Painting contractors frequently complain about customers who focus solely on price, rather than value.
While it is easy to blame the customer, contractors are often the ones at fault. To put this in context, consider your own buying habits.
- Do you ever buy anything based on price?
- Do you ever shop around for the best deal on a spray rig, a ladder, or paint?
There is nothing necessarily wrong with doing so, and indeed, it is often the most rational thing to do. Suppose you want to buy a Graco 395 airless sprayer. Whether you buy the rig from your paint dealer or Spray Rigs ‘R Us, you will get the very same product. Wouldn’t you want to get the best price possible?
When everything is the same, price is usually the deciding factor.
The same applies to buying paint jobs. If your company and the job you propose look just like your competitors, price becomes the deciding factor. However, if your company and the job you propose are better, and you explain the benefit of this to the customer, price often becomes less important.
Again, consider your own buying habits. Do you ever spend a little more because you know that you will get better service or some other value? I certainly do. I’m willing to spend more when I know that I will get more.
The same applies to our customers. They don’t buy paint jobs everyday.
They may not know the difference between alkyd and latex. They may think that eggshell is a color. They may ask, as a customer recently did, if I recommend semi-gloss or latex. To such people, paint is paint and anyone can paint.
If you want them to believe differently, then you are going to have to educate them.
And that is where many contractors fall short. Again, consider your own buying habits. When you choose to spend more, it is highly likely that you have been educated. Either the salesman spent time with you discussing your options, or you’ve had previous experiences with the company, or something similar. In any case, you had learned why it would serve you to spend more.
Certainly, there will always be some customers who will always focus on price, no matter what you say or do. But many customers want to buy value, they just don’t know what it consists of.
It’s your job to tell them.