3 Ways to Beat the Back-to-School Painting Slump


Hey guys, it’s Brandon Lewis here. I’m getting emails and texts about what I refer to as the back to school slump. And it is that time of year when school starts back that the phone tends to stop ringing like it was maybe even just a few weeks ago. It happens for a couple of weeks two, three weeks, but that’s a big deal because two weeks is half a month. There’s only 12 months in the year, and often contractors will panic and they’ll want to re-examine their sales process. They’ll think, Oh no, my prices are too high, and they start dropping their prices.

They worry about what their estimating team is doing. They worry about whether or not their marketing is really working or if they’re spending money on things that they shouldn’t. Now sometimes that’s the case. In fact, after talking to about 920 some odd painting contractors, it definitely is the case. But if everything is the same as it was prior in your painting business, obviously those things could be improved, but it’s probably just seasonality. It’s timing. No need to get alarmed and freak out.

But I do want to give you four things that you can do that can help you weather this slump and also give you a tailwind for when the caravan picks up and people go back to a more normalized schedule, and those estimate requests and those are bookings begin to pick up. Number one. I want you to go back to every single solitary one of your estimates for 2019, all of them, every one. I want you to call them, email them, text them, and even mail them,! those that have not responded by email, text, or phone, asking them if they would like to move forward with their project. What you’ll discover is that many of them just have a long sale cycle. The average American takes 68 days to make a five hundred dollar decision for a home purchase.

So if you put a $12 thousand bid in front of someone, there’s a chance they’re just waiting. They may have chosen someone else. They did a terrible job. Now they’ve got another painting project, and they may even refer you to someone else, a friend, a family member, et cetera, because guess what? Their painting contractor did not stay in touch with them.

Most people, once they paint a project, they throw the customer in the trashcan and go out and buy new, expensive, crappy, low closing leads, and that’s how they live their entire life. And of course, after about year three, that just leads to never growing much more. Okay? Or cannibalizing your personal income with marketing expense that’s exorbitant. So don’t worry about that. You’ll find a whole lot of leads there.

Second thing, send a nine word email or text to your entire past client list, anyone who’s ever purchased from you. Okay? Anybody who’s bought anything. So make sure that you send that email by text or send the emails and the text just asking them one sentence, “Are you looking to do any painting projects around your place before October?” Simple, right? That’s it. Nothing fancy, nothing that looks like junk email, but very personal.

Finally, I want you to get on the phone with all of your B2B contacts. That can be gutter installers, roofers, plumbers, realtors, interior decorators, commercial property managers, high volume commercial repaint contract clients. And just check in and say, “Hey, just wanted to make sure everything was going all right. What’s going on in your business? Can I help you with anything?” And you will find four or five projects laying around that you didn’t even think about. Okay? I may have promised four. I think I only gave you three. So let’s recap them.

Number one, we’re going to reach out with a small multi-step, multimedia campaign, to all our estimates for 2019. We’re going to reach back with a nine word email and text to our past clients, and we’re going to get on the phone, and we’re going to just touch base with people that often refer us or who use us for multiple projects per year.

Make sense? That will help you weather this back to school slump so you can get back on track. I’m Brandon Lewis with the Academy for Professional Painting Contractors and Painters Weekly saying, “Don’t fear the slump. Make the slump fear you.”

Take care guys. Bye bye.