Mike Beaulieu, founder and owner of New Look Painting, discusses how he provides a world class experience for his residential painting customers. Mike takes a deep dive into his sales and project management process, as well as the psychology behind his system. Mike has refined a highly effective way to generate repeat and referral business, and he shares how he does so. In addition to his painting company, Mike runs a monthly newsletter serving painters called Painter’s Marketing Pro, which produces great results for his clients.
Video of Interview
- What happens when you provide a world class experience to your customers
- How to automate your sales and fulfillment process and the importance of doing so
- Effective ways to enjoy much more repeat and referral business
- What makes Mike’s newsletter service so effective, and how to try it out
Welcome to the Painter Marketing Mastermind Podcast, a show created to help painting company owners build a thriving painting business that does well over one million and annual revenue. I’m your host Brandon Pierpont founder of Painter Marketing Pros and creator of the popular pc, a educational series, learn do grow marketing for painters. In each episode, I’ll be sharing proven tips, strategies and processes from leading experts in the industry on how they found success in their painting business. We will be interviewing owners of the most successful painting companies in north America and learning from their experiences on this episode of the Painter Marketing Mastermind podcast.
We host Guest Mike Ballou Mike is the founder and owner of new look painting, a residential and commercial painting company based in grand rapids michigan that does over $2 million dollars in annual revenue. In this episode, Mike discusses how he provides a world class experience for his residential painting customers. He takes a deep dive into his sales and project management process as well as the psychology behind his system. Mike has refined a highly effective way to generate repeat and referral business and he shares how he does so in addition to his painting company, Mike runs a monthly newsletter serving painters called painters marketing pro and he gives great insights into why his newsletter is so effective as well as how to contact him if you were interested in trying it out if you want to learn more about the topics we discussed in this podcast and how you can use them to grow your painting business, visit painter marketing pros dot com forward slash podcast for free training as well as the ability to schedule a personalized strategy session for your painting company. Again that you are l is painter marketing pros dot com forward slash podcast mike. Thank you for coming on the paint marketing mastermind podcast man. Thank you. I I really appreciate it. Yeah, it’s it’s good to have, you should tell us a little bit about new look painting. Okay. Yeah, new look painting. I started in 2008 um right in the middle of the recession. Um Just as I’m sure many of other painters. Yeah a lot of businesses were kind of starting right then to um but uh focused a lot on residential repaint and then started off using an employee model and now have grown to doing both Residential and commercial were kind of split on 5050 there. And I have a combination of both. An employee model and a subcontracting model that we use. Okay. And so you do you have certain jobs or projects or types of projects that you put your employees on versus your subcontractors or how do you break that up? Yeah, that’s a great question. Um So anything that we do residential interior is all the employees um I only use employees for that model there um once we get to the outside of the home and exterior painting ah then I use subcontractors and employees on that and same as the commercial projects that we do. I have ah lead um employee that manages the projects and then we use subcontractors for the for the individual jobs. So I think this is uh pretty obvious but I would imagine that you do the residential material employees for quality control purposes. That’s correct. Um There’s a little bit more checks and balances um If you’ve ever looked into the employee subcontracting model there there’s definitely dues and don’t so employee versus subcontractor and so we try to abide by that. Um and so I can I can schedule them to be at a house at 7:00 or at 8:00 there and I know that they’re gonna show up and and do the and perform the work. Um One of the other things that we actually do when we’re talking about the residential interior side when my employees is that um I set my guys up on on different teams that focus on particular types of interior painting. So for example we do a lot of kitchen cabinets and so I have a team that’s just dedicated to doing kitchen cabinets. Um Same thing with interior repaint, that’s a different team and we also go after some new construction and remodel projects. Um and that’s another team for that. So each one of my teams focus on a particular type of work and that’s really helped with the quality control um For them having, you know all the tools that they’re going to need uh for the job because they’re not jumping from an inside job to to an exterior to a commercial site which each one of those, you’re gonna need a specific set of tools um that that will assist you through that. Sure. So you’re able to kind of niche them down I guess within your company, correct? Yeah, that was one thing um early on in my business as a painter you take anything you can get um you know that if you wanna client needs a garage floor done, I’m grabbing the kit and I’m doing the garage floor, you know, same type of thing with, with cabinets. We used to do deck staining um was another one. Um But then what I found is that when you spread yourself out like that you don’t become efficient in doing um a particular type of job. If you have a company that’s focusing just on epoxy garage floors, I mean they come in, they got a system, they lay