out in front of the other so-called Painting Contractors. Also, this will make you the talk of the town, which as we all know, is great for business.
1. Always return your calls the same day you receive them. My recommendation is to call after 11:30 p.m., as people are usually home by then.
2. Never show up late. The best bet is to get there early. If you say 8 a.m., come about 6 a.m. You don’t always know if your customers are morning people, so play it safe. As you pull up, lay on the horn just in case they aren’t up yet.
3. Park in the driveway. This not only saves time walking in and out, but leaves the street open in case the street sweeper comes by. If your vehicle leaks more than a quart of oil a day, leave your client some kitty litter when you wrap up the job.
4. Always listen to your customer’s ideas. Then tell them your honest opinion that “that is the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard.” They will appreciate it that a Pro like you tells them this, and not their neighbor.
5. At first the customer will be a little uncomfortable having you in their home. Put them at ease by making yourself at home. Grab a soda, plop down on the sofa, put your feet up on the coffee table, and turn on the TV. Please, no beer though, we painters already come with a bad rap.
6. Go ahead and make small talk, nothing controversial like the weather. Stick to safe subjects like politics and religion. If you have a hobby, like drinking or hanging out at the nudie bar, be sure to mention it.
7. Make sure you work a full day, three to four hours. If your customer is expecting an eight-hour day, tell them an eight-hour day is an anachronism, like the 12-hour day a century ago, and they need to come out of the dark ages.
8. Never use muddy tarps on the furniture (use them on the floors). Use your old paint-encrusted moldy ones on the furniture. And remember to use the cleanest one on the bed.
9. Always clean up. Leave your trash in the middle of the room where your customer will see it and be able to pick it up before his mother-in-law shows up. If you leave it in the corner, you client may not see it, but the in-law definitely will.
10. When you give them the bill, always mention your good friends, Tiny and the Refrigerator, who you met in prison (never say what you were in for), and that they are always willing to persuade people to pay their bills on time. Of course, leave your business card. Just make sure you cross out your old telephone numbers and write in your new one. Oh, and make sure you wipe off the filling from the jelly donut you had for breakfast.
There you have it. Your business should increase by 50 percent in several months. Please send your 15 percent tip to me, Brandon Brooks. If you don’t feel like tipping, refer back to Tip #10. Thank you.
Thanks for this tip go to Brandon Brooks of Brandon Brooks Painting Company, located in Sherman Oaks, Calif.