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Old 11-26-2019, 09:14 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Pete Martin the Painter View Post
I do have cards, but I often wonder if they are worth it. I have never gotten a job from givimg a card to someone that ask me for one out of the blue...like when I am in the grocery store still decked out in my work clothes and they happen to notice I am a painter.

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My two main suppliers have spots to put out painters’ cards and about once a year they would ask me for another bunch. I used to get a fair number of referrals from each and thought the cards easily paid for themselves. It was always satisfying to start work in a customer’s home and see my card displayed on the side (or front) of their refrigerator with a magnet.
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Old 11-26-2019, 09:54 AM   #22
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Any painter that doesn't have a business card, is a free lance worker. Not a businessman. If that's the case, he might as well just get a job with a painting company. I am willing to bet he is a low-baller. Customers will pass you around like wildfire if you are known as "the painter with great prices"!

Ask him if he is earning 100K a year?
Being in business for 34 years, I’ve only had business cards the last 4 of those years, and only recently started keeping them on hand as a return gesture when asking a tradesperson for theirs when seeking a trade resource outside my normal scope of work.

Business cards in my segment are the actual completed projects. The promotion or sales efforts are the designers & architects showing the actual finish work to prospective clients. In my particular segment any type of advertising, including a business card, a website, or lettered vehicles isn’t going to yield any leads worth chasing after, everything being reputation and referral based.

When establishing new relationships, all through referrals, the prospective clients typically request project tours to see that actual work done, not asking for a business card, the prospective designers, architects, and/or contractors/owner’s reps not providing their business cards either.

I’ve established relationships with some of the largest and most reputable design & construction firms globally when “not” having a business card, and am amongst the most expensive finishing contractors east of the Mississippi, never lowballing, and always having an overly abundance of work, turning down the vast majority of business that comes my way.

I’m also licensed in several jurisdictions, insured & having sales tax authority to provide services in several different states.

Equating someone not having a business card as a non licensed, lowball- freelancer is a bit of an over-generalization. I do however agree that business cards are beneficial in most segments of the industry.
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Old 11-26-2019, 10:16 AM   #23
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Well, these days cards are not much of an outlay. You can get 500 for under $10. When I first started painting in the 70's 500 cards would set you back around $40.00(in 1970,s dollars). Forty dollars wasn't going to break the bank in the 70's, but still a lot more expensive than today.
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Old 11-26-2019, 10:26 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Alchemy Redux View Post
Being in business for 34 years, I’ve only had business cards the last 4 of those years, and only recently started keeping them on hand as a return gesture when asking a tradesperson for theirs when seeking a trade resource outside my normal scope of work.
To think of all those years you struggled due to not having business cards. Thankfully providence intervened and you got the cards, eventually leading to you being able to retire.

In Victorian times a member of the gentry would not be caught dead without personal cards. They were used for social introduction, and if calling at ones residence it was expected the visitor would have a card for proper introduction.....classy!!!

And of course in Truman Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's Holly Golightly's card gave her address as "traveling".
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Old 11-26-2019, 10:56 AM   #25
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@Lightningboy55. My business card was nothing more than an electric branding iron where I’d burn my maker’s mark/logo along with my telephone # into the wood sample’s surface, sending it or them off to clients. I think Rockler sells them custom made to order.

If I were starting out and didn’t have an established client base, I’d definitely keep business cards on me at all times.

Capote was a local iconic figure in my parts.
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Old 11-26-2019, 11:15 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Martin the Painter View Post
I do have cards, but I often wonder if they are worth it. I have never gotten a job from givimg a card to someone that ask me for one out of the blue...like when I am in the grocery store still decked out in my work clothes and they happen to notice I am a painter.
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I do not expect the cards to generate work. I simply have them to hand to HO as I introduce myself because I think it looks more professional.
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Old 11-26-2019, 05:52 PM   #27
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Why, are you? If you are TAKING HOME 100K then it would seem you have nothing to complain about. Not having a card does not mean not being a pro, a pro is a painter that earns a living time, full stop.
Yes, I make over 100k annually.
I am not complaining. I have just come to realize, that all referrals are not gold. I've had referrals that want to haggle price, referrals that didn't want to pay my price, referrals that hired the lower price guys. However, many referrals ARE GOLD, but not all! Again, this is not a complaint. Just a lightbulb moment and thought I would share.