it down there in their out with me, it takes, you know, almost twice as long because it’s not a type of project that we do every day. Um So based on that, that’s when we decided um I’m no longer doing a epoxy floors um I’m no longer doing decks, staining decks at all and just kind of honed in on the type of projects that we really want to do and that’s just been invaluable to my company? Yeah, that makes a lot of sense, man keeping, keeping things efficient. Do you have a certain gross profit margin that you’re looking to get for each of the types of projects that you, you have? Yeah, they all kind of vary, I mean, you know, the average is between that 40 and 50%. Um So some projects come in a little bit better, there some have a little tighter margin um commercial painting for example, you know, the margins are a little tighter on that um than it is for, you know, kitchen cabinets or or interior re paints. Um projects that I know that I’m not gonna make, you know that the prophet that I really want to make on, I just don’t do them. Um So another thing is we don’t do, you know the flip homes or we don’t do the apartment painting. Um So just just recently here I got a call for a quote at um it’s a college campus and during the summer time, you know, the kids leave and so they want team subpoenas to come in and knock that all out and I turned down that project because I know that the margin is going to be for me on it. Now, there’s absolutely other companies that, that’s their model and so they’re, they’re able to to hammer at it and this is what they do all the time and so they can drive their profit margin up a little bit more than what I’m able to do for that. So I I really suggest niche ng down to just particular types of projects that that you know very well, you know how to uh knock them out real well and I think that’s what you know, everybody should focus in on. Do you have a certain customer avatar, so to speak, a certain ideal customer that you are looking to target for your residential repaint jobs? Yeah, absolutely. Um So it’s not the price shoppers. Um We want to go with the we want the people who are are more quality conscious um We want people who are looking at the entire system um So there’s a lot of things that we can start to get into another discussion about that is the the automation um that I have set up in the things that I do in order to position myself as the um as the quality customer service. Um You know, we we got great systems in place and we’re looking for a client that wants that overall experience one that’s just going for price um that that’s not our clients uh that we’re going for. Um We really want the ones that are looking to just get taken care of all the way through. Sure, so let’s let’s dive into that a little bit. What does that, what does that look like, that automation, that kind of pre cell differentiation, does it look like for your company. Yeah there’s a couple of different things there. Um So my scheduling is is all uh is all automated. Um I set my availability on my google calendar and the program reads from there and what my open slots are. Um And so the client can plug in all their own information and pick the day and time that’s convenient for them. So it takes me first out of that step of of having to have somebody answer every single call that comes in. Um We do use an answering service um for those calls that do come in and then they just use the program in order to plug the client in. Of course they get the confirmation but before the appointment before I ever show up for the appointment there’s also three different emails, touch points that go out to them. Um Some of them have, I have a guide Um that I wrote eight things you must know before hiring a painting contractor which gets them into the mindset of you know you’re you’re not buying a tv that could have been made at any warehouse and the specs are all going to be the same and you know what the quality of its gonna be um you’re buying something that you haven’t even seen yet. Um So there’s absolutely different types of questions that you should be asking. And so I detailed that out in that guide and I know my clients find that very helpful. I also have an introductory video to my company. Once again gets my face right in front of them, so by the time I’m actually showing up there for the appointment, they know mike from New Look painting and you know, a lot of them have had the guide or have it pulled up there on their phone because they’re using it now to ask questions to any uh any company that they have coming into, give him a quote. Um there’s, you know, follow ups that go out um after that um once I get them plugged in and and you know, there’s automation three days after my first appointment, uh there’s a follow up that goes out to try to solidify it and then I do things in terms of, I know scheduling is always a big issue for painters, you know, how do we do scheduling? Um because I dealt with many years, you’ve got clients calling you going out okay, where am I at on the schedule here, am I coming up, what’s what’s going on? And so I wanted to eliminate that because once again, that’s something that’s taken up my time that I could be focusing on, something that’s a lot more valuable to me. And so, you know, I plugged them into, we actually use Tremolo for our project management and with setting due dates on there, that’s linked to the projects on google calendar, ah they’ll get a reminder out um two weeks before the project comes up um there’s a link in there for a form for them to submit their colors, uh for the project and also five days before the job starts. They also get another email just solidifying that, you know, yep, this is, we’re still coming, it’s still on and um that has just been absolutely tremendous. Um like I said, I want to make the flow and I think that’s really important. We want to make the flow for the client as easy as possible. They are used to difficult contractors, um, not getting