Guest post by Brandon Lewis with The Academy of Professional Painting Contractors.
Apparently, it’s a dirty word… because even painters don’t use it very much.
When I ask if they’re doing it regularly, painters are ashamed to admit – they aren’t.
It’s embarrassing really…
Lest you get offended because your mind is where it shouldn’t be, the “F-Word” I’m taking about is “Follow-Up.”
Specifically, follow-up on estimates done in a thorough, proven, and most importantly persuasive manner. This is important for both residential and commercial painting leads.
Even large, successful and profitable painting companies can drop the ball here – leaving untold thousands on the table because they “think” they are maximizing their follow-up efforts.
If you want your follow-up to be powerful, let me ask you to “Turn Up the T.E.M.P. 3X” on your unconverted estimates using this powerful acronym – T.E.M.P. 3X.
When you turn up the T.E.M.P. 3X, your unconverted leads are contacted using four mediums simultaneously for three rounds of contact at minimum.
Please note: From an operational standpoint, I recommend you phone, email, text, and mail in that order… unfortunately P.E.T.M. does not spell anything easy to remember ?
T is for text:
Text message all of your clients because open rates and reply rates are higher for text than email. More people are likely to immediately reply to you after leaving a voicemail.
E is for email:
Email your clients because many of them process their personal business out of their email box in their own good time and will get back with you.
M is for mail:
Yep! Good, old-fashioned postcards with the headlines “Sorry I Missed You” and “Thanks for Your Time” depending on whether you made a connection with the client or not.
P is for phone:
Dial the client live because it is the most persuasive medium you have for closing a sale. More sales will close over the phone than any other medium. We primarily use email, text, and mail to encourage clients to “call us” and get on the phone.
Obviously, if you get a client that gives you a response when you call, there is no need to send a text or email. However, a quick, personalized “thank you” postcard should be sent acknowledging that you appreciate them taking your call.
For unresponsive clients, hitting them with four mediums all at once greatly increases your chances of getting a response. In the end, you have no idea which medium of communication is the most persuasive to a potential client. For that reason, your safest option is to use them all.
3X is for three rounds of communication:
Did you know the average American takes 68 days to make a $500 purchase in a retail environment from they time they consider the purchase to the time they pull the trigger? Did you know painting contractors report an average transaction size of roughly $3,000 – roughly six times larger than the $500 in-store purchase?
This means your average client is going to spend longer than you like making up their mind. That’s why you need to do at least three rounds of T.E.M.P. follow up – frankly I’d recommend you continue contacting the client until they indicate a decision has been made.
The Three “F-Word” Follies
When it comes to follow-up, painting contractors make three major mistakes:
1 – They do not use all the communication mediums at their disposal (most often relying upon email and phone alone)
2 – They give up too early and fail to construct their follow-up processes to mirror the actual sales cycle (this leaves tons of money on the table)
3 – They forget that their job is to continue to be persuasive, build value, and reduce risk in the mind of the client – but instead hound the client by asking “Do you have any questions? Are you ready to move forward?”
Are you making any of these follow-up mistakes? If so, it’s time to make a change.
And stop leaving so much “F-word” money on the table!