How to Get Commercial Painting Leads for Winter Work

Hey, guys. I just went on a run and saw a sight that I thought you might be interested in. My family and I are staying in the hills of North Carolina at a beautiful cabin for my grandmother-in-law’s 75th birthday. So it’s been a blast. I got up early this morning to get in a little bit of physical fitness. And if you’ll look behind me, let’s see if you can see me pointing to it here. There is a ski lift. So, this place operates as a ski resort during the on-season, I guess if there’s an off-season. There has to be an off-season during the winter season. And it reminds me of seasonality in our painting businesses. Right now, it’s cool up here. Just a month ago, it was not cool. And when you feel the coolness early in the morning and it hangs on till almost lunch, you know that winter is not far behind.

You’ve probably spent this rip-roaring repaint season acquiring crew leaders, painters, office administrative staff, estimators, operations managers so that you could run your business efficiently and effectively and maximize the profitability from the repaint rush. However, as we go into winter and demand declines, you have to ask yourself, are you prepared for that big shift where demand drops by 20, 30, 40, 50%, and then by 60% and in some cases almost 70, depending on your market. So, one of the big things that I would encourage you to do is going after commercial repaints. Now listen, the seasonality of the painting business is rather predictable. The sales cycle of commercial repaints is rather predictable. Typically, it takes a long time to get an appointment, sometimes a long time before that to identify decision-makers. Then you may have to stay in communication with them until you get an estimate request opportunity.

Then that estimate request opportunity takes a while and often that first job is kind of small. And you’ll have to do a couple of those before they even trust you with the larger ones. Not to say you can’t occasionally get lucky in your initial efforts. It happens but not usually. So it’s kind of a long haul strategy. If you want to start seeing results from your commercial repaint marketing efforts and your sales efforts, you cannot start when it is cold. If you do, you will reap the benefits probably in the spring or the summer of the following year. And if that’s not where you want things to land, you can’t start taking off the runway right now. Or rather, in the middle of winter. You need to be taking off of the runway now in approaching that market. Because the sales cycle is longer, it takes longer to identify decision-makers, get in front of them for appointments, estimate request, and then for those jobs to close.

So, I would encourage you right now to begin that. And if you’re not sure about how the four stages of commercial repaint marketing go, if you’re not familiar with multi-step multimedia marketing, which is the very first step in the campaign to identify prospects and get appointments. If you do not know about the aspects of retention, one-to-many retention, what do you do with the list once it’s identified? If you don’t have something of the commercial prospecting points program where you’re constantly having calendered personal interaction with them and if you do not know how to generate inbound commercial repaint leads online, then you really don’t know what the four pillars of this program are when you go after commercial repaints. And that’s probably why you’ve never been successful in this area, even though you wanted to be.

So, if we want to take a little bit of the bite out of seasonality, let’s start now while it’s just a little bit cool, not while the snow’s on the ground and this thing is running full tilt. I’m Brandon Lewis with the Academy for Professional Painting Contractors and painter’s weekly saying, start your commercial repaint prospecting early so that it comes in and provides the uptick and demand you need when you need it most. Take care.