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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New to the Paint Talk. Recently decided to go into business for my self.

Background, I’m a journeyman painter, commercial, residential. Approaching 30 years old I’m vary fast and produce quality quickly. Cut straight lines prefer to roll with an 18” but I’m faster with a sprayer. Spray anything I can.

Im having trouble landing jobs, I’ve posted on Craigslist, Facebook. Cold called property management companies. I’ve gone knocking on doors, basically pitching that I started a paint company and im offering free estimates and affordable prices. Most of my leads are from knocking on doors.
I’ve done 6 estimates, sold 0. One full exterior is ready but wants to get new windows first. 2 tentative but couldn’t commit, one because of price, one for unknown time frame. The rest threw the cracks. I’m a very good painter I bought a pump and van have all my grip I’m ready to work and I have a mind for business but seems like I spend all my time giving estimates and haven’t made sh**. Looking for advice. I don’t wanna pressure people. They all say my prices seem fair. I need to make SOME SORT OF MONEY, at least enough to pay the bills.

Any advice from experience in my position I’m grateful.
 

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New to the Paint Talk. Recently decided to go into business for my self.

Background, I’m a journeyman painter, commercial, residential. Approaching 30 years old I’m vary fast and produce quality quickly. Cut straight lines prefer to roll with an 18” but I’m faster with a sprayer. Spray anything I can.

Im having trouble landing jobs, I’ve posted on Craigslist, Facebook. Cold called property management companies. I’ve gone knocking on doors, basically pitching that I started a paint company and im offering free estimates and affordable prices. Most of my leads are from knocking on doors.
I’ve done 6 estimates, sold 0. One full exterior is ready but wants to get new windows first. 2 tentative but couldn’t commit, one because of price, one for unknown time frame. The rest threw the cracks. I’m a very good painter I bought a pump and van have all my grip I’m ready to work and I have a mind for business but seems like I spend all my time giving estimates and haven’t made sh**. Looking for advice. I don’t wanna pressure people. They all say my prices seem fair. I need to make SOME SORT OF MONEY, at least enough to pay the bills.

Any advice from experience in my position I’m grateful.
Don't act desperate. It is obvious to the customer. You must take an attitude of "I dont mind if I don't get this job, there will be another one. Focus on being a quality find".

look up your competition, and place a listing (start with the free ones) wherever they have one.

Look for the worst looking house in town, preferably in a nicer neighborhood. have postcards made up ($50). Knock on doors and introduce yourself, and offer free estimates. If you can give them an accurate/simple estimate on the spot, you might land a few right away (or tell them your hourly, and say this will take 4-5 days, etc...). I'm a soft sell, meaning that I never push them, and that works for me, just tell them it was nice to meet you, thank them for their time, and call when they need something.

Call every builder in town (ask to speak to the general manager or whoever is in charge of the paint crew), introduce yourself. Let them know you're available if they need anything. Give them your rate, and contact info.

Talk to the local paint stores. Let them know you're looking for work. they can sometimes offer great leads.
 

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New to the Paint Talk. Recently decided to go into business for my self.

Background, I’m a journeyman painter, commercial, residential. Approaching 30 years old I’m vary fast and produce quality quickly. Cut straight lines prefer to roll with an 18” but I’m faster with a sprayer. Spray anything I can.

Im having trouble landing jobs, I’ve posted on Craigslist, Facebook. Cold called property management companies. I’ve gone knocking on doors, basically pitching that I started a paint company and im offering free estimates and affordable prices. Most of my leads are from knocking on doors.
I’ve done 6 estimates, sold 0. One full exterior is ready but wants to get new windows first. 2 tentative but couldn’t commit, one because of price, one for unknown time frame. The rest threw the cracks. I’m a very good painter I bought a pump and van have all my grip I’m ready to work and I have a mind for business but seems like I spend all my time giving estimates and haven’t made sh**. Looking for advice. I don’t wanna pressure people. They all say my prices seem fair. I need to make SOME SORT OF MONEY, at least enough to pay the bills.

