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In an earlier thread I mentioned that I started a direct mail campaign. First mailing went out and I have been getting calls from it. One woman who I did an estimate for called this morning and said they were going to get one more est because husband thought I was a little bit high. The card offers 15% off. When I typed the proposal I did not deduct that from my price. She asked about that and I said that would be deducted from final billing. They said in that case they will still look at another est but still leaning towards mine. I have never offered a discount before and not sure if I went about this correctly or if I should note on proposal discounted price then and there or wait till card is presented?
Thanks for any help.
Jim
 

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Somehow I think I'm going to catch alot of flak for this but I've never been "pro" on direct mail or door hangers. Keep in mind that this is only my opinion and a result of my marketing area.

The pro's of direct mail is that you have the ability to put your name in front of alot of households for a respectable investment. The returns may be questionable due to the percentage of calls received. IMO the biggest "con" to me is what you're relating; did you just run into a price-shopper or did you create one?

Discounting is something I also have mixed feelings on. Have I discounted in the past? Yes. Do I still disount for established loyal customers? Yes. My discounts entail a price break to the customer on the cost vs retail of the product....never, and I repeat; never the labor. Labor is always a fixed cost.

Door Hangers to me are labor intensive....someone has to hang them on the doors dont they? What I have done in the past, when you have an exterior that is undergoing a dramatic transformation, is to put letters of introduction on neighboring homes stating who we are, that we are doing a house in their neigborhood, and would like to give them an estimate if they are interested. I've had pretty good results with this. Keep in mind that you'll want to keep the jobsite neat, your crew in good form, and be "professional" while on the job. If they're interested, figure they'll be watching you before they approach you.

Okay guys...you can start shooting now.:2guns::whistling2:
 

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Paintist
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I offer a 10% discount to my targeted market. I get a lot of business from them so I figure a little discount helps that sector feel like I am their in-house personal service provider. You gotta know your numbers though. Like Wolf, labor is still fixed. I provide the discounted price upfront on the estimate.

However, I'm not doing mailings, its stapled directly in the offices I'm targeting. I figure push the crew for a few hours and make up the change.
 

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Paint Nerd
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I think postcards mailings constantly get a bad rap because most consumers tend to not hire a service, such as a painting contractor, until they absolutely need to. In other words, when the paint is falling off the exterior, the deck has no stain left on it at all, the kitchen cabinets are in extremely rough shape, etc. So, when you send out a mass mailing of postcards, fliers, or whatever, there is such a small percentage of people that are actually at that moment looking for your service. I think that too many of us, myself included, get disappointed because the return is not "immediate." I gotta remind myself that mailings are just one minute slice of the enormous marketing pie...Consumers don't hesitate to upgrade products, such as a T.V. or computer, because those are the leisure things in life. I think when most consumers do hire a service (especially in this economy), most of the time, it's because of need.

Discounts? I don't disagree with giving 'em. I just wouldn't want to become know as the discount painter though.
 

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I think about mailings is even if someone doesn't need the service they may keep the card. I always hit the same areas on a regular basis and when I go for a consultation with someone who has called off the card i always ask them for the card.. and low and behold its always not the current card but ones for 1 or even 3 mailing before.

for me success on mailers comes with time and branding your name in front of people on a regular basis... As for exteriors we drive certain sub divisions on a yearly basis in March and make up full page high gloss flyers and send them to to home that actually are in need of painting and plus that home will get the regular pc mailing as well and that has really sparked peoples thoughts on getting there exteriors done.

to the OP if your going to offer a discount I think you need to show it on the proposal so they have a clear feeling on what they are going to pay. I have offered discounts in the past as well with little success with knowing your price ahead of time discounts in the service industry are tough to believe.
 