a hold of them, not, you know, getting on the schedule, them showing up and leaving and you know, them not knowing if if anyone’s ever gonna show up again. Um so I want to make that process as easy as possible. So you really gotta put yourself in their shoes. And one of the things that kind of clicked to me was I was using a um for my personal house, I was using a pest control company that comes around and sprays the yard and um, does stuff like that and you know, when they were coming out, they were, they were sending a text message, um they’re sending a picture of the, of the, of the tech at my house saying, hey, I’m here doing that. I got the nice follow up at the end of it and that doesn’t even include the emails that I got before saying, hey your appointments coming up here and we’re going to be out and I just loved how at ease that put me that they were there and they were doing it and they were coming out and, and so I started to try to implement that type of model as well for my company. I mean you’re selling uh, you know, I think you’re, you’re really selling a customer experience at the end of the day. Yeah. You know, within an interior paint job or exterior paint job, technically the homeowner could do that themselves, you know, if they were so inclined, so they’re hiring you to resolve the problem and kind of hold their hand through it and, and that I had a similar experience actually, the plumbing company um would would give me a tracker, I mean I didn’t care as much as they were giving me, you know, but if I cared, I would actually know what street the guy was on his way. Their dominance. You know, they came out with monitor your driver or whatever. This isn’t important, but it makes the, the homeowner feel in control, not at the mercy of the contractor and are they gonna show up, what can I expect? They know what they can expect. They, they’re in the loop every step of the way and if they’re in the loop then they trust you. Absolutely absolutely. Um One of the other things I I did because we wanted to um increase at customer experience. We wanted to make sure that the the quality level and everything was being hit at the very end of the project. That um my my team will have a gift bag that we give to. The clients. Got a real nice cup in there. Real nice notepad with pen and there’s a little light. Um and so they give that to the client at the end of the job. They also have a little um three by three card with a has a Q. R. Code asking for a review. And one of the things that I did for in my company that honestly I saw immediate results and was just kind of a game changer that we put on the card there that if the client at the end of the job goes on Um gives us a review and mentions the names of the painters that were on the project. I give each one of the painters and a $25 pre paid visa gift card. Um and that has gone over great and I started noticing right away with going out to new estimates. Hey, I was looking at your google reviews and you know, man, people really love your company and you know, it sounds like it’s so easy to work with and and because the value of those reviews increased if I can get the client to do a review right at the end of the job when they’re the most happiest and then give them the incentive that that based on mentioning the painters, they’re going to get a bonus. Um You know what I found is that homeowners are just more than ecstatic to go on and to do it. And the type of review that they write is so much better than if I send them something a week later or a couple days later and asking them for a review. It’s it’s not gonna be that same type of excitement level. Um And I’ve also talked to some of the clients afterwards and and got their input input about um did doing that card, knowing that they were gonna get a bonus. Um How much did that motivate you to to do it? Did it did it motivate you anymore? And I’ve had clients go, oh yeah, absolutely. Knowing they were gonna get, they were fantastic, they were great. And so the, you know, my my painters go above and beyond now because they want to ensure that their name is going to get mentioned in a review and to and to get that bonus, customers are loving it. I mean, and so I’ve taken them now from that initial phone call all the way through to the end of the project. Um and we actually go beyond and that’s something else that we can talk about is what do I do in terms of uh that marketing, that customer experience after a job is complete. Yeah. Yeah I was had a note here to ask you, you know you’ve got everything so dialed in. I was thinking he’s definitely got something for the referral, repeat um Some sort of system. But before we dive into that I want to dive in a little bit to this gift card idea that you run and and kind of how you set that up, how you motivate people. Do you does it vary or do you find difference in results whether it’s a subcontractor Or whether it’s AW. two or do you find do you find consistent motivation and results with that? Yeah it’s it’s consistent motivation. Um So even the subcontractors you know they always want to make more money all of us do you know and when it can be something as little as that at the end of the job um You know we have a checklist that they actually go through with the clients and sign off at the end of it. So there’s already a process that they have to do already there with the client and especially for the subcontractor if we want to continue our working relationship together, I got to make sure that that my company is is um being promoted the right way out there. Um So I I do do a lot of checking before I hire just any subcontractor to come out there. There’s some companies you know that they’ll hire any subcontract because they need any painter and that just turns into a bigger mess and so I thoroughly vet them, make sure that they have all the proper insurance and worker’s comp and everything that they need for it. Um So I’m getting people already that that care about it, but