Regarding a company and/or business not carrying cards? Oh wait, you called them painters. I guess we are comparing apples to oranges. I am talking about real businesses.

If I walked in a prospective clients home to give a consultation/estimate, I would feel embarrassed to go card-less.
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Old 11-26-2019, 06:28 PM   #28
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Regarding a company and/or business not carrying cards? Oh wait, you called them painters. I guess we are comparing apples to oranges. I am talking about real businesses.
That seems a little arrogant to me. I still say anyone who earns a living by exclusively painting does, indeed have a painting business. Not abiding a model you prefer does not make them unprofessional.
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Old 11-26-2019, 08:42 PM   #29
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Always loved referrals for the reasons mentioned above; customers typically weren’t super price concerned and weren’t getting multiple bids.

Had a few jobs over the years where people had started the work themselves only to realize they were over their heads and needed help to get it done - but I never held it against them. In fact several of those in turn led to other good referral jobs simply because the DIYers were grateful for the bail out. In the end a job is a job.
I actually LOVED the ones that attempted to do the job themselves first! By the time they called me they knew the value of a pro and never argued about price. They just wanted me to get them out of that mess. They were also very appreciative when I was finished.
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Old 11-26-2019, 09:21 PM   #30
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99% Referrals for me.

I have always had business cards in my wallet and truck. I had 500 made in 2011 and still have some. People rarely ask for them since they already have my name and number (from the clients who referred them!).

I've often thought of lettering my truck(s) over the years and actually did one vehicle in the late 90's, but never really knew how effective it was.

About licensing and such, lots of states/municipalities don't require it, so that's why I'm not licensed.

I am insured and provide my policy number right on the estimates and invoices.

All the above mentioned items probably don't help or hurt my business. It's referrals.

To the OP- I think we ALL get bum leads and you just have to eloquently get them off your prospect list without burning any bridges.

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Old 11-26-2019, 10:02 PM   #31
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I actually LOVED the ones that attempted to do the job themselves first! By the time they called me they knew the value of a pro and never argued about price. They just wanted me to get them out of that mess. They were also very appreciative when I was finished.
I agree. And they will often sell the value of hiring a pro from the get go when they share with their friends their horror story about trying to do it themselves.

But, all things being equal, I would prefer to be the only one involved
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Old 11-26-2019, 10:44 PM   #32
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@RH I confess I never had many DIYers call me over the years. Only 2 that I remember but I do remember them! They loved me when I was finished and stand out as more memorable than thousands of average. I also remember a call back after a quote was rejected. I agreed to come and re-quote after the cheaper painters left her in a mess and she said "It was a huge mistake; I should have hired you." She said "No, I don't want a quote. I want you to do it. I don't care what it will cost!" It cost more to fix & she she didn't flinch when I gave her the price. A gift for her honesty and moxy I cleaned the mess they had left on her floors. The reason being that of all those who may have made her error, in my entire 40 years, she alone called back and owned her mistake. That does take guts! I'm sure others made the same mistake but rather than own it tried other companies.
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Old 11-26-2019, 11:30 PM   #33
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I never had any call to correct a major issue they had caused. Usually, they just ran out of time, energy, or decided that those walls of that two story entry were higher than they thought.
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Old 11-27-2019, 12:41 AM   #34
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I agree. And they will often sell the value of hiring a pro from the get go when they share with their friends their horror story about trying to do it themselves.

But, all things being equal, I would prefer to be the only one involved
RH, when i spoke of referrals that started the job themselves, i am referring to the referrals that started the job, i give them an estimate, and they finish the job themselves.

I wouldn't have a problem if they gave me the job, but they didn't and it was an $800 job. After giving them my prices they said, "I am getting a few quotes". We've done jobs up to 16K. Come on, $800? And these were people who were well-off. So again, on my end, referrals are not always gold. Most are, but not all.
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Old 11-27-2019, 12:51 AM   #35
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That seems a little arrogant to me. I still say anyone who earns a living by exclusively painting does, indeed have a painting business. Not abiding a model you prefer does not make them unprofessional.
You seem a little judgmental to me. First I am complaining, then I am arrogant? But that's ok.

