Commercial Painting Leads and How to Sell Them Persuasively


Hey guys, it’s Brandon Lewis with the Painter’s Academy, and I want to talk to you about selling your services to commercial painting prospects, especially repaints. I will never talk to you about new construction, I think it’s a bad industry with low margins and lots of risk, but I will talk to you about going after large commercial repaint accounts. There is this prevailing myth, for some reason, that commercial clients are different then residential clients. And while they are, they are largely the same. I always ask this question, where does the commercial client go when they leave the office? They go home. They go home.

They’re the same person, yet for some reason we act as if they’re aliens from another planet. And most people that have finally broken into the commercial repaint space actually spend less time, less effort, and less energy in the persuasive elements of their commercial selling process than really good residential painters do. They think that they can show up and then leave, and then email a PDF estimate, and maybe follow up with a phone call and an email. And for some reason that’s supposed to make someone give them a 50-60, $70,000 job. If you are selling to commercial painting prospects, and you do not have a persuasive sales process with pre-positioning, presenting, post-positioning, and follow up that is directly targeted toward commercial, then you’re in trouble, because they have worries, fears, and concerns about background checks, warranties, guarantees, satisfaction guarantees as well.

They also worry about reviews from other people. They worry about the ownership of the company, what your painters look like, what their skill level is, what your safety program is. They worry about, can they be trusted in areas where there’s sensitive information, or where people are working, are you going to disrupt their employees, are you going to disrupt their clients, are you going to embarrass them in front of the management team because they’re the facility manager. All of these worries, and fears, and concerns are real. And if you do not directly address them in your sales process, both before the sale of pre-positioning, during the sale with diagnostic surveys, with leave behind materials, with project books, with your company’s story, and if you’re not devoting a specific page on your website for follow up that they can gather additional information that’s specific to commercial, then you are going to close at a lower rate.

If all you do is show up and BS some small talk, then let me tell you this, everybody thinks that they are the best small talker and BS’er ever. I’ve done about 732, at the recording of this video, diagnostic surveys with business owners. And I’d say probably 10% of those, 70 some odd, are commercial. Heavy people, and they think, oh I’m just so good at BS’ing and small talk, and petting the dog, and talking about the bowling trophies in their office, nobody’s any better than the next person at that. And that’s not what they care about when you ask them. If that’s not what they care about, don’t spend all your time doing it. And you need to be delivering your commercial estimates on the spot, in person. If you’re not doing that, it’s crazy. Well it’s too big to do there. I have to go back to the office.

Number one, that’s typically bull. You could just do it out in your car. It’s a extra 15 or 20 minutes, and come back in. And if you decide to make a second trip, which you should if it’s really big, now instead of taking the 20 minutes in the parking lot, you’ve committed to an hour and a half, driving there, getting through the gate, getting through the gatekeeper, getting back to your office. So you think you’re saving time and you’re not. You need to be doing all the things that I’ve mentioned. Commercial painting leads have the same and similar concerns with a few nuances. I’d say it’s 80% the same, and then 20% of it needs to be nuanced for commercial, along with the reviews and the programs and a handful of things you change, and headlines, and sub-headlines, and a little bit of the messaging.

But if you don’t have a persuasive sales process for your commercial repaint contract, and you’re just emailing a PDF and hoping. And you think it’s all [pross 00:04:23], it’s not all pross. I’ve worked with tons of painting contractors that I’ve helped break into the commercial repaint market big time, and if you’re not being persuasive and diagnostic, if you’re not piling up the proof, if you’re not using the four Ps, you’re always going to fail and miss those big commercial jobs in the repaint environment. So don’t do that. Be persuasive. Use the tools. If you need help with that, email me, We can get on the phone. I can walk you through a few thing. And maybe I could assist you. That’s Until next time, I’m Brandon at the Painter’s Academy, and with Painter’s Weekly saying, “Go out there. Close those big whale sized jobs in commercial.” Take care.