if you can give them that little bit more of incentive um to have their name and to to get that card, it’s, it’s worked both with employee and subcontractors. Now do you have any kind of training or anything about, hey, you know when you start a project, here’s how you’re gonna build that relationship or kind of cultivate that relationship with the homeowner or is this, is this more, hey, you know, I want, I want to incentivize you to get these reviews and to provide a positive experience. So here’s what’s gonna happen if you’re able to do it and you kind of let them figure out their own approach to how to create that relationship. So there’s a little bit of both that I’ll say. Um before when I started doing the gift bags and started doing the referral cards, um I had a big company meeting and I put together the vision of my company, you know what, how I wanted to be seen out there. Um the type of work that we’re doing. Um I went through the process of why each one of those things matter. Um you know my employees, I take really good care of them. They have, you know health insurance, the holiday pay after 90 days, um vacation time. Um I want to make sure that this is a home for them, something that they can see themselves finishing out their career here at New Look painting. Um and, and so by talking about the vision, I was able to sell them on what the vision is of New Look and how we want to present ourselves. And so when I talked about, you know, the referral card and everything like that, um everybody understood exactly why we’re doing it and how to do it. So it wasn’t to them just merely a, a financial incentive. Um I guess there’s an immediate financial incentive and then there’s a long term financial incentive for them and that’s gonna be for that client to call us back to come out to do more work and guess who I’m sending, I’m sending right back out the same painters that were there before that the customer absolutely loved and that they’re used to the space and and yeah get that rocking and rolling. Yeah, awesome man. So you, you, you kinda, I mean you didn’t kind of made it a part of the culture, you got people bought into the vision and then you get out of the incentive. It was just, you didn’t just dangle a carrot, there was more to this and you made them a part of it and I think that’s a really valuable thing for anyone listening, if you just buy a bunch of $25 gift cards and say, hey, I’ll give it to you if you get a review, but you don’t really get the buy in and, and kind of make it a team type activity. You might not see the kinds of results that you’re seeing right now. Yeah, absolutely. It’s, it’s important to be intentional with, with anything that you’re going to do with your company. And in order to be intentional, it can’t be impulsive. You have to sit, you have to plan, you have to come up with a vision for it and then you have to implement it correctly. Yeah, yeah. Let’s uh I mean, mike you have it, you gotta dialed in, man. You know, the whole system here. What do we do for for customer database reactivation for the repeat referral customers? What do we have? Well, one of the things, if you, if you look across any businesses, um any big corporations that are out there, um they all run what we call reengagement campaign. They want to get you on their on their email newsletter. Um A lot of them have been starting to do uh implement texting as well. Um two different promotions and things like that, but that model of that, that newsletter? Re engagement is is something that I’ve been doing for quite a long time. Um I want to say 2009 was probably the first email campaign that I sent out. And you know, I’m not going to show you a sample of what that looked like because that was, you know, if you’re not, if you’re not embarrassed by the first work that you put out, then you’re not moving fast enough. You know what? That’s absolutely true. It’s good that you’re good. You’re embarrassed because you were getting things done. Yes. So I, you know, I tried out different things, um, you know, putting out the the coupon or the, you know, focusing on this type of work there. Um but what I found is that, you know, clients quickly just get bored with that and if they don’t think that they have a project coming up here anytime soon, they’re just going to unsubscribe from your newsletter. Yeah, absolutely. Um so what I started implementing about, I wanna say 4-5 years ago um I started to put together a newsletter um that I call it the home and design newsletter. And what it does is it focuses on different aspects of design, the new trends that are coming out. So there might be an article about Um, you know, two tone kitchen cabinets um that go into there. I might have an article about, you know, the difference between um, you know, granite and quartz countertops. Um I, I put in their articles and there’s a couple of painting articles. So we always talk about, you know, something to paint. My first article in the newsletter directly deals with something painting that goes to a landing page that I tried to convert them. Um, from that. Um, but what I found is that if it wasn’t just straight driving, you know, um, you know, here’s the deal. And if I talked about design ideas, I got them thinking so they might not have a project this month, but they’re going to continue to read the articles. Um, because it’s given them ideas on what are the latest trends, what’s kind of happening and in the painting world when you have a client that’s willing to pay to have you come out and to paint more than likely they care about design and what the current trends are. Um, you know, we’ve heard this when, when gray started to become the prominent color over beige. You know, people talk about that is people still doing that. Is that what’s still going on? Because people want to stay relevant with what’s what’s happening. They don’t want to, you know, paint their walls outdated, you know, color here. They want to stay current within the