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Paint Nerd
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I think about mailings is even if someone doesn't need the service they may keep the card. I always hit the same areas on a regular basis and when I go for a consultation with someone who has called off the card i always ask them for the card.. and low and behold its always not the current card but ones for 1 or even 3 mailing before.

for me success on mailers comes with time and branding your name in front of people on a regular basis... As for exteriors we drive certain sub divisions on a yearly basis in March and make up full page high gloss flyers and send them to to home that actually are in need of painting and plus that home will get the regular pc mailing as well and that has really sparked peoples thoughts on getting there exteriors done.
Very well said Mak. Don't "experts" say it takes a person 7 times to see your name and logo before they actually remember it? It seems like many people get slow, and then decide to do postcards to "get the workflow up" again. They send out a bunch 1-2 times and then call that a "marketing strategy." Not very profitable. I think someone (pressure pros maybe?) wrote a sticky about direct mailings. Anyone doing postcards should read it before they spend a penny on mailing anything.
 

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The market is changing rapidly. The web is so dominant and still relatively cheap when it comes to advertising. I beleive very soon it will be he who rules the web, rules the leads.

As to the OP's question about a 15% discount.. It depends on your numbers. A 15% discount would completely eat my net profit.
 

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The market is changing rapidly. The web is so dominant and still relatively cheap when it comes to advertising. I beleive very soon it will be he who rules the web, rules the leads.

As to the OP's question about a 15% discount.. It depends on your numbers. A 15% discount would completely eat my net profit.
I know some folks that jack up their bid by 15% - then discount it 15%.
 

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The Lurker
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I know some folks that jack up their bid by 15% - then discount it 15%.
That is how I look at at it as well if there's not a set price you know of ahead time there's no discount..

but on the other hand some people see the discount and think they are "getting something for nothing"
 

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As far as direct mail goes, I have not had much luck with it. However, I have not been disciplined enough to follow through with the techniques mentioned in Ken's sticky about 4% returns.

Our mailers went out about 3 weeks ago in a very small area that we have been mailing to once a month for about the last 3 months. The mailers arrive on Tue / Wed. I got a lead from SM on Fri from the exact area we targeted.:(. Go figure.
 

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As far as direct mail goes, I have not had much luck with it. However, I have not been disciplined enough to follow through with the techniques mentioned in Ken's sticky about 4% returns.

Our mailers went out about 3 weeks ago in a very small area that we have been mailing to once a month for about the last 3 months. The mailers arrive on Tue / Wed. I got a lead from SM on Fri from the exact area we targeted.:(. Go figure.
IMO I do not expect to great results till having hit the same area for about at least 1 year
 

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If all you are doing is hitting that area with direct mail then - yea - I can see it taking several months if not years to penetrate. But, if, in conjunction, of doing mailers - you've got your wrapped vehicles, yard signs on the jobs you are doing in that 'hood, and door hangers - I would expect quicker results.
 

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If all you are doing is hitting that area with direct mail then - yea - I can see it taking several months if not years to penetrate.

Mark has been at this for like 18 years.


But, if, in conjunction, of doing mailers - you've got your wrapped vehicles, yard signs on the jobs you are doing in that 'hood, and door hangers - I would expect quicker results.

Can you break this down? What would the expectation for quicker results be based on? Just curious.
 

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If all you are doing is hitting that area with direct mail then - yea - I can see it taking several months if not years to penetrate.

Mark has been at this for like 18 years.


But, if, in conjunction, of doing mailers - you've got your wrapped vehicles, yard signs on the jobs you are doing in that 'hood, and door hangers - I would expect quicker results.

Can you break this down? What would the expectation for quicker results be based on? Just curious.
I am just saying if all you are trying to do to dominate a specific 'hood is mailers - that alone want do it. However, if you are doing work in that specific area plus mailers, door hangers, yard signs, wrapped vehicles, their HO association, then I would certainly expect lead generation to be a lot quicker then just repeated mailers. Now, add on top of that some WOM and quality work at a decent value. I don't think pure domination of that area in 6 months is a stretch. Just so we are on the same page, I am talking about 'hoods of about 300 homes.
 
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