I just bought a new home. Well, new to me anyway. I need to have the entire interior repainted from its current shade of canary yellow to something more…civilized. So, I’ve been auditioning painting contractors. I figured three competitive estimates would net me something workable.
I solicited referrals from friends and colleagues, and even took to Angie’s List for a highly reviewed local company. I gave two a call, and surprisingly, both were available the same day to provide written estimates.
The first to arrive was a professionally attired sales rep, in a crisp white dress shirt adorned with the company logo. He came prepared with some basic stats about my home, no doubt sourced from public records. He went directly into his rehearsed pitch, citing the forty years’ experience he has in the business. He offered some “decorating suggestions”, which were transparent upsell questions. Then, we walked my home, and I pointed out areas of concern, and I expressed my ideal outcome. He offered, “I’m not the cheapest.” I never once mentioned budget. He gave me a verbal “soft” quote, and said he’d email me the written proposal the same day, which he did. The price was well above market.
The second guy came out at the appointed time, in jeans and company polo shirt. He was the owner. He noticed the two paint color samples I had on the wall, with their Sherwin-Williams numbers I had scribbled beneath in paint with my finger. He called out the two color names from memory, unprompted. I was impressed! He told me he was a third-generation painter, and could eyeball most colors in the catalog. As we walked my home, he suggested that we didn’t need to repaint most ceilings, as they were in good condition, and it would be wasted money. Quite the opposite approach to the other guy’s aggressive upsell. He didn’t offer a verbal estimate, and said he wanted to “do his homework” and would email me a quote. He did indeed, and was 30% less expensive that the other vendor.
I did not seek a third estimate.
While price was indeed part of my decision-making, it was the approach to relationship building that the second vendor took with me which ultimately sealed the deal.
Bottom line, he established a trusting relationship with me before trying to sell me anything.
What level of trust do your customers and clients have in your brand?
© Mark Richman 2015