trend. They wanna, that’s right. That’s right. And so that’s what, that’s what my newsletter really sells them on. Um, is all that. So I keep the reader engagement month after month and it might be six months down the road that, that client converts or it might be a couple of years, which I have clients that it’s a couple of years and they end up replying back from the newsletter that sent out and saying, hey, I need to get some more work done and they’ve just been in touch with it. So about four years ago. Um because I saw what the power was of it in my business as I started offering that as a service for other painting companies. And right now I currently carry um a good handful of painting companies that I do the newsletter for each month. And you know this, this same newsletter, the same newsletter. Um, some of them have some, some different tweaks. So every month there is a spot in there that focuses on a particular type of project. So ah you know, some of them, it might be hey exterior seasons coming up. You make sure you get on my schedule first. Um do it or hey, have you thought about the kitchen cabinets or hey have your living room painted? So there’s always that call to action um that I have in there. Um Yeah, which is really good. So what is the name of? Well, first off before, before I kind of get into the specifics. I want to address a couple things number one. I love it. So you’re, you know, you hear about leading with value, you know, you hear about our provide people value and and then that’s how you can really help grow your business in a in a not obnoxious value forward way, that’s 100% what you’re doing, you’re not painting painting, painting, painting, you know, you you basically, even though you’re not running a remodeling company essentially are offering, it is sort of remodeling newsletter which people are gonna find a lot more interesting than just a bunch of different paint jobs. You know, I would open that and I have no intention of remodeling my house, but I’m sure the pictures are beautiful, I’m sure the contents interesting and you know, we get some sort of home home redesigned newsletter to my house every two months and I read it because it’s interesting now you’re leading with value, you’re not pushing things down people’s throat, but you’re also remaining top of mind. And so when when it does come time for paint job, who’s the expert who’s the person who they turn to and trust and it’s you. So I love what you’re doing. I see why it’s so effective. I think it’s an ingenious approach. I’m sure you’ve refined it Tremendously since you’ve been doing it for 13 years, what’s the name of this company and if people are interested um and working with you, how can they reach out to you and maybe find out more about it. Okay, thank you. Um so talking about the name of the company when I first started it, you and I had a nice phone call. Yes, we did, we did have a nice phone call because when I when I did it I wasn’t just honing in on on just newsletter. When I first started I was looking at doing um some facebook advertising for people um performance stuff on their google my business items like that. And then I I kind of trailed it down to just focusing on the newsletter. Once again the same type of model that I was doing with my painting business. I was snitching down to what I could do really well. Um What I know would perform well for my clients. Um And so that’s why I started doing it. So when I put my business up, my business name was painters marketing pro. Painters Apostrophe S painters getting pro. Yes sir. Um And so my name, I’m actually changing in the process of doing a name change on it because I wanted to be just about newsletters and I wanted to be really clear um about that. Um And then you know people can can reach out to me. I got a couple of different sources. Um They could go to uh you know my my facebook page um for painters marketing Pro. Uh They can find that um online there um There’s also a website which um I probably should have popped up here before this phone call because it’s been a little bit since I’ve I’ve been on there because I do most things over facebook right now. Um so I think that would be the, the easiest and the quickest way to get a get a hold of me. Is there is there an email address or anything that they could send you a message if they wanted to? There is it’s mike at painter’s marketing pro dot com. Mike at painter’s marketing pro dot com. Or they could go to the website? Painters marketing pro dot com. Okay, painters marketing pro dot com. Okay, well, thank you mike. So that is very helpful. So you, you they’re obviously quite familiar with marketing, you know, you’ve talked about a lot of different uh, concepts here and kind of the whole life cycle of, of the buyer’s journey, which is something I’m really passionate about. How did you, how did you get to this point? Is this something that you had a background in prior to starting your painting company? Is this something as you built the painting company, you’ve, you’ve kind of um leaned into the marketing aspect? How did you learn all this? Yeah, so most of my life, I’m self taught. Um I never went to college, um, got out of high school and um, you know, just for me, college wasn’t my thing. If I wanted to learn something I went out and learned it. Um, always had very much an entrepreneurial spirit. Um, anything from Developing, you know, websites when when I was 16 years old, um, to did wedding photography for a time and um, I did, you know, print brokering for a while on the side as well. Um, and painting was, was actually something that was a third job for me very early on in my life. And that turned into me working in the office of a company. Um, and then I didn’t agree with the values of the company that I was working with um at that time. And so that’s where I had broken off and, and started, you know, another company and actually did that for about five years, I was partnered with three other