I think most of these customers set out guidelines prior to shopping, just as you would in purchasing a car or anything else that is a pretty penny. regardless if they think you are the best painter or not, they follow their rules prior to making the big decision. Gather all quotes, look em over. check references and so on. Its not as easy as well we need it done, fook it, your hired. I imagine this happens but not that often on big purchases.My feeling is this... Customers get the paralysis by analysis syndrome. They call for the estimate. They need the job done. You are the best company for the job. I know all the get-a-gazillion-estimates crap out there is what drives people's stalls but what it is they are searching for? If its the lowest price, that's probably not many of you here. Its definitely not me.
If a painting company can back up what they are promising with pictures, testimonials, a problem solving presentation, experience and a positive differentiating attitude towards their customers, why not close the sale on the spot? It does not seem efficient to meet a customer, run home, prepare a ton of estimates, mail them, then have to follow up only to get the same closing ratio.