Any advice from experience in my position I’m grateful.
Where is your business located at?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You didn’t read what I said man I am knocking on doors and I already have listings. I write estimates. I don’t work by the hour I’m to fast for that
 

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Questions:
1. What happened with your last employment?
2. How did you receive your Journeyman level status?
3. Are you having difficulty finding employment?
4. Why are you starting a business as a means to earn a desperately needed income rather than find employment?

Comment:
The common narrative is that there are plenty of positions to fill in the construction industry, but not enough people seeking employment to fill them. So, it doesn't make sense to me why a skilled journey level craftsman can't earn a desperately needed income in this hiring climate. Unless, an individual's life style requirements go so far beyond an average Journeyman employee's income. Yet, everyone knows starting a business is typically a financially tough venture for at least the first five years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I received my journeyman status there iupat. My last employment was traveling and I hated it. I am not having difficulty finding employment. I’m having difficulty selling paint jobs. That’s what I need advice with
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It’s not desperately need income. I don’t live outside my means not that that’s you business CA. But I’m paying money out and none coming in that’s an issue with me. I’m looking for advice on selling jobs. Not advice on my life choices thanks. I think something is wrong with my sales process. I introduce myself tell them about my experience. I talk about the customers needs, I write the price right there, on a line item quote sheet, I ask for the job. “They say they need to think about it” or “they can’t commit”

is it normal for them to want to schedule 2 or 3 months out?

how many estimates per sale ? What’s the average number? 1 in 4? 1 in 6?

am I not building urgency? How do you build urgency?
 

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Have you checked out existing articles in the Business, Marketing, and Sales sub-forum? Look at the first entry (Resource - Business, Marketing, and Sales) - it has some articles that have been helpful to many. There are a lot of posts in the sub-forum, many of which you won’t find useful, but some will be.
 
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You didn’t read what I said man I am knocking on doors and I already have listings. I write estimates. I don’t work by the hour I’m to fast for that
no problem. Good luck.

FWIW - If you haven't landed a job doing any of the above, then perhaps you need to re-examine your salesmanship. Your terse responses to the "FREE" advice given above, might come off as abrasive to potential clientele questioning whether they should take a chance on a complete stranger.
 

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Okay, going to throw myself on this grenade.

An observation, and one you likely won't want to hear or appreciate, is that you seem to have a bit of anger showing up in the replies you have crafted to some of the responses members have offered here - and these are aimed at people who are trying to offer up some help to you for a situation you asked for assistance in. We all understand the frustration of being in the position of doing everything right but then not landing the jobs. And it is understandable that such frustration leads to some anger at those who aren't hiring you or to customers in general. But IF that is being conveyed to your prospective customers, even at a very subtle level, you may be shooting yourself in the foot.

It's been my experience that when getting multiple bids, customers will look at reasons NOT to hire one of the contractors and much as to why they should hire them. And if you are coming across as defensive or of having a bit of a chip on your shoulder, especially if it is in the course of answering some of the questions you might be getting from the average clueless HO, then that might very well be throwing up a major road block to your landing jobs. A good example might be in how you respond when a customer tells you (if they do) that they are "going in another direction", code for choosing another contractor. I have always tried to be a good sport about it, wished them well and suggested that if things don't go well then to keep us in mind. As a result, I have gotten calls from some of those customers when something DID go wrong and they were't happy with the outfit they chose. Or, I have gotten calls from other people those customers gave my name to. I guess my point here is, never burn any bridges no matter how tempting it may be to do so. Your perception amongst customers, and others in the trade, is an accumulative one and if it becomes one in which you are seen as a hot head, well...

Perhaps, what I have put out here is totally off base and when you are interacting with customers your business demeanor is all professional, easy going, respectful, attentive, and polite. But if it isn't then you will need to reassess how you respond.