people. Um, and then in 2008, when we had too much differing of opinions for different owners trying to go, we had um, yeah, it was so we, we just closed it down and we all went our separate ways and that’s when I started new luck. Um what I’ve loved about it is I love, I love to learn and um painting is something that the more I get into it, the more I realize, I don’t know. Um every time I think I’ve seen every, you know, troubled situation on a job site, I run into something that I’ve never seen this before. This is another brand new one. And I’ve always wanted to learn and know why, and so with the computer background that I had before. Um it was just kind of natural to, you know, increase at customer experience and That was something that I’m telling you back in 2003. Um I saw that there was just customer service was out the window, it was out the window with with everybody, you know and and that’s all that you heard complaints about everything from from corporate America to you know the mom and pop shops. It was there was no customer service, it was strictly about making the sale. Um And then I watched how when we got to the time of the recession um quality was out the window, you know, no one cared about quality, they cared about how cheap, you know, could we get this stuff done? Um Everybody was looking for how they could reduce cost and so quality kind of went out the window. Um And what I’ve always wanted to do, you know because there’s always gonna be these kind of shifts that that happened in marketing and and with companies here over time. Um What I took a look at was there was a huge need for that level of customer service and the quality of the of the work um that was being done and so that’s what drove me into learning more and learning how can I do things better, how can I be more efficient? Um as the company started to grow um you know last year did 1. 65 million in business Uh this year we’re on track to to do over two. Um And so I had to make sure that uh, nothing was getting dropped in the middle and that happens all the time for painting company, especially a painting company that’s growing once you start to get over, you know, that really that $500,000 mark. Um, you know, if you don’t have systems in place and, and I would even say that you need to have systems in place from the very beginning if you ever want to scale and grow. Um, but if you don’t have that in place, you start losing clients. You start forgetting about this one or I forgot to contact this client. And now, you know, they’re upset and now they’re canceling their job on me or bad review because you dropped the ball accidentally. Right. Right. Absolutely. And so if you don’t want that and you want to be able to grow when you want less stress, you have to put these systems into place. Um now it’s not foolproof. You know, there are still things that kind of happen and, and we’re constantly hear of tweaking what our processes. Um, just trying to refine it a little bit more and be realistic in it. Um, for example, when I was talking about um, the, the email notification goes out for an interior painting project that’s because I can set a firm date and, and I’m, you know, 99% confident that I can hit that firm date now on an exterior project, there’s a little bit more wiggle room in it because we don’t know when the season is going to start. We don’t know for here in michigan what the rainy season is going to look like before we can actually get out the houses. And so I have roughly, you know, an email that goes out that tells them, hey, um, your projects coming up here in a couple of weeks. Um we want to confirm color and that will notify them a couple of days before we set up the power wash and then we do that a couple of days before the power wash. My project manager will send out um an email confirmation to them. Okay, this is the date for the power wash and then let them know that we get started on their project then shortly after that. Um, so for exteriors it doesn’t have to be hard firm date clients just want to know that you haven’t forgotten about them. Um that that they’re still on the schedule and that their project still matters. Um and so that’s reduced so many headaches um for me and allows me to focus on, on the other aspects of the business that I really should be focusing my energy on. Yeah. This idea of, of indifference or apathy um toward your customers, even if you don’t feel that way. If they feel that you feel that way, then that is very problematic for your business putting in these processes, these systems, these touch bases say, hey, I didn’t forget about you. Hey, we’re excited about your project, we’re going to take care of you. Um, then they feel happy, you know, they feel cared for, they feel they feel valued. People want to feel valued and that’s what we’ve done with this. Yeah, no, you’re absolutely right. Is there is there anything that your business? Um, well, first off, is this what your business is doing best? So if you, if you said, hey, this is what we’re best at, right? Like if you had to pick one thing that you guys are crushing it, our best at you feel most confident, would it be your systems here? It would be, it would be the customer experience. Um, I think that that’s an area that we are, we are crushing it with that. Like I said, if you even just look at the google reviews, it’s, it’s not generic stuff it clients will say on there, um, that from, you know, from scheduling the appointment to mike coming out to the guys showing up here, you know, and so it matters to them that it was that entire experience and that’s what I want to give them. Um, because I’m telling you that takes them to this level of excitement where they want to tell other people about you, they want to bring more work your way because that experience was so great a lot of times as painters we think, well, we just, we we’ve we’ve we’ve finally shown up here. Um and we did a good job. Um why aren’t you referring us? And well, what is there