Regarding cards: I wholeheartedly disagree with you. Owning a business and not having business cards is about as unprofessional as it gets. Even Sherwin Williams paint clerks have their own business cards, and every other business under the sun. There's a reason why.

I walked into a Ford dealership last week, I picked up the salesmen's card. I go to the bank, I get the bankers card and so on, and so on.

Professionals carry business cards. It's called business 101.

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Old 11-27-2019, 04:10 AM   #36
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Referrals are great because they're free and my closing rate is higher than a cold call. I don't get them all but having a customer help sell your business to a friend is always a benefit.

As for the whole card thing I just reordered a 1,000 yesterday because I was down to my last five from a couple years ago, so yes I use them. My SW passes my card whenever they're asked for a recommendation and I give one every time I meet with someone for a quote.

They're important but I could see making it without I just wouldn't want to. With tax and shipping it was $93 for 1,000 for the best quality Vista print has to offer. Front and back with color on the front and black and white on the back.

Finally got my Promaster van lettered after buying it new a year and a half ago. I went in thinking it would be around a $1,000 to do it and was willing to pay as much. I was pleasantly surprised when it was only $300 to do and was kicking myself for not acting sooner. Does it get calls? Not that many but it sure looks good.

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Old 11-27-2019, 08:18 AM   #37
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Figured I’d throw out 3 key findings pertaining to the use of business cards. The following statistics are based on sampling by the Statistic Brain Research Institute:

1. Sales increase by 2.5% for every 2000 cards that get passed out.

2. 88% of business cards handed out get thrown away in less than a week.

3. 39% of people won’t do business with you if your card is cheap looking.
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Old 11-27-2019, 09:47 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Alchemy Redux View Post
Figured I’d throw out 3 key findings pertaining to the use of business cards. The following statistics are based on sampling by the Statistic Brain Research Institute:

1. Sales increase by 2.5% for every 2000 cards that get passed out.

2. 88% of business cards handed out get thrown away in less than a week.

3. 39% of people won’t do business with you if your card is cheap looking.
So does this mean if I pass out 80,000 cards my sales will automatically double?
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Old 11-27-2019, 09:51 AM   #39
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RH, when i spoke of referrals that started the job themselves, i am referring to the referrals that started the job, i give them an estimate, and they finish the job themselves.

I wouldn't have a problem if they gave me the job, but they didn't and it was an $800 job. After giving them my prices they said, "I am getting a few quotes". We've done jobs up to 16K. Come on, $800? And these were people who were well-off. So again, on my end, referrals are not always gold. Most are, but not all.
Yeah, I get it. And someone like that wanting a small job finished up would be one I might be too busy for myself.

Reminds me of the lady I went to talk to that had a simple single bedroom to be done. Maybe a four-five hour job (with two coats) and yet she informed me she was going to get five bids. I already wasn’t in the best of moods so I literally gave her “the look” and told her that for a job that size to just pick someone and have them do it rather than waste the time of five busy guys.
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Old 11-27-2019, 09:57 AM   #40
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Referrals are great because they're free and my closing rate is higher than a cold call. I don't get them all but having a customer help sell your business to a friend is always a benefit.

As for the whole card thing I just reordered a 1,000 yesterday because I was down to my last five from a couple years ago, so yes I use them. My SW passes my card whenever they're asked for a recommendation and I give one every time I meet with someone for a quote.

They're important but I could see making it without I just wouldn't want to. With tax and shipping it was $93 for 1,000 for the best quality Vista print has to offer. Front and back with color on the front and black and white on the back.

Finally got my Promaster van lettered after buying it new a year and a half ago. I went in thinking it would be around a $1,000 to do it and was willing to pay as much. I was pleasantly surprised when it was only $300 to do and was kicking myself for not acting sooner. Does it get calls? Not that many but it sure looks good.

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You could have saved yourself $275 buy just getting one of those magnetic signs to put on your driver’s side door. But be sure to make sure it’s crooked cause nothing say professional like a sign that’s all cattywampus - unless it’s spilled and dripped paint all down the back of your rig.
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