Now, you may likely just tell me to go F*** myself, and if you do, so be it. But if you do, you will sort of be making my point for me. Taking an honest look at how we may be coming across to others is hugely difficult, but it's usually a pretty valuable to do so. As the old, worn-out, adage goes, we only get one chance to make that first impression.
 

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I know the feeling, my first year was a bit thin when I was just getting started...

Personally I don't ask for the job on the spot. I usually tell them I'll email them an estimate. I think most potential customers appreciate not having to make a big decision like this on the spot. I also tell them to get a couple other estimates as well, and call me if they have any other questions.

Like other posters said give your name to all the paint stores around too. By this time of year the paint stores are looking for people who aren't booked up. Once you get your first few jobs you'll probably start picking up jobs from the neighbors and references will start to snowball from there.
 

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New to the Paint Talk. Recently decided to go into business for my self.

Background, I’m a journeyman painter, commercial, residential. Approaching 30 years old I’m vary fast and produce quality quickly. Cut straight lines prefer to roll with an 18” but I’m faster with a sprayer. Spray anything I can.

Im having trouble landing jobs, I’ve posted on Craigslist, Facebook. Cold called property management companies. I’ve gone knocking on doors, basically pitching that I started a paint company and im offering free estimates and affordable prices. Most of my leads are from knocking on doors.
I’ve done 6 estimates, sold 0. One full exterior is ready but wants to get new windows first. 2 tentative but couldn’t commit, one because of price, one for unknown time frame. The rest threw the cracks. I’m a very good painter I bought a pump and van have all my grip I’m ready to work and I have a mind for business but seems like I spend all my time giving estimates and haven’t made sh**. Looking for advice. I don’t wanna pressure people. They all say my prices seem fair. I need to make SOME SORT OF MONEY, at least enough to pay the bills.

Any advice from experience in my position I’m grateful.

Do you have any referrals or photos of your work?
From a homeowners perspective, if you showed up on my doorstep, I’m not going to make any commitments unless I see your work. If it were me, I would not say you just started a business. Maybe say how many years experience you have and that you’re insured and licensed.

In my experience as a faux painter, I can tell when someone is a no go or if I hooked them. Keep your intro short and sweet. If you get the opportunity to give an estimate, IMO, that’s the time to really connect with the homeowner. If they feel they can trust what you’re telling them, they’ll at least remember you.
Consider why they may want painting. Are they going to sell and just want fast and cheap? Maybe they want a complete refresh and money is no object. If you can pick up on certain queues , tailor your pitch to their needs.

In my personal experience, if I say I need to think about it, it means a money issue on my end.

It’s frustrating to put time into something with no results. You’ll land something soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks guys that’s all very good advice. Yes I’ve been telling them I just started the business I will probably change that. I do show pictures of my work if I get the estimate. I can be a hot head I don’t generally show that to home owners but I get what you’re saying.
 

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Personally I hate the idea of going door to door selling services. I find it annoying when people come to my door trying to sell me something and nobody who has ever done so has landed a job for me. Period.

Your approach of building urgency and expecting people to sign off on the spot without having a chance to think about it is likely making them uncomfortable. Closing a sale is important, but if you don't do it tactfully you come across like a used car sales person.

Tell every person you know that you've started a business and you're looking for work. Family, friends, everyone. Eventually you'll start getting interest and referrals. I've advertised twice; once in the local paper and once in a little real estate magazine. Got one phone call out of it that turned into nothing. Since then I've been strictly word of mouth, and that's worked for the last 13 years since we moved here and knew literally two people here.

Definitely let the people where you buy your paint that you're looking. The girls at the local paint shop I go to have gotten me tons of work over the years. They keep a list on the front desk of all the local painters. They aren't supposed to refer one painter over another but they definitely do.
 

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Do you have any referrals or photos of your work?
From a homeowners perspective, if you showed up on my doorstep, I’m not going to make any commitments unless I see your work. If it were me, I would not say you just started a business. Maybe say how many years experience you have and that you’re insured and licensed.