for them to refer their they’re not excited about it. They, the customer experience wasn’t there? Um That’s what the, the big companies really focus on um in corporate America is that customer experience Disney, they they want you to have. I know it’s the customer experience and that’s what makes Disney the magical place is that customer experience. And so we need to bring those same type of ideas back into the painting industry and show them that that we are a reputable service that that takes craft people in order to to perform this work correctly. And that’s what I love about what you’re doing. Um What what people like nick or tanner um out there or um are Corey are doing as well, is that they’re they’re helping to elevate the trade. Um Put that respect back in the industry that it really deserves and understand what the value is of this skill. And that’s what we need to relate to the client. Is that the value of the skill um is, is what really matters and we do that by the customer experience that we give them. Yeah, yeah, 100%, man, you are, you’ve captured lightning in a bottle here, you know, you getting customers to refree because they’re excited. They’re genuinely excited. That is a hard thing to do. A lot of people I think think that’s impossible. You know, they think you have to bribe them, um, create some sort of referral program, give $100 a gift card or give 10% off the, the referee, you know, their their project and you can do things like this, but you’re actually wowing them to the point that they want to do it and you don’t need to pay them to do it. That’s fantastic. That’s right. Yeah. We don’t, we don’t pay them a dime. Their referrals don’t get a discount. There’s nothing special that we do that way. You’re absolutely right. It’s the experience that, that makes them excited to go tell other people. Yeah. And people, you know, kind of looking at how people operate in psychology people like they feel valuable when they refer service that’s valuable if they went and they found a painting company and, and you know, people of always, you know, everyone’s had a negative experience of some kind with a contractor of some kind, not necessarily a painter, but maybe a painter and then they find a painting company that wow like really wows them and then when they refer to their friends or their family or who are in laws, whoever and it wows them, they kind of ride some of that, you know, they lower in a way. They found you, right, Right, Right. Yeah. It gives them the power that you know. See I told you that these were the right people aren’t happy, aren’t you excited, wow. You know, I didn’t believe you but yeah, they were great. Well yeah, absolutely, absolutely. Right. You got my vision? Yeah, the psychology man. So what is your um I guess what is, what is something you guys are really working on improving, you know? No, no company is ever perfect, especially for a serial entrepreneur like yourself, Growth growth minded. Are there things that that you’re kind of pivoting on or trying to iterate on or make better? Yeah, absolutely. Um so um I’m gonna be looking here in the future to to add a salesperson. Um I do slowly all the sales myself and getting to this type of level um starts to become a little too much. So I’m starting to put implement on what that system is gonna look like and and try to um strengthen up what my process is so I can develop processes for all my guys but if I’m not following a process for me here it’s not scalable and I want to make sure that I can scale it. Um The the other thing too is I know that there’s some companies out there and they do really well at um having apprenticeship type programs and they’re gonna work with these people for so long and then they’re gonna move on to this and move on to that. Unfortunately I haven’t had a system like that, but I have my long term players. Um, when I have an application come in, I, I find out what are their strengths, like what kind of project, if they could choose one type of project to work on all the time, what would it be, would it be the outside of the house, would it be repaint? Would it be new construction? And then I tried to get them plugged in then with that team that I already have going that focuses on that type of work and and get them, you know, trained up to what our standards are and that’s something that I need to still do better so we can continue to scale and grow. Um, there are plenty of, of applicants out there. There’s plenty of painters out there. I know that, you know, there, there is, you know, shortages, but I think there’s also shortages based on the amount of work that painters have out there right now that we don’t have enough of the trades and so we need to get back since trade schools were kind of canceled in a sense, you know, long time ago and it was just thought that you need a a four year degree or you’re not going to be worth anything. Um, we, we lost on that apprenticeship, um, in this trade and I like that those aspects are coming back. Um, it’s something that I would love to actually, you know, long term long term vision. Okay remember I’m an entrepreneur so I got I got big ideas. Um I would love to do a trade school um here locally that that train up painters um That would be you know in class time there’d be a lot of hands on training Things like that that they would go through for you know I don’t know 68 weeks. And then after that they would have a base knowledge based thing and they would be able to go work for one of the other painting companies potentially here in town. So um with all that being said I need to work on on having a better system for training new people um in my company and so that’s something I definitely need to grow in. Um Especially if I’m looking to do these other plans down the road. Yeah. That’s exciting man. Thanks for being willing to share all that. How do you How do you see the painting industry changing over the next 10 years or do you see it changing? Yeah it’s it’s