunk at the carwash?

And obviously, wear clean whites, be clean shaven, keep your truck looking good, fix that loud muffler :cheesygri , and most important of all, BE ON TIME.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for all the good info Prowallguy. I have been thinking non-stop about sales tactics. But it's great to hear other great ideas on how to snare customers. Someone once told me something about people and their money in the area I live in, but I guess this could be generalized to any area. He said: "There are millions of people on the north shore of Boston, and many of them want to give you their money - you just have to figure out how"

-PlainPainter
 

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After the pricing is done, you gotta sell it. The word "sales" has such a negative conotation within the mind of most consumers. Heck even many contactors feel that to be successful in sales they have to be high pressured etc... Personally I do what Pro said to do and I am pretty successful.

Be professional, meet the customer every time, focus on quality, be freidnly, don't be pushy, ask for the sale at least once in the first visit. Follow up with your customer if you don't make the sale on the first visit.
 
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