In my experience as a faux painter, I can tell when someone is a no go or if I hooked them. Keep your intro short and sweet. If you get the opportunity to give an estimate, IMO, that’s the time to really connect with the homeowner. If they feel they can trust what you’re telling them, they’ll at least remember you.
Consider why they may want painting. Are they going to sell and just want fast and cheap? Maybe they want a complete refresh and money is no object. If you can pick up on certain queues , tailor your pitch to their needs.

In my personal experience, if I say I need to think about it, it means a money issue on my end.

It’s frustrating to put time into something with no results. You’ll land something soon.
The ones I always hated were after you were done doing all the numbers, giving them your best "spiel", and then your quote, they would say, "Well, I need to talk it over with my husband/wife.". Always felt like my method of selling myself and my work were 50% wasted since the other wasn't there to hear it. Also, I often figured that was an easier way for them to say, "Uh, no thanks."
 
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Thanks guys that’s all very good advice. Yes I’ve been telling them I just started the business I will probably change that. I do show pictures of my work if I get the estimate. I can be a hot head I don’t generally show that to home owners but I get what you’re saying.
Being introspective and knowing you can be a hot head is very positive. Thinking you're not showing it to home owners is very questionable. Many people are very good readers of that kind of thing whether you think you're showing it or not. It can make people uncomfortable when they're considering letting you work for them in their homes. Some won't care, but I'd say that's the minority.
 

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...Definitely let the people where you buy your paint that you're looking. The girls at the local paint shop I go to have gotten me tons of work over the years. They keep a list on the front desk of all the local painters. They aren't supposed to refer one painter over another but they definitely do.
I would add that I get many many painters like, like OP, looking for leads especially in the winter when everything dries up. Who am I going to throw a carrot to:
1) Dime a dozen 99% SW user who claims they're the best and fastest ever
2) Someone I've developed a long standing relationship with and have only positive feedback from customers.

@BrushSwing3R not saying your in the first category however I have heard the same thing countless times only to end up burned one way or another. When I give your name as a lead it comes with my stamp of approval to the client. End of the day customers want honesty, quality and good value. Court your supplier and show them that not only do you supply all three but you also are loyal and don't bounce around looking to skim the best deal by dangling a carrot.
 

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I would add that I get many many painters like, like OP, looking for leads especially in the winter when everything dries up. Who am I going to throw a carrot to:
1) Dime a dozen 99% SW user who claims their the best and fastest ever
2) Someone I've developed a long standing relationship with and have only positive feedback from customers.

@BrushSwing3R not saying your in the first category however I have heard the same thing countless times only to end up burned one way or another. When I give your name as a lead it comes with my stamp of approval to the client. End of the day customers want honesty, quality and good value. Court your supplier and show them that not only do you supply all three but you also are loyal and don't bounce around looking to skim the best deal by dangling a carrot.
One of my major suppliers had a clerk who had been there forever. In fact, she and her husband had owned the store before corporate eventually took them all back. She gave us tons of work over the years and referred to us as her, "little old lady painters", in that she would always recommend us to her little old lady clients because she knew we'd do a good job, be fair, and treat them well (not because we painted like little old ladies, or painted little old ladies). We always looked at it as a badge of pride.
 
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You've said a few things that may be potential red flags if I were the customer (or as another painter listening to give feedback).

"I don’t work by the hour I’m to fast for that"

I thought you needed money? I don't understand what you think working by the hour means, but this would be a great topic for discussion!

"am I not building urgency? How do you build urgency?"

"Urgency"? I've never heard this term before in this context, what do you mean?

"I write the price right there, on a line item quote sheet, I ask for the job."

Do you literally ask for the job? How do you phrase that?

"is it normal for them to want to schedule 2 or 3 months out?"

That may be putting the cart in front of the horse at this time.
 
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