absolutely changing. Um Like I said there there’s big players out there that’s been doing a lot to to elevate the trade. Um I know the P. C. A. Um has has done a lot on on revamping and and reorganizing and doing things that that just better help and equip um So I see the standard of the business that we do um increasing um I see there’s gonna be a bigger um there’s going to be a bigger gap between the quality minded painters and you know, the, the chuck in the truck, you know, type guy out there. Um so I think that the trade in itself is going to elevate and become a, a higher service. I mean what, what we sell honestly is a luxury. Um most of these places they don’t need to have, you know, their their walls painted, they don’t need to have their new house built, you know, these are are a lot of them is, is a luxury item and so you know, I see us continuing to try to cater to that mindset that we are a luxury item and and where the value is. Um and us, so I I see honestly a lot of positive, positive things coming for the painting industry overall. I’m not sure that that any one of my podcast guest has ever said that It’s a luxury item and I 100% agree with you and I think you saying that is so powerful, I think when you think about because unfortunately the painting industry, you know, and a lot of painters and painting company owners have have this sort of lacking a sense of pride that they should, that they couldn’t should have and you’re saying it’s a luxury item that is an entire mental shift in terms of how you think about what you’re doing, you know it is not enough to show up um on time for your estimate is not enough because you’re wearing a polo when you saw a luxury item when you walk into Tiffany’s. You know, probably a lot of people listening don’t go into Tiffany’s. But when you walk into any sort of really really high end shop, it’s not enough if they just, well they’re willing to check you out at the cash register. That’s not that experience, that experience that is a hand holding. You know if you go to some art show or something and you know you have people there showing you pieces of art. There’s an experience associated with that and that’s what you’ve created here. Yeah and that’s what people are buying. Is that that the experience with that for that item. You know it was one thing that that I remember being at a client’s house and they had recently bought ah BMW um and they got a little gift box from you know from BMW and I had a little bit of cologne in there and had a couple of nice items and I and I watched the client open this gift box up and watched him go through it and just liked, you know even though they were kind of little things, you know just I could see him just soak up that experience and that feeling that yeah I have a B. M. W. You know like like in all these things is what makes that the BMW, you know, it’s one way I’ve put it before, is that any car can drive you down the road? Any car can get you from Point A. To Point B. But there’s a reason why there’s $30,000 cars and there’s $100,000 cars. And that’s it’s it’s about the experience, the quality of the products you’re using, all of that matters. You know, when you’re watching car commercials. I mean, nothing is maybe with the exception, you brought up cologne. With the exception of fragrances. Nothing is more ridiculous than car commercials. You know, there’s there’s never anything about the car 0 200 006 who we’re not we’re not driving like on Nascar, you know, we’re driving down the street, their cars and it doesn’t make any sense. Um And it’s just pure pure emotion. Just pure emotion. The entire the entire thing. Yeah. But yeah, you’re absolutely right. Yes. It’s interesting. You mentioned cards and and cologne in there. Um Do you have any other any other piece of advice? Any other thing you’d like to to express our listeners? Um Honestly don’t give up. Um You know, I had my my horrible days, you know, I had my times where um I didn’t think that the company was gonna make it was gonna last. Um And there were things that that I put off doing that. I really wish I would have put some of these systems and started thinking this way very early on in my career. Um I think I would be a lot further along than than what I am now. Um and and trust me where I am now is fantastic. I’m just ecstatic on where I’m at. Um but but don’t delay those things because you’re a small company um start putting them together now start thinking that way and and and grow grow slowly. Um you know, make sure you have the pieces in place because it’s going to cost you way more money and way more time to do it wrong to have the wrong people and have the wrong processes in place. Mike. Thank you so much for your time and thank you for sharing all this again. Painters marketing pro is your company. People can find it on facebook. They can you email you mike at paint gr dot com if they want to learn more about your newsletter and connecting with you on that piece. Thank you for your time. Yeah, thank you very much. Brandon appreciate it. If you want to learn more about the topics we discussed in this podcast and how you can use them to grow your painting business, visit painter marketing pros dot com forward slash podcast for free training as well as the ability to schedule a personalized strategy session for your painting company again that you are l is painter marketing pros dot com forward slash podcast.
Hey they’re painting company owners. If you enjoyed today’s episode, make sure you go ahead and hit that subscribe button, give us your feedback, let us know how we did. And also if you’re interested in taking your painting business to the next level, make sure you visit the painter marketing pros website at Painter Marketing Pros.com to learn more about our services. You can also reach out to me directly by emailing me at Brandon at painter marketing pros dot com and I can give you personalized advice on growing your painting business until next time. Keep growing.